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Why and how to use the ‘ping pong’ teaching style

Created on 06 March 2019 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 07 March 2019 by ncetm_administrator

Why and how to use the ‘ping pong’ teaching style

The episodic or ‘ping pong' teaching approach can be one of the most striking features of a mastery-style lesson. But what is it exactly and how does it affect decisions when planning lessons?

In this podcast, Primary Mastery Specialists Faye Glendinning and Sam Shutkever take us through the gritty detail of their episodic lesson planning.

They give their understanding of the theory and explain how it is implemented in their schools. Each of them then takes us through the episodes of a recent lesson in detail, explaining each planning decision.

Show notes

Taking part in the discussion are:

  • Faye Glendinning, Cedars Academy, Birmingham, and Central Maths Hub
  • Sam Shutkever, Akroydon Primary Academy, Halifax, and West Yorkshire Maths Hub
  • Gwen Tresidder, Communications Manager, NCETM

Episode chapters

  • 01:32 – First encounters with mastery
  • 04:46 – Where their schools are now with mastery
  • 08:40 – Challenges (Faye)
  • 12:28 – Challenges (Sam)
  • 14:50 – What is the 'ping pong' (or episodic) approach?
  • 21:18 – Is it harder to manage?
  • 27:04 – Sam’s Y5 lesson (fractions as division) 
  • 37:18 – Faye’s Y6 lesson on division 

Additional content

Below are some of the slides used in their lessons, to illustrate their explanations.

Key slides from Sam’s lesson

Time codes to find where Sam talks about each part of the lesson are below each slide. 



Below is the worksheet Sam discusses. Click on the image to download.

Key slides from Faye's lesson

Time codes to find where Faye talks about each part of the lesson are below each slide. 


Tasks Faye gave to children in her lesson:



Go to the NCETM Maths Podcast homepage


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