Years 7+ Attention and Listening

What is it?

ATTENTION AND LISTENING – Year 7 and above (KS3 & 4)

What is Attention and Listening?

Good listening skills are important for being able to join in with activities and interacting with others.

The development of listening and attention skills is essential to promote a child’s understanding and use of language.

What to expect?

In Year 7 and above children will usually:

  • Have flexible attention which can be sustained for lengthy periods.
  • Be much more able to be selective about what they need to listen to and are able integrate listening with other tasks.
  • Be able to integrate visual and auditory information with ease.
  • Be able to be taught in a group.
  • Be able to listen to instruction whilst completing another activity e.g. hear they need to tidy up in 5 minutes whilst finishing their topic work.
  • Be able to integrate visual and auditory information with ease e.g. looking at diagrams/ pictures on the board whilst being able to listen to the speaker about a wider topic.
  • Be able to listen without necessarily looking at the speaker e.g. completing an activity whilst listening out for the next instruction.
  • Be able to select key pieces of information from long verbal instructions.

Information & advice

  • Making sure you look at the student you are speaking to.
  • Ensuring you have the student’s attention before giving the instruction e.g. say the student’s name first and wait for him/her to look.
  • Minimising distracting background noise both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Minimising visual distractions, especially behind the teacher.
  • Trying to keep student’s desk free from unneeded items.
  • Discussing “good listening” with the whole class, initially on a regular basis. Some students need to learn how to listen i.e:
    • Good sitting.
    • Looking at the person who is speaking.
    • Good waiting and turn taking.
    • Thinking about the words and what they mean.
    • Keeping your body still.
  • Giving specific feedback to the student about his/her listening skills e.g. “I can see you sat still and listening hard”. “well done for asking me to repeat, when you missed a bit of information”.
  • Ensuring the student is not mid-task when you give a new instruction.
  • Using visual task plans to focus the child’s attention. Please see resources for further information.