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About us


Firstly, welcome to Standout Teaching!

Founded in 2013, Standout Teaching has been growing ever since to support teachers with ideas and strategies to plan and deliver creative, student focused lessons.

As a full time teacher myself, currently an Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning in south Birmingham, I often found I was spending many hours trying to find information and ideas to support my teaching and found planning and delivering outstanding lessons was far too time consuming. Why couldn’t I just find this all in one place? Hence Standout Teaching was formed.



GAP and the Sky High Questions are Teaching and Learning Strategies that will change your teaching and students’ learning forever. And what’s more, they are easy to implement and very student friendly. If you face challenges on how to differentiate within your lessons, and even if you don’t, if you use these effective strategies your students’ ability to take control of their own learning will speak for itself. You really can plan a lesson and then watch students guide their own learning using the resources you’ve provided, allowing you to act as facilitator and guide. I can’t recommend these strategies enough for enhanced student progression.

Thank you, John!

Middle Leader



The ideas and strategies you will find on the site have been compiled from nearly 20 years of teaching. Having originally started my career in Birmingham, I have taught in a range of secondary schools around England of varying social and economic backgrounds and held a range of leadership positions. In 2010 I qualified as an AST and through my outreach work I have supported a range of secondary schools in improving the quality of teaching and learning. Also as part of this role, I have been involved in NQT support for Birmingham LEA. More recently, I have worked with Teach First, PGCE and School Direct students and several TSAs. All of this has helped to develop the ideas and tools you will find around the Standout Teaching website.



John has been an essential resource with streams of ideas and theories around the concepts of teaching and learning. The use of GAP has been essential in my success this year as it has allowed me to differentiate my lessons effectively to allow all learners to progress, in PE the use of the GAP strategy has been particularly important when signposting differentiation and allowing students to take ownership over their learning. Sky high questions is another teaching and learning strategy John introduced to me and I have regularly used during my lessons, I have found the use of a Sky High Question has added to the deeper thinking of the lesson and students having to apply their knowledge at a greater depth hence promoting progress. Other strategies I have used such as Green Pen, Feeding Forward and Connect have all been essential strategies on supporting my journey to outstanding this year. John’s knowledge around teaching and learning is outstanding.

School Direct Trainee


I have continued to develop teaching innovation within my current post, which you will find on the site. These include-

  • GAP, to promote student independence in relation to differentiation
  • Sky High Questions to promote aspirational teaching
  • Connect to support consistency in regards to literacy
  • BIG Thinking Assessment to give depth and value to feedback


Subject departments use a GAP (Green, Amber and Pink) strategy in lessons to match work to students’ abilities. Students choose which level of work they are comfortable with and can also choose work that makes them think harder. This empowers students in their learning and helps them to take responsibility for it.

The most able students make good progress in a number of subjects. this is a result of activities to raise aspirations such as the ‘Sky High Challenge’ question set in all lessons

Ofsted Inspection Report



In 2014 I am proud to say that my concept for online CPD for teaching and learning was a finalist at the Education Innovation Awards.

I trust that you will see that the ideas and strategies within the site are trialled first hand and refined so that they have real impact upon student progress. Moreover, this is all packaged up to save you valuable time, I know because I use it myself.

Many thanks for taking the time to look at the site, and good luck with your teaching.

In addition, I am very proud to say our product is developed by teachers, for teachers.


John Winwood BA(Hons) PGCE AMTLA

Teacher & founder of Standout Teaching