The vision for teaching and learning at Woodlands

Learning is the core purpose and function of Woodlands School and effective teaching is central to ensuring that all students are able to achieve their full potential. Teachers should therefore provide accessible, objective-led lessons that engage and challenge students in a variety of ways and which enable students of all abilities to make good progress.

The following is protocol guidance designed to support effective teaching and learning:

At Woodlands School, we aspire to consistently good and outstanding teaching. Drawing on the expertise of teachers at Woodlands School, as well as evidence-informed good practice, we believe that the most effective teaching and learning features the following characteristic elements. In the context of each subject discipline, we might expect to see these as features of good and outstanding lessons:

  1. Starters and introductions that motivate, intrigue, gain attention, make links with prior learning, set out the direction, scope or goals of lesson and communicate expectations.
  2. Learning objectives that define, with precision, what students are learning (in terms of knowledge, skills and concepts) rather than what they are doing. They challenge students appropriately, are communicated to them and can be used to judge student progress.
  3. Astute planning based upon teachers’ knowledge and understanding of their subject, of pedagogy and of good practice within their specialism. Effective planning helps ensure student progress within lessons and over time in relation to long-term progression of subject learning and knowledge of students’ prior attainment.
  4. Teaching methods & learning activities that scaffold learning and inspire students. The pace of lessons is used effectively and transitions are smooth, establishing clear links between learning episodes. Different learning styles are accounted for and opportunities are given for collaboration and independence. Teaching is flexible and adapts to the response of students.
  5. Individual needs of all learners are taken into account in planning and teaching, providing access and challenge at all levels. Prior knowledge and student data is used so that additional support and intervention is well focused, resulting in the narrowing of attainment gaps.
  6. Assessment, monitoring & feedback is regular and is used formatively with students to help them understand what they are doing well and what they need to do to get better. Written and oral feedback is accompanied by self and peer review. These strategies enable students to reach their potential.
  7. Teacher knowledge is well developed so that they understand the most effective and engaging ways to fully develop students’ learning. Their passion for the subject is communicated clearly and enthuses students in their work. Teachers keep up-to-date with developments and reflect on their practice, often with others.
  8. Questioning, discussion & dialogue is used to monitor students’ understanding, provide access and challenge and to encourage higher-order thinking. Carefully targeted, it encourages and extends students so that they reach new understandings, reflect on their learning and think independently.
  9. Student-teacher relations and the classroom environment create a purposeful atmosphere for learning. Students feel welcomed and valued and there is a good rapport with classes and individuals, which encourages them to participate fully. Teaching spaces are used to support and promote learning.
  10. Students’ attitude to learning is positive. They are motivated, enthusiastic, and enjoy learning. Their behaviour enables them to remain actively engaged, to concentrate and to persevere. Students carry their enthusiasm beyond the classroom.
  11. High expectations of all students result in rigorous planning and teaching which challenges students. These expectations are communicated clearly to students and this contributes to the good progress they make, where students are inspired to try their best, persevere and produce the highest standards of work. There are clear expectations for behaviour.
  12. Conclusions and plenaries enable students to be clear about what they have achieved. A plenary is used at the end of lesson stages, at activity level, to review progress. A planned concluding episode helps students evaluate their progress in the context of a sequence of lessons and possibly to see the learning in a new light.
  13. Homework and independent study is used to extend and consolidate learning. Challenging, accessible and engaging tasks are provided to motivate students in continuing their learning beyond the classroom and to enquire independently.
  14. Progress of all students, both within and across lessons, is good and is the result of effective teaching and learning. It is clear and tangible and is indicated by high levels of engagement, an appetite for learning beyond what they have been taught and an ability to deploy their knowledge and understanding.

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