Active Questioning

David Turner

£95FormatHTML resourcePublication dateMay 13ISBN978 1 84070 892 9
  • Raise standards of teaching and learning
  • Increase engagement
  • Fully revised and updated

From ‘asking’ to ‘tasking’

Lively, productive questioning sessions can boost children’s confidence, get the whole class involved and deepen understanding. However, teachers must take care to get questioning right if they are to make the most of these possibilities.

CPD on questioning in class often concentrates on the use of Bloom’s taxonomy. However, research shows that the techniques used to ask the question are just as important as the question itself.

Active Questioning shows teaching staff how to reframe their approach, making good use of techniques such as:

  • verbal cues
  • word pressure
  • non-verbal alternatives
  • choice
  • time pressure
  • teamwork.

A key priority

Teaching is now the single most important judgement in Ofsted inspections:

  • Schools cannot be graded Outstanding without an Outstanding grade for teaching.
  • Teaching is the key factor in getting a Good grade.
  • The Framework specifically refers to skilful questioning as a tool to ‘reshape tasks’ and ‘improve learning’.

Active Questioning is ideal for helping staff to demonstrate progress during the tight time frame used for lesson observations, so if the inspectors call you can be confident that they will be impressed.

Supportive guidance

Active Questioning is ideal for helping staff to demonstrate progress in a short time, eg during a 20-minute lesson observation by an Ofsted inspectors. The resource includes:

  • a brief summary of the principles involved
  • guidance on how effective use of questioning techniques can help to raise your school’s Ofsted grade
  • focused advice on applying questioning techniques
  • examples of questions which employ the techniques
  • a detailed plan of an INSET session to introduce the techniques in school.

Convenient format

Active Questioning is sold with a full site licence to share the material within your school. The resource includes a range of digital files and all the material can be viewed onscreen or printed out on demand.

Also available

Also available is Active Questioning Plus, a revised and expanded edition which includes an extensive video case study of how the techniques were adopted in one primary school, with great success.



  • Principles
  • Techniques
  • Ofsted