Collaborative Learning Project

Project Director: Stuart Scott

17 Barford Street Islington,


Telephone +44 (0) 20 7226 8885


Our project was formally launched and funded by the Inner London Education Authority in 1983. It had grown from teachers working with the inspiration and support of Andrew Wilkinson, the coiner of the word "oracy", at University of Birmingham and Westhill College of Education in 1966, teacher action workshops supported by the State University of New York in Oneonta and Binghampton in the early 1970s and school focussed professional development initiated by the Inner London Education Authority in the late seventies. Our collaborative learning network became part of the teacher action research that led to the development of the National Oracy Project and the Language in the National Curriculum Project. Both LINC and the Oracy projects were forcibly closed down for political reasons in 1993, although colleagues continued to network informally. Ron Carter in Nottingham ensured that LINC resources continued to be available.

Interestingly, the project later became involved in the development and dissemination of the Department for Education Partnership Teaching Project with a focus on providing resources for the learning of English language within the curriculum and just as important promoting teacher agency and teacher collaboration. The civil servants at DFE later ensured that we received further funding from the European Community.

Collaborative Learning survived because it was and remains a teacher owned network. Everyone is welcome to join. Activities to promote talk take time to make, but by sharing them and tweaking them, we hope to inspire others to work in similar ways. Now that talk is once again beginning to be recognised as a priority and recent research is even more supportive of its vital part to play in learning, we plan to expand our network and increase the number of activities online. We have a lot of activities in paper form developed in the 80s and 90s. We are revising these and making them available.

We wanted to provide interesting and creative ways for children to learn in classes, where many different languages were spoken, and where children were learning English while learning.

Our aim is to provide examples of group talk activities that will benefit all children, while at the same time provide scaffolding for learning English. Collaborative activities are vital for children learning English, but at the same time other learners benefit in many ways. Children new to English need exposure to visually stimulating collaborative talk activities in short sessions throughout their learning. They also need to develop good social contacts in school and these activities are designed to make sure that everybody in the classroom works with everybody else on a regular basis.

Many teachers are now using the strategies for creating classrooms where first languages can be used in a similar way to support learning. We are now beginning to include these materials.

The activities we make available can be used as they are, or they can be adapted to fit into your planning. We also strongly hope they become templates for your own activities. Please don't just look at the activities available for your year group or subject area. All the activities can be easily adapted to any age group or any topic. When you have developed your own versions we hope you will share them; by either sending them to us, sending us a link, or posting them on similar sites.

For a more detailed analysis of collaborative learning please go to our questions and answers page. You can also access our research and bibliography page here. We are updating this shortly.

Webpages of free downloadable collaborative learning activities available on the site . They cover all curriculum areas and all key stages including foundation (early years). Can we encourage you to join our network of teachers who are posting activities on this and linked sites. If you want to access the props, games and activities around picture books you need to register with us because of copyright reasons. During COVID registration is not necessary.

Last updated 14th June 2021.

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