University of Exeter
Tools for Schools
Gauging engagement

Gauging engagement

Key Points

This strategy contains ideas and ways that you can check in to see if your student is learning, even if it does not look like conventional learning or attention

How is this tweaked for flex?

Children who flex is designed for may struggle to pay attention, and when they are paying attention it might not "look" like it! This strategy is to give both you and the child a system for checking in, giving them freedom to learn their way but reassuring you that they are engaging with the lesson

  • Talk with your student about what you can say or do to check they are engaged in learning e.g. can you ask them a question about the work, or can you use a phrase or question that they can respond to – “are you checked in?”
  • Develop the agreed cues template with them to note ways that you can check in to see if they are engaged in a positive way, put it somewhere you can both see it, and use these
  • When you are worried about engagement, attempt to re-engage by changing activity, adding in a movement break or tailoring the task more to their interests
  • After a few days, reflect on how the engagement check-ins are going in terms of how you feel about it, and how the child responds to it
  • Do you need to make any changes? List them on the reflection template
  • This strategy is about allowing the child to move around and engage differently than might be the convention in your school
  • Discuss any concerns or problems that have come up with your SENCo, other colleagues and the child’s family and get their help to problem-solve with you