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Mentoring Able Underachievers

Mentoring Able Underachievers

Getting the best out of able underachievers


CPD for key stage 1–5 teachers.


This resource is designed for those involved in the provision of gifted and talented education within primary and secondary schools. Three of the four units feature in national training for learning mentors provided by the Liverpool Excellence Partnership. The fourth unit has been specifically written for London Gifted & Talented.

The resource will be of particular interest to learning mentors and teachers as it aims to equip them with the skills to mentor able underachieving students across all key stages.


The units are:

  • Study Skills: a presentation of some of the factors which are most relevant to the classroom situation to enable all children to realise their potential and provide some practical ideas.
  • Brain Power: an overview of how we learn. It will help learning mentors to identify popular misconceptions and avoid developing deficit models of why some children (and adults) 'fail' in school.
  • Promoting Boys' Learning: concern about educating boys is not new. This unit reviews the current context and offers tips on motivating and managing their behaviour and learning.
  • Active Approaches to Group Work: the activities for small group work suggested in this resource are based on the principles of collaborative, active learning and recommend easily implemented actions.


The authors of these units are:

  • Carol Mcweeney was the learning mentor co-ordinator for the Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster EiC Partnership. She now works with the Liverpool Excellence Partnership as development officer.
  • Pat Hughes is a lecturer at Hope University College in Liverpool. She has a particular interest in innovative approaches to teaching and learning.
  • David Spendlove is a lecturer at the University of Manchester. He has made a particular study of boys' learning.
  • Emma Ellis is a freelance educational consultant and educational psychologist with Wrexham local authority. She has a wide range of interests and expertise in counselling, group work and innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

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