Teaching and Learning
We want to give our students access to the best which has been thought, said and written in every field of human endeavour so that they are knowledgeable, critical, enriched and well poised to lead fulfilling lives. To this end, we seek to ensure that each teacher in each lesson is able to do the best for each learner.
The simplicity of our Learning Journey approach allows teachers to exercise professional judgement and use their expertise to plan sequences of lessons which enable key concepts to be secured. This is evident in lesson observations and students’ books and portfolios. The use of active circulation and questioning allows for the identification of those who are struggling with support being put in place to enable them to catch up.
Lesson observations show a range of techniques being used to check students’ understanding: use of mini whiteboards, whole class questioning, individual questioning, students being asked to demonstrate, use of visualisers to project students’ work in progress, teacher circulation and annotation of work: all enable misconceptions to be identified and acted upon.
Feedback has been a big focus for professional learning, drawing on the work of Prof Dylan Wiliam and the Sutton Trust. Teachers are adept at giving precise and critical feedback in a variety of formats, with verbal feedback being the key to the timeliest improvements. Dedicated time is also given for students to act on feedback. “Feedback, both verbal and through marking is often formative and supports rapid progress.” Challenge Partner Review Jan 2014.
The Challenge Partners Review in February stated that “the leadership of teaching and learning is of the highest quality. Best practice within the school is shared and many staff work with other schools both locally and nationally to improve the quality of teaching in those schools.”
The Review went on to highlight the good practice that takes place in our classrooms every day. It also served to confirm our belief in the new Teaching and Learning Rushey Rushes by noting that, “High-quality teaching is the norm found at the school.”, “Teachers ensure that students make exceptionally good progress by planning well-structured lessons, linked to high expectations of work and behaviour.” , “Classes are managed very competently, with well-practised and effective routines.”, “Very effective use is made of the ‘Big Question’ to set the scene for the learning activity.” , “Teachers question students skilfully”, “Many teachers are developing the use of growth mindset techniques. Where this is evident, students are developing a love of learning and resilience, which are essential for becoming an accomplished learner.