4 plus 1 questions
Summary of this person-centered thinking tool
This tool is a way of reflecting on what has been happening and what has been learned in relation to any situation. It first asks four questions:
- What have we tried?
- What have we learned?
- What are we pleased about?
- What are we concerned about?
This tool offers an opportunity to acknowledge what has been working well but also gives participants in the discussion a way to share their worries about any issue.
Following reflection, the next question is:
Given what we know now, what next?
This last question – the plus 1 – then forms the basis of action planning.
Benefits for pupils
- A structured way for their views to be heard.
- A way of identifying what they and others have learned from any situation.
- A way of recognising and celebrating what has been working well.
- A genuine way to listen to their concerns.
- A basis for action planning.
Benefits for parents
- A clear process for identifying what has been learned in situations relating to their child.
- A way of contributing to reviews about school around particular topics.
- A means to share both celebrations and concerns in relation to their child.
- As the basis of a survey of the school as a whole during parents’ evenings.
Benefits for school staff and teams
- A way of receiving feedback from both the whole school and classes or year groups about initiatives from both pupils and parents. This information can inform school development plans.
- As a way for a staff team to reflect on the value of any pilot projects and set actions based on them.
- As a way to evaluate any new intervention the school may be trying out to measure the impact qualitatively.
- Staff feel listened to and can contribute their ideas and experience to the school development plan.
Benefits for others
- Enables the Governors to receive feedback from parents and both the whole school and year groups, as well as the school staff, to inform school development plans.
- As a means to reflect and learn in relation to any issue or situation that comes to the Governors, both compliments and complaints.
- In partnership working with any other body, to reflect on progress of work together and set actions.