Birchwood Grove CP School

Mantle of the Expert

At Birchwood Grove, we have been developing a style of working called ‘Mantle of the Expert’ throughout the school.

What is Mantle of the Expert?

 The Mantle of the Expert is a dramatic inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning, invented and developed by Professor Dorothy Heathcote at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the 1980’s. The big idea is that the class do all their curriculum work as if they are an imagined group of experts.

They might be scientists in a laboratory or archaeologists excavating a tomb, or a rescue team at the scene of a disaster. They might be running a removal company, or a factory, or a shop, or a space station.

Because they behave as if they are experts, the children are working from a specific point of view as they explore their learning and this brings special responsibilities, language needs and social behaviours.

Through activities and tasks, the children gradually take on some of the same kinds of responsibilities, problems and challenges that real archaeologists, scientists and librarians might do in the real world.

(Taken from Mantle of the Expert website:

Why do we use the Mantle approach in our school?

Using the Mantle approach provides a brilliant context for learning. It allows us to bring different areas of the curriculum into one topic, but also gives the children ownership of their learning.