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Teaching and Learning Newsletter Archive

Please click on the links below to download pdf copies of the newsletter.


Issue 26: December 2023

In this issue:
Foundation Art & Design collaborate and develop a neurodiverse approach to learning.
Dyslexia and Shame
Lessons from my Drawing Class – the value of reflection

Previous issues:

Issue 25: January 2023

Helping students own their own learning

This edition explores simple ways to help our students explain their own strengths, challenges and goals – and the case for why we should help them do so.  It also reports on an exciting project on Task based learning in Universal Skills and its inspiring benefits.

Issue 24: Summer 2022

3 tutors describe the content of their inspiring presentations at our Sharing Practice event last May: Managing peer feedback (Laura Baggaley), Making lectures more interactive (Dale Mineshima Lowe) and Using ‘Six Thinking Hats’ for developing parallel critical thinking (Henry Martin).

Issue 23: Spring 2022

In this new look edition, we include some useful aide memoires for tutors, alongside teaching tips and details of training opportunities.

Issue 22: How well do we know our learners, and is it important?

In this issue, we discuss some informal ways of finding out about our learners, and more on what class visits will look like in 21/22.

The Principles of Adult Learning and Characteristics of Effective Learning and Teaching at City Lit are our aspirations for learners.  We are inviting departments and tutors to reflect on what they mean in their subject area.

Issue 21: Class visits & tutors' professional learning

In this issue we explain our new non judgemental approach to drop ins and class visits. We explore the principles behind the approach and how we aim to support tutor development and enhance learning through collaborative discussion with colleagues, reflection and experimentation.

Issue 20: Teaching for Neurodiversity

This issue looks at 5 key tips on working with neurodiverse students – including those with dyslexia and autism – in a way which enables people to work to their strengths. If you would like any more help and advice on working with neurodiverse students, please contact

Issue 19: Reflecting on Learning

This issue is about the importance of giving learners the opportunity to pause and reflect on their learning, including example activities used by City Lit tutors. It also discusses what to include in the last sessions of courses – summative activities and progression advice.

Issue 18: Continuing professional development through tutor collaboration and professional discussion

This issue outlines City Lit’s new approach to classroom visiting and staff development, and the principles behind it. Also some theory on the importance of having a different ‘lens’ on learning in our classes.

Issue 17: Stretch and Challenge

Stretch and Challenge explores ways of challenging all our learners whatever their level – including the most confident. This issue discusses the theory and gives some examples from recent projects by teachers at City Lit.

Issue 16: Goodbye graded observations and learning theories

This issue describes our guiding principles for visiting classes and supporting tutors, and looks at two useful learning theories - social constructivism and memory.

Issue 15: Observation Survey Results

This issue summarises the feedback from two surveys of tutors and observers on moving to ungraded observations. It also summarises tutors’ comments on what other support they would find most useful for their professional development in the future.

Issue 14: Working with groups

City Lit students say they come to learn with others - not alone. This issue is to inspire and to share ideas on managing groups and promoting group work.

Issue 13: Developing professional practice through peer collaboration

Examples of Teaching and Learning Projects at City Lit from the last three years.

Issue 12: Questioning

Teachers use questions all the time. This issue explores the purposes of questioning and techniques for asking them.

Issue 11: Creating an Inclusive Classroom

This issue offers some strategies for supporting learners with learning difficulties, disabilities or hearing impairment.

Issue 10: The Challenge of Differentiation

Ways of planning so all your learners achieve. This issue covers the principles of differentiation, and examples of practice from teachers across City Lit.

Issue 9: Supporting English and Maths

What do we mean by supporting English and Maths on courses that are not about English and Maths! City Lit staff give some examples of how they can adapt their teaching to support people with these key skills in an adult way.

Issue 8: Promoting Diversity

What does it mean to ‘promote diversity’ in teaching. How does this relate to Equality legislation? In this issue, teachers give examples of how they promote an understanding of diversity in their teaching.

Issue 7: Learning outcomes and punctuality

Why are learning outcomes important and how do we write them? How can we get all adult learners to be on time for their classes? Also improving the learning environment and getting credit for your teaching experience.

Issue 6: RARPA and you

What are the stages of RARPA (Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement)? Why do we need to follow the stages and record our students progress? This newsletter includes a pull out section of ideas, linked to the City Lit website. RARPA can be messy!

Issue 5: Bridging the gap between teaching and learning

Teaching something does not necessarily result in learning. This newsletter explores the vital role of informal assessment and giving constructive feedback in ensuring learner progress and achievement.

Issue 4: Finding out about our learners – initial assessment in adult learning

Initial assessment is vital on any course of any length in order to find out learners’ starting points. This newsletter explores ways of doing this informally on non accredited courses.

Issue 3: Helping students retain information over time – the importance of recaps

Regular recaps ensures learning moves from our students’ short term to long term memories. This newsletter unpacks the theory and gives some tips.

Issue 2: Keeping student attention

The internet is reducing all our attention spans: this newsletter discusses how keeping students active ensures full engagement in learning.

Issue 1: Questioning – a fundamental tool for teachers

Explores the value of questioning, and the principles behind this core teaching skill - including use of ‘wait time’ and ‘no shout out’.