Teaching and Learning
Our curriculum is carefully planned to ensure pupils have access to a broad range of learning experiences whilst enabling them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to progress to their next stage in education, training or employment. It is sequenced to build upon and extend prior learning, and to ensure that, over time, pupils can remember what they have been taught and apply that learning to new contexts. To support this, we have implemented some strategies across the academy.
This is an activity which revisits prior learning to check pupils can remember what has been previously taught and focuses on key learning points identified within each subject’s curriculum plan.
Demonstrate and Connect
Lessons regularly end with a “Demonstrate” activity which pupils complete independently. This enables teachers to check pupils’ understanding and identify misconceptions. The following lesson begins with a “Connect” activity, where, in response to the “Demonstrate” task, pupils improve their knowledge and understanding by completing one of three differentiated activities.
The Learning Journey
Provided at the beginning of each unit of work, the Learning Journey makes explicit to pupils what will be learned, why it is important and what will come next. It makes explicit to pupils the sequence of learning and the skills which will be developed. This also provides pupils with an aide-memoire, enabling them to quickly find work they have completed on a particular topic should they want to apply it to a new concept.
This is a response to our local context, where 96% of adults are in the bottom 30% nationally for Education and Skills. It is highly likely that pupils’ oracy was also negatively affected by lockdown, when social interaction was considerably reduced. The ability to speak one’s mind, and speak with confidence are key life skills along with the ability to listen to and appreciate the opinions of others. In Year 7 & 8, every day ends with an oracy focus on learning from earlier in the day. Using an academy template to structure the session, pupils engage in a facilitated discussion of a key question. This template is also used twice a week during tutor time to discuss an issue identified in our “Word of the Week” activity, and to discuss assembly themes, such as how they think people of different religions would respond in different scenarios.
Pupils in Years 7-10 are formally assessed in the core curriculum subjects of English, mathematics, science, French, history & geography in the Autumn and Summer terms. These results are reported to pupils and parents and are used to identify gaps in knowledge which must be closed.