Teaching and Learning

We want to give our students access to the best which has been thought, said and written in every field of human endeavour so that they are able to make a positive difference to themselves others and the world. To this end, we seek to ensure that each teacher in each lesson is a subject expert who knows how to do the best for each learner.

At Orchard Mead we use a model for teaching and learning inspired by the work of Barak Rosenshine, who studied the habits of the most effective and successful teachers, and developed a research-based 10 step process for effective teaching and learning.  We have built these ideals into our Principles of Instruction, which interleave the model of direct instruction around the steps Rosenshine pioneered.  Direct Instruction is a way of teaching by explicitly telling students what they need to know and why they need to know it, sharing explicit learning goals and their purpose with students, e.g. by the end of this lesson, I expect you to have learnt/be able to… because…  Our Principles of Instruction form the framework of every lesson, and are shared with staff and pupils in order to ensure that everyone understands what we are aiming to achieve.   Every lesson feeds into a wider cycle of learning over weeks, months and terms, and ensures that all topics are looped back into prior learning to strengthen and deepen pupils’ understanding.

 

The Principles of Instruction have been intrinsically built into our professional learning, drawing on the work of Prof Dylan Wiliam to ensure that we are consistently developing all our teachers to ensure the best outcomes for all.  We believe that ‘every teacher can improve, not because they are not good enough but because they can be even better” and we incorporate this ethos into all of our professional learning activities. We acknowledge that one-off PL sessions focussing on what teachers know is not enough, and therefore have adopted a cycle of professional learning which provides opportunities to practise the skills required over time. We have also ensured that our pupils understand what the Principles of Instruction look like and the purpose they serve, so that everyone is working towards the same goal.

 

Teachers are adept at explaining our knowledge rich curriculum and ensuring that their expert knowledge is conveyed to their pupils in order to allow them to absorb this information.  They also give effective, precise and critical feedback in a variety of formats, with verbal feedback being the key to the timeliest improvements. Dedicated time is then given for students to act on feedback.

 

The Challenge Partners Review in February 2019 stated that “Students’ work is regularly marked and misconceptions are addressed through effective improvement and response activities.

The review also went on to highlight the good practice that takes place in Orchard Mead every day.

  • “Positive behaviours for learning are apparent”
  • “Students are given the opportunity to interact with their peers and deepen their learning.”
  • “Students respect one another and are not afraid to learn from their mistakes.”
  • “Clear instructions and high expectations are apparent in all lessons.”
  • “Teachers have strong subject knowledge and know their students well.”
  • “The resources teachers deliver for students are creative and innovative.

The Challenge Partners Review in February 2019 stated that “Students’ work is regularly marked and misconceptions are addressed through effective improvement and response activities.

The review also went on to highlight the good practice that takes place in Orchard Mead every day.

  • “Positive behaviours for learning are apparent”
  • “Students are given the opportunity to interact with their peers and deepen their learning.”
  • “Students respect one another and are not afraid to learn from their mistakes.”
  • “Clear instructions and high expectations are apparent in all lessons.”
  • “Teachers have strong subject knowledge and know their students well.”
  • “The resources teachers deliver for students are creative and innovative.”
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