The quality of Teaching and Learning that a learner receives has a direct impact upon a child's outcomes.
Our fundamentals of teaching and learning are:
- Consistent high expectations for all groups of learners
- Systematic checking of student understanding through Assessment for Learning
- Planning that is informed by data and is both progressive and challenging
- Consistent high quality comment marking providing constructive feedback to allow students to reflect and respond.
The "Planning Backwards" curriculum
The philosophy behind planning backwards is that there should be "high expectations in every lesson across every key stage".
- What are the requisite skills and content required to succeed at University and A Level?
- How can these skills be developed over time from KS3 to GCSE level?
The planning backwards curriculum is progressive in terms of the development of skills and content. It is also an interleaved curriculum where knowledge and skills are revisited over time to improve retention. For example, an assessment in term 3 should contain some of the skills and content covered in term 1.
Mid-term plans are in place for each half-term. The mid-term plan is a more detailed snap shot of the Scheme of Learning (SOL). It has clear success criteria in terms of the development of skills and content. It contains the mini-series of lessons and milestone assessments.
Assessment should be based on the specification and examination criteria and be progressive from Year 7 - Year 13. Mid-term plans detail the success criteria for the unit in terms of content and skill.
Assessments, called Blind Assessments, take place 6 times per year at the end of each STEP cycle. Information from these assessments assists staff in making predicated grade judgements for all students, allows question level analysis giving the basis for future lesson planning and gives students clear areas for development in each subject in the future. Blind assessments are deployed to ensure accuracy of data. A blind assessment is where the classroom teacher has not seen the actual question, however, they are aware of the success criteria for the assessment.
Milestone Assessments take place after each series of lessons to assess the extent to which students have made progress. Milestone assessments should be comment marked in line with the Academy Marking and Feedback Policy.
Each subject has an assessment schedule for the academic year, the assessment schedule details the timing and type of assessment.
Teaching and Learning Routines
We believe that children learn best when there is consistency and continuity in our approach. Teaching and Learning routines are applied in every classroom throughout the Academy:
- One foot in one foot out protocol
- Open door policy
- Seating plan / shoulder partners and face partners
- 6 part lesson
- Time phased learning
- PIN and PROUD marking
Departmental leads are responsible for consistency and compliance within their subject area. There is a commitment that Faculty Leads / Assistant Faculty Leads will uphold expectations and standards by having a strong presence around the Faculties within the Academy. In addition, this can be supplemented through Faculty Leads / Assistant Faculty Leads walk-throughs and Senior Leadership Team walk-throughs.
The 6-part lesson
All lessons are planned in accordance with the 6-part lesson structure:
Collaborative Learning Structures
Collaborative learning is all about engagement. Students make good and outstanding progress when they work both independently and collaboratively and when they are highly engaged in their learning. The principal is to guide the interaction of students with each other, the curriculum and the teacher.
This method of teaching develops pupils' social skills; interaction with other pupils, turn taking, listening to the views of others and the ability to share information PIES:
- Positive interdependence
- Individual accountability
- Equal participation
- Simultaneous interaction
Structures are introduced to staff and students weekly through short bursts of CPD throughout the year.
As each routine and structure is introduced there are accompanying assemblies where students are introduced to routine / structure. Routines and structures are reinforced by departments and Senior Leadership Team as they circulate the academy daily.
Marking and Feedback
Marking and feedback is an extremely effective way of having a learning conversation between students and teachers. To be effective, marking and feedback must have impact. It is an essential part of the dialogue between student and teacher, contributing to and raising our high expectations. Comments must be meaningful and personal to that student if marking and feedback is to be purposeful.
High quality, timely verbal feedback is integral to the assessment for learning process in every lesson. Teachers should move around the classroom throughout the lesson, every lesson. It is important to move strategically throughout the entire classroom and to engage when you circulate. While circulating, identify where support is needed (focus on those pupils who may have struggled with your explanation or who often struggle in lessons), assess and respond to student work, check for understanding frequently as well as question to develop learning further.
Marking Codes Will be displayed in all classrooms and all student books.
All work should be SPAG marked with student response as a requirement.
Staff must use PIN marking to give students detailed feedback.
P - Praise/ Positives
Identify what a student has done well in a piece of work - linked to success criteria and specification
I - Improvements
Identify what a student needs to do to improve the work further - linked to success criteria and specification
N - Next Steps
Give students instructions on what to do next - redraft or respond.
