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Innovating the Six Bricks teaching and learning pedagogy

Six Bricks is an exciting approach to teaching and learning that was created by Brent Hutcheson and his Care for Education organisation in South Africa. 

CPD College is delighted to have created and developed the following innovations to the pedagogy:

The Six Bricks Answer Code (SBAC)

The Six Bricks Answer Code is an Assessment for Learning mechanism that requires children to correctly answer a question or series of related questions by ordering the six coloured eight-stud bricks into a correct sequence. 

Here is the process:

  1. The teacher creates a question and provides the children with up to 6 possible answers
  2. The teacher assigns the colour of a brick to each possible answer
  3. The teacher requests the children to sequence their bricks in the correct order

What are the advantages of this approach?

  1. ALL children are required to engage with the question/problem posed and they do so in a hands-on manner
  2. ALL children cognitively engage with the problem in order to process a solution and this is where the learning is occurring
  3. The teacher can scan the room and can instantly get feedback on the children that have the correct solution, a partly correct solution or a fully incorrect attempt and thus can determine quickly who needs additional teaching and who does not. This is Assessment for Learning at its best. 

Here are some examples:


Question/Problem: The children have to add two 2-digit numbers 'in their heads' between 11 and 49, no totals are greater than 49 and there is no re-grouping of units. Work out each answer in turn and sequence the bricks.

26+23 = 
16+12 = 
33+11 = 
24+14 = 
18+21 = 
33+14 = 

Mixed answer code: 38 (Yellow)   47 (Red)    44 (Green)    28 (Light Blue)    39 (Dark Blue)    49 (Orange)

Answer: In this instance the children should sequence their ‘Six Bricks’ in the order of: Orange, Light blue, Green, Yellow, Dark blue and Red.

In the image below, we see another example of applying the SBAC. 

Another example of applying the SBAC.


Question/Problem: Put these months in order from beginning to end of the year.


Mixed answer code: October (Yellow)    June (Red)    April (Green)    December (Light Blue)   February (Dark Blue)   August (Orange)

Answer: In this instance the children should sequence their ‘Six Bricks’ in the following order: Dark blue, Green, Red, Orange, Yellow and Light blue.


Question/Problem: Match each capital city to its country

Buenos Aires

Mixed answer code: Katmandu (Yellow)    Caracas (Red)    Peru (Green)   Chile (Light Blue)    Afghanistan (Dark Blue)    Argentina (Orange)

Answer: In this instance the children should sequence their ‘Six Bricks’ in the following sequence: Dark blue, Light blue, Orange, Green, Yellow and Red.

By using a daily SBAC (Six Bricks Answer Code) approach to curriculum, you are requiring all children to engage, process and answer the question to either establish prior knowledge or to assess and consolidate the learning in the lesson.


GROBBY (not in the dictionary) is a new word that defines a stack of six 8-stud bricks arranged in the order of Green brick placed on a Red brick on an Orange brick on a Light Blue brick on a Dark Blue brick on a Yellow brick, covering all studs.

'Grobby Six Bricks' is a cartoon like rabbit hero with a backpack of Six Bricks in a GROBBY stack. 

GROBBY provides the basis for a wide application of Six Bricks to literacy. 

John and GROBBY interacting in the image below. 


Cognition Ignition

The meaning of Cognition Ignition is to turn on children's thinking by requiring them to arrange six specifically coloured 8-stud bricks in an order that demonstrates that the question has been answered correctly. 

The Six Bricks Interactive Whiteboard Software

We have developed a series of interactive tools that teachers can use to support the application of the Six Bricks pedagogy to teaching and learning in the classroom. This online platform will be published in due course. 

Copyright CPD College, May 2021

‘SBAC’ (Six Bricks Answer code), ‘GROBBY’ and ‘Cognition Ignition’ are trademarks and copyright of CPD College.