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Thinking Differently for Disadvantaged Learners©

This innovative new professional learning programme is available FREE to all schools and staff across the ERW region. This programme will take an in depth look at disadvantage and vulnerability within our schools and offer solutions and opportunities to think differently.

The programme is based around six recorded training modules, released half termly throughout the academic year and available online to access at your convenience. All schools will have access to the videos, accompanying resources and access to a secure forum and additional Q&A sessions.

Sessions will be delivered by expert trainers (and experienced school leaders) who have a wealth of knowledge on leadership and teaching of disadvantaged youngsters built up over more than six years of supporting schools across all phases in Raising the Attainment of Disadvantaged Youngsters (RADY).  

The training modules will cover a wide range of areas pertinent to the needs of disadvantaged learners and across the six modules this will include (but not be limited to):


  • What it is like to be poor in school
  • The impact of the curriculum
  • Adapting teaching and effectively using metacognitive strategies
  • Addressing the difficulties of participation in all aspects of school life
  • Teaching appropriate learning behaviours
  • Thinking about career-related learning from the earliest age


2020/2021 Training Video Schedule

Themes of training modules


Release date

Q&A session

Settling In

This will include sessions on (e.g.) top tips for newly qualified teachers; teaching learning behaviours and setting high expectations for our most disadvantaged learners.

5th Oct 2020

19th Oct 2020

An equity-based ethos

This module will focus on ‘hearts and minds’ encouraging staff to reflect on their own beliefs and how this impacts on their actions, so that work being undertaken in school is carried out with the most disadvantaged learner in mind.

23rd Nov 2020

7th Dec 2020

Assessing the poorest child

The sessions here will include how lesson planning and curriculum planning impacts on the poorest learners. It will examine how to avoid assessments further disadvantaging the poorest learners

25th Jan 2021

8th Feb 2021

Hard to reach schools?

Here we will look at the school as part of the community, including the challenges of attendance and parental engagement for the poorest families.

22nd Feb 2021

8th Mar 2021

Moving on and Moving up

This theme will allow us to deliver sessions on careers-related learning, transition (in school and between schools) and the additional support that a disadvantaged learner may need.

10th May 2021

24th May 2021

Taking the REINs; Reflection, Evaluation, Impact, Next Steps

In the final module, we will run sessions to enable all practitioners to reflect on their successes during the academic year and help them to plan the best ways to ensure that the positive differences made for disadvantaged learners become embedded in the school.

28th June 2021

12th July 2021


ERW is funding the programme and activities for all schools and staff across the region. Schools can register through the following link and get access to all the resources for the whole school –

Any questions please contact Dylan Williams, ERW Regional Lead for the PDG