How to fit school interventions into a busy day

Delivering interventions can sometimes be a case of best-laid plans! You have identified the pupils and outcomes for the intervention, and all of the resources are sourced and ready… But a last-minute assembly thwarts your plans.

A day in school is quite like no other, which is why we love it, but it can be hard to find the time in the busy day to fit in quality interventions. The clock is never on the teacher’s side!

In this article, we identify those school events that can pose risks to intervention delivery and how to creatively make time for interventions in primary school, thus beating the clock.

Why is it so difficult to run interventions in school?

Common challenges faced when implementing interventions in schools can include:

  • Limited time – finding time to consolidate a concept before the next lesson can be tricky.
  • Time-consuming – building knowledge is what we aim for, but the clock is against us. Interventions have to deliver results, and quickly.
  • Identifying students – how do you choose who will benefit the most from group or individual interventions? Selecting the right students for the right interventions can be challenging.
  • Competing demands – surprise events can occur during the school day, like unexpected assemblies or an extra hymn practise-which pulls children away from the classroom.
  • Seasonal events – enrichment activities, such as sports day, play rehearsals and trips, are fundamental to school life, but it means time is even more of the essence.

How can you fit quality school interventions into the school day?

Is it even possible to find minutes hidden in the school day? By using an easy-to-implement and effective intervention programme, the answer is yes!

Prioritise the right children

Using an assessment and reporting kit such as MARK, which quickly analyses gaps in learning to inform targeted teaching, saves teachers a wealth of time and agonising! Result!

"The Intervention reports from MARK made it really easy to identify the children for interventions at a glance." – Deputy Headteacher at Meridian Community Primary School on Intervention Reports in MARK. Read their full report here.

Intervention dosage and time

The session might be a quick, keep-up style intervention for one concept, or it might be developing a specific reading domain skill where several sessions are needed. A quality intervention which offers already timed activities maximises efficiency and means teachers can prepare in advance. 

Maximise efficiency creating more opportunities

You have finished teaching a concept, and time tells you to move on. Use the free MARK assessment tool to identify the children who are still struggling with that particular area. You might be moving on to addition and subtraction word problems, but a group of pupils have not yet mastered the formal written methods of column addition and subtraction. You can now work specifically with that group to fill the gap.

Top tip: Consider scheduling interventions during registration while others are silent reading, or allow your targeted students to finish early from the afternoon session to attend an intervention group.

Be organised with your intervention resources

You don’t want to have to waste time finding and handing out resources. Quality interventions will tell you what resources you're going to need ahead of time - why not set up an intervention box with all the resources ready so you can pick up and go, quick as a flash?