Teaching and Learning
At The High Weald Academy, our drive for student success is at the heart of our teaching and learning. Our aim is to offer and deliver a curriculum that enables all students, including those who are disadvantaged or those with SEND, to learn more, remember more and gain the cultural capital, attitudes and attributes that they need to achieve their ambitions and play an active role in adult society be being responsible, compassionate and tolerant young people.
We strive to deliver a curriculum that is accessible to all our learners regardless of ability or background. We support our learners to challenge themselves through stretching the most able and supporting our more vulnerable learners through support, scaffolding and intervention where needed. Our approach to teaching and learning is informed by the most up to date research and supports teachers in developing their subject knowledge and pedagogy.
We have high expectations of our students and expect that every teacher at The High Weald Academy will develop exceptional teacher practice and expert subject knowledge that responds to your child’s needs. In order for our students to achieve their potential at the The High Weald Academy, our staff deliver a curriculum that is robust, ambitious and inspiring.
Our curriculum is written with clear intention and ambition for our students, so that we provide the stepping stones for them to become the best that they can be.
Our teachers understand the importance of students retaining knowledge that can be drawn upon throughout their academic career and so subject curriculums are designed and delivered in a way that allows students to transfer key knowledge to long-term memory, thus encouraging the retention of what has been learned. Our curriculums are sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and students can work towards clearly defined end points.
In order to encourage our students to make progress, teachers use a range of methods to support students with their learning. These pedagogical methods are based on the findings of extensive educational research. The range of activities and strategies used to support you child with their learning are outlined below:
- Teachers provide clear obtainable objectives for students and a pathway for students to meet these end points
- Teachers provide step by step clear instructions to students in order to reduce misunderstandings
- Teachers differentiate their delivery and resources to meet the needs of all learners to ensure that all learners can meet the class objectives
- Teachers ensure that students have clear routines in the classroom including a ‘Do Now’ activity at the start of the lesson that links to prior learning and a plenary activity that checks the learning that has taken place at the end of each lesson
- Teachers create a classroom climate that is welcoming, kind and productive.
- Teachers use effective questioning to check understanding, address misconceptions and develop ideas
- Teachers place emphasis on the importance of literacy skills and expertly introduce new vocabulary and break down difficult pieces of writing, reading and concepts
- Teachers develop good oracy with students by being role models of communication and encouraging students to speak confidently and fluently
- Teachers ensure that their content is appropriately challenging and that students have to work hard
- Teachers use a range of strategies to encourage student independence including introducing problem solving tasks, research tasks and inquiry questioning to develop students curiosity and autonomy
- Teachers encourage students to use the method of Concept Mapping in lessons to support them in building links between their different areas of knowledge, so that their learning is retained in the long term memory
- Teachers encourage Powerful Knowledge Organisers as a method for revision and peer and self-testing
- Teacher recognise the importance of student talk in the construction of knowledge and use a dialogic approach to encourage student conversation, debate and discussion
- Teachers use dual coding to encourage the retention of knowledge into the long term memory
- Teachers provide opportunities for student practice and provide feedback on student efforts that are meaningful and timely
Teachers will assess the progress of students by using a range of strategies such as low stakes testing, quizzing and mini white board responses as well as high stakes tests towards the end of units of work