Each subject will develop clear protocols in relation to redraft and response. Redraft and response should increase depth of understanding and clearly link to the specification (skills and knowledge to be developed over time by the students) and success criteria for the piece of work to be redrafted.
Summative (once every half term to feed data system)
Full question level analysis and feedback sheet to students using PIN
All assessments will be gone over with the pupils
The teacher will communicate levels and grades through the Academy data reporting system.
Frequency of Marking
In Northern Education Trust all students are entitled to receive regular and detailed feedback on their work. In all cases, student work should be marked within the timeframes below:
Every 6-9 hours of learning
Every 5-7 hours of learning
Every 5-7 hours of learning
Twice per half-term
Students should be given the opportunity to respond to SPAG and Redraft (PIN) marking as homework or, if appropriate in lesson time. All work marked for redraft or response as should be acted upon in a timely fashion by the student and acknowledged by the teacher.
All students must have the set presentation guidelines presented in all their exercise books.
These are as follows:
- Dates should be written as 25th April 2017 in the top right had corner of your work and underlined with pencil and ruler- not 25/04/17
- All work should have a title, underlined with a pencil and ruler
- All titles and subtitles underlined and then miss a line before completing work
- At the start of a new piece of work, miss a line under the last piece of work, rule off and start on a new line
- All work should be completed in black pen
- Diagrams and drawings should all have a heading and be completed in pencil
- Only coloured pencils to be used in books
- Mistakes / errors should be crossed out with one line using a ruler
- Handwriting should be as neat as possible
- Books and files are to be kept in excellent condition; doodling or graffiti are not allowed
- Where homework is completed should be clearly labelled at the top left of the page or in the margin
- Handwriting and presentation should remain consistent or improve throughout the year
A simple reminder for every lesson (a lesson routine in ALL classes). This must be a formal part of the beginning of every lesson and must be displayed in all classrooms:
P - Use black pen to write
R - Use a ruler for straight lines
O - Oops! Draw a neat line through mistakes using a ruler
U - Underline the date and title
D - Draw in pencil
The Quality Assurance process (QA) will be focussed on the progress of students and their learning, not on teaching or teachers. QA is triangulated assessing student progress (data), the quality of learning taking place in the classroom (walk-through) and the learning experience of selected students (learning conversations).
Meeting student needs
Every student is entitled to a positive meaningful learning experience which will be personalised and inclusive. Every student has the right to receive the highest quality education. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that all their educational needs are met.
Ensuring inclusion involves:
- setting and explaining suitable, differentiated learning challenges
- responding to students' diverse learning needs
- working to overcome potential barriers to learning
- using seating plans, intervening to support students through the 4i model of intervention, responding to need identified through vulnerable students register and Year 11 RAG (including one to one provision), implementing waves of support and intervention through SEND provision, implementing waves of support and intervention through behaviour support. This may be in a pastoral or academic sense, inside or outside the classroom.
All staff to implement The Every Child Matters agenda in all elements of school life.
Different groups of students have specific needs which the school supports in several different ways. These groups include, in the main, SEND, G&T, FSM and LAC. Information must be recorded in an Active file and used by teachers to inform and enhance learning and teaching.
SEND (Curriculum Support Department)
The Curriculum Support Department has a detailed policy to ensure all staff are aware of who is on the SEN register and how their needs should be met. This includes supporting the departments in the deployment of LSAs in and outside the classroom environment to support departments in meeting the diverse learning needs of students as well as developing resources in collaboration with teachers to deliver effective learning and progress in all classrooms for all students.
Gifted and Talented
Gifted and Talented students are identified, with specific monitored and evaluated through the STEP and 4i processes. All staff are responsible for meeting the needs of gifted and talented students who routinely receive intervention through the 4i process. Staff are aware of who is gifted and talented, particularly in their subject area, and use appropriate subject and after school provision to encourage maximum progress.
Each looked after student has a Personal Educational Plan (PEP). Individual learning targets are set which are monitored and reviewed regularly. Additional PEP meetings may be planned when necessary.
We believe that homework should:
- Be used as a vital link between the Academy and home
- Extend school learning by consolidating and reinforcing skills and understanding
- Encourage students to develop the confidence and self-discipline to work on their own, an essential skill for adult life
- Encourage ownership and responsibility for learning
Students should record their homework in their planner when it is set so that parents and carers can support them with it.
Information about homework tasks is available on our Academy website
KS3 homework should contain one project based homework per half-term with additional weekly homework tasks
KS4 homework should be detailed on the school website