Teaching and Learning at Goresbrook School
Teaching and learning at Goresbrook School is the number one priority. This document aims to provide total clarity on what makes excellent teaching and learning and the critical elements that permeate T & L in every subject. These approaches are based on the latest research and are adopted by all staff. Each element may not be present in every lesson, but all elements are carefully planned into schemes of work and will be evident across a series of lessons.
1. Direct instruction and teacher modelling Before the teacher models
Ensure all students have the prerequisite knowledge and skills to be able to access what you are about to model or instruct.
Plan the model/instruction beforehand and break it down into clear steps. The model should be pitched slightly above the highest attaining pupil in the class.
The same model should be used in all classes. The only exception to this may be North in the first term.
Ensure that there is total clarity around the purpose of the model i.e. what is the learning objective for the lesson? How does the model and the content selected enable students to meet this objective? During teacher modelling
“Think aloud” during instruction, modelling the thought process for students.
Ask a few, directed questions to students, but not too many as the pace of the lesson is also important.
Stipulate clearly to pupils what they must be doing during modelling e.g. “write with”, annotation or listening.
Ensure your instructions or the individual steps are communicated simply and clearly.
Where appropriate, plan a whole class check at the end of the model to check for student understanding and intervene where required. Other considerations
Pace of the lesson - how do you keep momentum throughout the model?
Amount of teacher talk Vs. the time students have to practice the specific knowledge or skill being modelled. To ensure this balance, direct instruction should last no more than 7-8 minutes.
2. Assessment and whole class response Prior to checking for understanding
Assessment is systematically planned into all schemes of work and ensures rigorous assessment of student understanding of a specific piece of knowledge or skill rather than a check of confidence. This planning ensures that:
o The key knowledge or skill is assessed at a pivotal point in the lesson;
o The assessment is linked directly to the learning objective and is designed to only check this specific ‘building block’ of learning;
o All pupils understanding is checked through whole class response.
As part of this planning, potential student responses have been identified, including key misconceptions. How these misconceptions will be addressed and the subsequent student next steps have also been carefully considered and planned for.
The assessment check is designed so that teachers know quickly and easily if pupils have understood. MCQs or one word answers are effective checks. Student responses should not be more than a sentence of writing. During assessment of student understanding
Students are told why we are assessing and the teacher ensures that pupils are giving their own responses.
Assessment is quick and should take no longer than 2-3 minutes of a lesson.
The teacher scans pupil responses to feedback and directs student work accordingly.
3. Purposeful practice Prior to purposeful practice
Ensure that pupils have all of the pre-requisite knowledge or skills to be able to successfully begin purposeful practice. This can be checked through whole-class response and will usually follows some modelling or direct instruction
Ensuring that purposeful practice is well planned and that it becomes incrementally more challenging as students move through the practice. Students may begin at different points depending on their starting points and information gathered during whole-class response.
The purposeful practice must be planned so that pupils have sufficient time to embed the key skill or knowledge.
Feedback points for the purposeful practice are identified beforehand and planned to ensure misconceptions are addressed during the lesson. During purposeful practice
The teacher circulates during purposeful practice to identify common misconceptions. These are addressed immediately with the teacher re-teaching or challenging misunderstandings with a specific group of students.
During this time of teacher feedback or re-teaching, some students may continue to practice, moving onto to more challenging work. It is not necessary to stop the lesson if some students have understood.
Feedback points are carefully planned and inform students whether they are successfully mastering the knowledge and skills being practiced. This also provides the teacher with assessment information that can be used to inform future planning.
4. Interleaving and revisiting knowledge and skills Planning effective interleaving
Interleaving is planned systematically into schemes of work and is planned into most lessons.
It may also be responsive to previous recapping e.g. having re-visited a previous piece of knowledge or skill, you know that based on student work that you need to re-teach or re-visit this again. As a result, you respond to what pupils have forgotten in previous recaps .
Discrete parts of the lesson are allocated to recapping- this is usually the beginning and anything between 5-20 minutes can be spent on this.
The recap activity is based on students retrieving information from memory. There may be the odd occasion where this is scaffolded for a group or individual.
A small number of retrieval methods are used within a department e.g. multi-choice, gap fill or short-answer questions so that students are focused on knowledge retrieval rather than deciphering a new type of activity. Delivering interleaved content
Recap quizzes are timed to ensure they are pacey and do not take over the main body of the lesson.
During the recap, the teacher circulates and identifies any necessary prompts that are needed to allow pupils to be successful.
Feedback is provided at the end and pupils know what they correctly remembered and what they did not so that they may re-visit this knowledge at home or in Prep.
The teacher also knows what pupils were successful with and where gaps still exist by planning an appropriate method to gather this feedback. This informs future planning e.g. the activity may become more challenging, a future model may include a key concept/knowledge to re-visit this knowledge again etc.