Trainer’s Top Tips – Teaching and Learning Strategies

In the third instalment of these Trainer’s Top Tips we are going to continue with the higher-level competencies for Part 3, this week looking at Teaching and Learning Strategies


1. Identify how your pupil learns best and base your teaching around this. One size does not fit all, therefore you need to adapt to your pupil’s learning style. Keep the pupil at the centre of the learning experience.

2. Use a client centred approach. Encourage your pupil wherever possible to analyse any problems. Get them to think about risks and consequences. Openly encourage the pupil to talk about what is about to happen or what has just happened using lots of open questions. Encourage your pupil to come up with the answers themselves where possible throughout the lesson.

3. When emphasising a point, discussions are good, diagrams/photographs better, but showcasing real/practical examples out on the road are often the best. Never miss an opportunity to highlight things that are happening outside the car, particularly if it is relevant to the subject matter.

4. Working alongside your pupil, think of different ways of fixing faults, as this shows knowledge and creativity whilst always keeping risk management relevant.

5. Remember the importance of giving positive reassurance rather than just negative feedback when critiquing errors. Praise is a great motivator. Feedback and reflection should be ongoing throughout the lesson and should be done at an appropriate time and place, so you do not distract your pupil whilst they are driving.

6. Encourage your pupils to ask questions throughout the lesson. You can state the following at the start of the lesson – “If at any point during the lesson you have any questions please feel free to ask”

7. Always make sure that your pupil has understood both what the plan is for the lesson, or the revised plan when there is a change required, by asking them questions before moving away from the side of the road.

8.  Always be prepared to deal with reoccurring faults. It takes time to deal with certain faults and they do not necessarily improve immediately. Once the competency is understood by the pupil, responsibility should be handed back to them.

9. You need to build a toolbox of solutions and methods of teaching so that you can still help when things are not going well. This is one of the main purposes of the trainee badge.

10. Reflection at the end of the lesson is your opportunity to help the pupil reflect on their progress and what areas they still need help developing. Talk about both the positive and negative things that happened during the lesson constructively to best prepare the pupil for the next session.

At the end of the lesson, reflect on the following three areas:

  • Was the lesson appropriate for your pupil?
  • Did you keep everybody safe?
  • Did your pupil learn something through the lesson?

On every lesson keep your standards high. That way when it comes to your Part 3 Test or your Standards Check, you will not need to “put on a show” for the examiner. Give the best lesson you can every time.

When there is an Examiner in the car watching you, this should simply replicate a normal observed lesson.

In the next of these “Trainer’s Top Tips”, we will outline key guidance for those preparing for your Part 2 Practical Driving Test.

Best wishes to you all and keep safe,

Peter, Paul, Malcolm, Mark, Richard and David
Bill Plant Driving School Training Academy