How to choose the WHY for school interventions

We all know the success of an assembly can depend on the seating choices: those chatterboxes together, no thank you! You know the why behind your seating plans, reading book levels and supporting resources. So, why should interventions be any different? We share how to choose the why behind your core subject interventions.

Image of teacher running intervention with pupil

Why have you prioritised these children for intervention over others?

Why have you chosen these skills to target?

These are the questions that Assessment Leads need to ask, and teachers need to answer. But we are only human, with a full class to plan for and teach. Whilst you are teaching, several observations will be floating around your head:

“They aren’t secure with their tenses.”

“Those comma splices are consistently misused.”

“Squared numbers seem to be tricky to understand for them.”

Professional judgement relies on teaching experience, close working contact with that child and secure subject knowledge to spot the gaps in learning.

Okay, we can recognise what they can’t yet do, so now what? Do we go and find a high-quality intervention to fill the gap we have noticed? That’s one option, yes. Or, you can use an intervention and assessment programme that pinpoints the gaps for you and generates interventions based on the results, giving you the why for the choice of intervention.

The intervention red flags to avoid  🚩🚩

Interventions that are not targeted lead to frustration. Negatively impacting learners’ motivation and wasting teachers’ time. Here are some intervention red flags to look out for:

  • Not evidence-based. Interventions should be underpinned by effective pedagogy.
  • Not age-specific. Age-appropriate programmes should cover National Curriculum objectives for that year group.
  • Insensitive to teacher workload. Additional marking, planning and resource creation to run the programme should not add to a busy schedule.
  • Poor assessment opportunities. Assessment should highlight the children and the objectives and then monitor their progress.  

How to choose the right intervention for your pupils ✅

Dare we say it, think about the well-known 3 I’s from the Ofsted framework 2019: Intent, Implementation and Impact. Or with the graduated approach in SEND… it all starts with the assessment stage. How is an intervention to have an impact if there is no evidence of why it has been chosen?

Assess with purpose

Your intervention programme should have starting points in the form of assessments. Highlighting what the children are least secure with, this is then the basis for interventions to plug the gaps or can help with lesson planning.

Top tip: Use at the start of the academic year, or throughout a unit, to instantly pinpoint individuals who need extra support in key areas, so that you can get them up to speed with the non-negotiables before moving on with the curriculum. 

A consistent approach

A whole school's understanding of the length of time an intervention should run for, the types of discussions and activities that make a good intervention is necessary.

Progression available

Assessing a specific skill at the beginning of the year or a topic is a useful baseline to then measure progress after a set amount of time. Choosing an intervention programme that offers progression evidence is helpful to justify the why’s.

Age-appropriate interventions

Ensure the children don’t repeat the same intervention activities and have resources that are tailored to their National Curriculum objectives.

How do Shine Interventions work in MARK?

MARK is used by thousands of schools to generate reports based on pupils' termly assessment results, either inputting paper marks or automatically generating based on online tests. Intervention Reports in MARK directly link these termly results to associated interventions, targeting specific knowledge gaps in Reading, GPS and Maths. 

  • Easily enter paper test scores into the online mark sheets, or assign online assessments and have results automated for you.
  • Quickly analyse gaps in learning to inform targeted teaching.
  • Generate reports for classes, groups and schools to show progress and attainment.
  • Access interventions for groups and/or individuals based on pupils' results.

Book your Shine demo to see Intervention Reports in action with your local consultant today or register your interest for them to get in touch. 

Guest writer Louise Jackson has over 8 years of teaching and leadership experience in mainstream and SEND specialist schools. Find her on LinkedIn.



interventions, mark, primary, reports, shine, teaching assistant

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