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Rachael Cattrall, our cognitive science specialist, introduces a new Voices from the Classroom video. 

In this ​Voices from the Classroom’ video, Sophie Law – Year 2 teacher at St Matthews Catholic Primary School – explains how she uses scaffolds to support her pupils’ learning by reducing strain on their working memories.

She explores several strategies for scaffolding, differentiating between pre-planned and ​in the moment’ scaffolds. The former, she explains, include visual and written scaffolds whilst the latter, refers to verbal cues and support from other adults in the room. Sophie also highlights the importance of seeing scaffolding as a temporary support to avoid overloading pupils’ cognitive load. She emphasises that knowledge of your pupils is key to understanding the level of scaffold to provide and when to adjust them.

Often, by providing scaffolds when they’re perhaps not needed, we risk actually increasing cognitive demands instead of reducing them” 

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