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This page is intended for teachers who are using the online Maximising Potential programme (part of Learning and Teaching Scotland's suite of websites) and who wish to explore certain issues further. Supplementary support consists of: suggestions for further reading; links to related websites: and archive material from the earlier projects that gave rise to the online programme. For the full online programme, go here:

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Information about earlier in-school projects that gave rise to the online programme can be found on the Archives page.

A selection of comments from teachers and students who took part in the pilot phase of the Max programme. Comments are drawn from email communications, evaluation forms and consultant's report.
Download Comments

An upgraded version of the Project reader can be downloaded here. The Reader explains the project and collects together all the Points for Reflection that appear in the programme. I can be printed out and used to support CPD work in school or used as a stimulus for personal/professional reflection by teachers unable to organise of take part in the full programme. Associated tasks can be found on the Max website.
Download Project Reader


General information

Guidance for school managers

Units 1 & 2

Units 2 & 3

Units 4 & 5


One of the advantages of the Max programme is that it draws on resources that are already available within each school. That can also, however, be a disadvantage if the the programme does not have the active support of Senior Management. Supplementary Guidance for School Managers can be downloaded here:
Download Supplementary guidance

At Scottish CILT's Conference on Leadership for Excellence held at the University of Stirling in 2008, participants were introduced to the Max programme as a 'toolkit' for professional and curriculum development that might be useful to them in their managerial role. A summary of the introduction can be downloaded here:
Download LfE Summary

The HMIe report Effective provision for special educational needs (EPSEN) contains, amongst other things, the remit of Support for Learning personnel in schools, the responsibilities of class teachers, and recommendations for managing collaboration between class and support staff. The report was written in 1994 and parts of it have been superseded by new legislation, but HMIe advice on roles and collaboration have not changed.
The complete EPSEN document can be found here:
A pdf file containing extracts from the full document can be download here:
Download Extracts

Learning Together: Improving Teaching, Improving Learning
The roles of continuing professional development, collegiality and chartered teachers in implementing Curriculum for Excellence. The publication affirms the importance of teachers learning together, recognising that the insights and expertise which lead to improvements for learners are often found amongst colleagues.

Concerning EU Policy, the consultative document Schools for the 21st Century published by the Commission of the European Communities in 2007 has much to say about equity and opportunity for all in the context of schooling. Maximising Potential is consonant with the principles that underpin this document. The following two extracts illustrate this well:

In respect of learning and teaching, section 2.5 (p.8) includes this paragraph:

The types of classroom practice that support the inclusion of pupils with 'special' needs include: co-operative teaching, co-operative learning, collaborative problem solving, heterogeneous grouping and systematic monitoring, assessment, planning and evaluation of each pupil's work. Such approaches are likely to benefit all pupils, including children who are particularly gifted or talented.'

In respect of citizenship, section 2.6 (p.9) includes:

Effective links between schools and the wider world - in the immediate locality, the region, the state, the European Union and beyond - have been acknowledged to be vital if students are to be prepared to take their place in society...'

The whole document can be found here:




Extended rationale for Units 1 & 2:
Taking account of the needs of individual learners

Unit 1: Starting points for development

If you liked the visual metaphor used for the PowerPoint presentation on barriers to learning, you may like to consider using the same idea with students as a stimulus for talking about learning and responsibility for learning. Two adaptations for students, called Do you sometimes get stuck? and Why do you get stuck? What can you do about it? can be found on the page on personal learning. (The page is currently incomplete, but the downloads are in place.)

Unit 2: Responding to individual learning needs

Read more about common barriers to learning and some suggestions for reducing them

Reference grid for an autistic learner

Reference grid for a learner who is deaf

Some sample planning grids developed by schools working on earlier projects:

School A: S1/2 with poor English skills

School B: S2 bottom set

School C: S1 mixed ability

School E: a single S4 student

School H: S4 group of poor readers

Further possible uses of planning grids: Ideas suggested by teachers involved in previous projects:

Using grids to plan support for learning




Extended rationale for Units 3 & 4:
Reviewing current practice

List of general needs identified by schools participating in earlier projects

Note on prerequisite skills

Example of a unit of work aligned to the 5-stage framework




Extended rationale for Units 5 & 6:
Managing change

Presenting information in visual form

Teachers, as well as pupils, have different learning styles. The Venn diagram in the accompanying pdf file suggests an alternative way of presenting information once a development plan has been agreed. It is unlikely that you would want to introduce all of these measures at one time, but notice how the developments near the outside of the Venn diagram are ones which need to be tackled before developments nearer the centre.

The same information could also be shown in a mind map, where first steps would be shown near the centre of the diagram and later steps nearer the periphery. If you are allocating different areas to be developed initially by different people, colour could be used to indicate areas of responsibility.

If teachers are not yet familiar with Venn diagrams and mind mapping, this may be a good way to become familiar with their use, with a view to later exploring their potential for presenting information in class. If you are working with a department, this approach would allow some measure of choice to participants about where to start, while at the same time ensuring progression through the development programme.

Venn diagram




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