Teaching and Learning
Our Teaching & Learning Culture
Learning for life
Our school supports students to be confident, well-rounded individuals who will keep learning throughout their lives. We do this by:
- Developing resilience, striving for excellence and responding positively to challenges.
- Cultivating the habits of independent thought and curiosity of mind
- Emphasising the importance of contributing to the wider community.
- Are engaging, inspiring and challenge every student, in every lesson, every day.
- Are willing to innovate and utilise a wide variety of responsive teaching, skilfully matched to different types of learning, to maximise progress.
- Provide feedback that impacts positively on students’ sustained progress.
- Create opportunities to develop students’ literacy and numeracy skills.
- Promote and model a growth mindset, providing opportunities for guided discovery.
Every Learner: develops the habit of independent thought and learning to cultivate a lifelong thirst for knowledge.
- Take responsibility for their own learning and are leaders in the learning process seeking to learn beyond the lesson.
- Evaluate their own and others learning and act on subject and literacy feedback to make sustained progress.
- Strive to consistently give 100% effort to all tasks and take pride in the presentation of their work.
- Embrace a growth mindset and are willing to grapple with challenging learning, showing resilience to difficulty or failure.
Our Teaching and Learning Priorities
The ongoing dynamic process of the school’s development cycle assists with the process of defining our Teaching and Learning Priorities each year and these in turn form part of the process of developing the school’s Continuing Professional Development and Learning (CPDL) offer.
How do we achieve our aims?
Staff consider how best their needs can be met as part of their continuous professional development.
If there is no expertise available in school and curriculum developments necessitate the use of external training courses, these are approved and booked following recognised procedures and practices.
A CPDL Strategy group meets regularly to review priorities.
Not all training or development needs are best met through attendance on a training course and staff are encouraged to visit other schools to see and share good practice.
The school closes at 2.15pm on specified Monday Training Days allowing for approximately 16 – 18 hours of additional staff development time each academic year.
The Monday afternoon training programme for takes into account the following:
- The on-going school priorities and training needs
- Staff evaluations and feedback
- Individual training needs analysis
Individual training and development needs are identified through the appraisal process and the schools quality assurance processes. In addition, new staff identify needs during the induction process.
The programme is a responsive framework, but is based around Curriculum, Pedagogy, Assessment and Development (CPAD). Sessions are added or changed as the need arises and we are always open to feedback and suggestions. If staff feel there are any gaps in the programme, these are responded to whenever possible.
Commuted INSET hours allow time for attendance on a variety of training sessions on offer, through The Downs CPDL package and Padlets.
All training is evaluated and this is used to ensure that the programme evolves to meet both the needs of the school and individuals.
In certain circumstances, bursaries / sponsorships may be available for particular courses where this is felt to be beneficial to the individual and of particular relevance to the school. These are granted on an individual basis.