differentiation-figIn many Madrassahs, it has been common for the Madrassah teacher to stand at the front and teach the whole Madrassah class the same material, in the same way. All Madrassah pupils are expected to do the same tasks, some passed and some failed and were labelled ever after. The focus has been on teaching, not on learning. One size was supposed to fit all and if you learned in a different way, too bad for you.

In the Madrassah classroom, there are a variety of pupils with different abilities and ideas. Each one is an individual. Madrassah teachers should recognise this and adapt their teaching (differentiate) to meet the needs of the pupils in their class.

The National Curriculum Council (NCC) defined differentiation as:

“the process by which curriculum objectives, teaching methods, assessment methods, resources and learning activities are planned to cater for the needs of individual pupils“


  • Knowing your pupils well can assist greatly in differentiating your lessons.
  • When planning lessons for the Madrassah, reflect on how you think each pupil will find the material. Consider what you expect them to learn.
  • Respond to the needs of your pupils. If they need a challenge, give them more challenging work. If they are struggling with something, go over it again and give more help.

Types of Differentiation

There are three main types of differentiation Madrassah teachers can use in their lessons:
1) Differentiation by task –
which involves setting different tasks for pupils of different abilities.
2) Differentiation by support –
which involves giving more help to certain pupils within the group
3) Differentiation by outcome –
which involves setting open-ended tasks and allowing each pupil to reach their own potential


  • Set pupils tasks which are challenging, but achievable.
  • Try to use all three types of differentiation, where possible.
  • Be creative with resources and support, to save time
  • Speak to other Madrassah teachers to assess which pupils are in need of extra support or more challenge.
  • Divide group work, using a traffic light system: green = work they can do unaided once explained; amber = work that may require support; red = work that requires a teacher or helper for more assistance.
  • If you have helpers in your Madrassah classroom, plan how you can use them to support particular pupils and brief them before the lesson.
  • Have an extra activity on hand for fast workers and the most able.
  • Use open-ended, Islamically appropriate activities, games and questions to help pupils apply the knowledge they have just gained or rehearsed,”

Source: //newteachers.tes.co.uk/content/using-differentiation-mixed-ability-classes