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Could children teaching children be the way forward?

Older children at this school in Bristol are helping younger pupils Photo:

Schools in the West are pioneering a new way of educating children - by getting the pupils to do some of the teaching.

Older children are regularly helping out younger ones in core subjects like English and maths. It's an approach that's sparked much debate but supporters say the results prove it works.

Backers of the idea say it really works Credit: ITV News

Former head teacher Neil Harris, of Coaching for Progress, which is rolling out the scheme, says:

"We don't just put two children together and hope they'll work it out. We give a lot of coaching skills - rapport building, open question and being a really good listener."

– Neil Harris, Coaching for Progress

Year 6 children ages 10 and 11 are paired with those two years their junior and meet once a fortnight. They told ITV News that they enjoy the opportunity.

Bristol City Council funded the idea for a period before Sefton Park Junior School in Bristol made it part of their curriculum by using their own budget to pay for it.

Head teacher Jan Lonsdale explains: "The more teachers you have in the classroom and the more open culture of supporting one another then the more achievement you'll get."

A more traditional approach of teaching at Sefton Park Junior School Credit: ITV News

This is what ITV Viewers had to say:

Why have 10-year-olds got time to teach younger pupils. Surely their time should be used to advance their own education?

– Hazel Smith, West Chinnock, Somerset

It helps the 10 year old too. It encourages them to give explanations and some will do this easier with a younger child than with a teacher.

– Valarie Hutton, Corsham

My son has autism and has spent time reading with younger children. Not only did it help his reading but it gave him so much more confidence.

– Teresa Horn

I think it's a great idea. Children who are struggling in some subjects are more likely to want to engage with another child.

– Alli Stevens, Street