Beginning pretty much every lesson with a test is a fantastic way to build confidence. BOOM! Pop that on your industrial conveyor-belt of mechanically reconstituted childbots, and drone it out to the regional Nestlé MAT. 

How? Why? Won’t somebody think of the children? Here:

Today Y9 faced these five questions to start.The questions are pretty easy because the descriptions are quite clear, and a couple include massive hints. In fact, I’d wager that 1, 3 and 4 are obvious, with 2 being slightly harder and 5 requiring an educated guess.

Asking these questions resulted in most pupils gaining 4/5, to which I can say, ‘Wow – that’s 80% and you haven’t even studied this before. You must be geniuses!’

But here’s the trick. After I’ve gone through the answers (with them writing these in, correcting any spelling mistakes), we, in true Brendan Rogers style, go again. ‘Let’s do it again, but this time aim for 100%. Focus on the one or two you didn’t get.’

My rule is this: just getting one more is still an improvement, and with only five questions that’s 20%. We often repeat until everyone has achieved 100%, with this taking perhaps six minutes, or so. 

It’s a great way to start a lesson because there’s success right away, and the effect of that success, however small, is vital. Remember, tests aren’t evil.