Skip to content ↓

Teaching and Learning at Crookhorn

At Crookhorn we are all involved in producing an ever-evolving curriculum that is ambitious for all, with increased focus on disadvantaged pupils and provides the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. As teachers, we ensure the curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced with the full intent of students acquiring knowledge and skills for future learning and employment.

We aspire to achieve the very highest standards of teaching and learning within the College. We have an unrelenting focus on the quality of planning, curriculum development and pedagogical implementation within the classroom. Teaching and learning is at the heart of what we do, and we strive every day to be the best practitioners by using our ‘excellence as standard’ teaching document, which is central to our coaching structure.  This key document is based on two key pieces of research, which are from Rosenshine and Teach Like a Champion.

Excellence as standard in the Crookhorn Classroom (Rosenshine and TLAC)

1. Daily Review

Daily Review is an important component of instruction. It helps cement the connections between learnt material. Automatic recall of words, concepts and procedures frees working memory for problem-solving and creativity.

  • Technique 20 - Do Now. Use a short warm up activity that students can complete with instruction or direction from you. This can be a retrieval exercise which helps the class settle while you are welcoming them at the door, checking equipment and taking the register. TA can assist the students with the activity.
  • Technique 5 - Show Me. Flip the classroom dynamic in which the teacher gleans data from a passive group of students. Have students actively show evidence of their understanding. Use of the MWB’s is a really good way of doing Show Me! All classrooms should have their own set of MWB’s and MWB pens available on group desks.

2. New material in small steps

Our working memory is small, only handling a few bits of information at once. Avoid overload; take time to present new materials in small steps and proceed only when the first steps are mastered.

  • Technique 16 - Begin with the End. Teachers need to be clear through planning what the Big Question is that needs to be answered by the end, and decide how to break this down into components on the MTP and then what the key assessment points are to check the understanding as the students’ progress through the learning.
  • Technique 21 - Name the steps. Break down complex tasks within a lesson carefully to be able to guide students of all attainment levels through the required learning and the stretch learning. This should all be connected to the planning that is exemplified in Technique 16.

3. Ask questions

The most successful teachers plan good questions to gain the CFU. Questions allow teachers to determine how well the material is learned and how to proceed with next steps.

  • Technique 32 - Wait Time. Allow students time to think before answering. Use ‘Think pair share’ to allow students time to think. Use MWB’s to record the thinking process, then discuss with a partner before sharing with class.
  • Technique 33 - Cold Call. Create a positive culture where you can call on students regardless of whether they have raised their hands and students are ready to offer what they know.

4. provide models

Students need cognitive support to help them to learn how to solve problems. Modelling, worked examples and teacher thinking out loud, help clarify the specific steps in volved and reduce the load on working memory.

  • Technique 39 - Show Call. Create an incentive to complete writing with quality by publicly show casing and revisiting student writing. The teacher needs to have scanned the room and have an idea of the progress through the use of live marking and so will know who to call upon as good examples. Every classroom has a visualiser to make this technique work.
  • Technique 22 - Board Vs Paper. Model and shape how students should take notes in order to capture the information that you present. Use here the techniques taught to the students from Year 7 onwards of flash cards and mind maps through the DBLP programme.

5. guide student practice

Students need more time to rephrase, elaborate, summarise new material. Successful teachers build in time for this as it supports greater understanding as well as more successful retention in the long-term memory.

  • Technique 42 Habits of Discussion. Make your discussions more productive and enjoyable by using the Crookhorn College Rules for discussion. This will allow the discussion to be more efficiently cohesive and therefore connected directly to learning journey.
  • Technique 8 - Culture of error. Create an environment where your students feel safe making and discussing mistakes, so you can spend less time hunting for errors and more time fixing them.

6. CFU

More CFU means more processing, greater long-term retention and better teacher understanding in terms of gaps. Very effective teachers avoid seeking nods from students and use targeted questioning to find misconceptions.

  • Technique 2 - Targeted questioning. As a quick series of carefully planned, open-ended questions directed at a strategic sample of the class and executed in a short time period.
  • Technique 4 - Tracking not Watching. Be intentional about how you scan your classroom. Decide specifically what you are looking for and remain focussed on these avoiding distractions. This will also help you maintain strong non-verbal behaviour control as well as you will move and track round the classroom based on your predicted areas of need.

7. obtain high success rate

Obtaining a high success rate at each stage of delivery will build solid foundations and avoid entrenching misconceptions. Moving on to quickly will reduce effectiveness and also prevent students who are struggling with their understanding to be able to secure the clarity required.

  • Technique 6 - affirmative check in. Insert specific points ( CFU and live marking) into your lesson when students must get confirmation that their work is correct, productive, or sufficiently rigorous before moving onto the next stage.
  • Technique 10 - own and track. Have students correct or revise their own work, fostering an environment of accountability for the correct answer. This can be done through live marking and student response in red pen.

8.scaffolds for difficult tasks

Scaffolds are temporary supports to assist learning. They can include modelling, teacher thinking aloud, cue cards and checklists. Scaffolds are part of a ‘Cognitive apprenticeship’ leading to competence and independence.

  • Technique 15 - without apology. Embrace rather than apologise for; rigorous content; academic challenge and the hard work necessary to achieve excellence. Aim high with expectations and challenge and support.
  • Technique 35 - Break it down. When a student makes an error, provide just enough help to allow them to solve as much of the original problem as they can.

9. independent practice

Rigorously monitored practice or overlearning, secures success and competence. This in turn means that the students will have strong recall as knowledge and skills are moved to the long term memory. This provides the strongest base for subsequent learning.

  • Technique 37 - Everybody Writes. Prepare your students to engage rigorously by giving them the chance to reflect in writing before you ask them to discuss. This is part of effective TPS - where students record their thinking on the MWB before sharing in a pair.
  • Technique 41 - Front the Writing. Arrange lessons, so the writing comes earlier in the process - to ensure that students think rigorously in writing and have the opportunity to work independently - prior to feedback. It also gives the opportunity for students to respond and redraft following feedback given through live marking.

10. Regular review

The effort involved in recalling recently learnt material embeds it in long term memory to develop extensive and available background knowledge. The more this happens, the easier it is to connect new material.

Crookhorn Techniques:

  1. Low stakes quizzes.
  2. Seneca H/W’s.
  3. Its learning quizzes where students have to utilise previous plans to recall knowledge.
  4. Cue Cards - review a component of learning.
  5. Mind mapping- a component or topic of learning.
  6. Do Now - recall and retrieval tasks.

Below are some key points on how we develop the learning experience for all our students.

Curriculum ambition: knowledge, skills & cultural capital

  • The curriculum map for each subject has been scrutinised by the leadership team for breadth, depth, sequencing and adherence to the National Curriculum.   
  • Enrichment activities are planned for each subject to develop cultural capital. Key knowledge and skills are in each component of learning. 
  • Our curriculum intent and implementation are embedded securely and consistently across the College. An engaging curriculum with a strong practical and applied focus ensures that students’ interest is sustained, and their thinking is challenged, and they are increasingly becoming independent learners and citizens.

Coherence of planning & sequencing

  • We have developed subject planning to make sure all teaching professionals understand the sequencing of lessons for the growth of knowledge and skills and allow for frequent quality retrieval, to ensure that knowledge becomes secure. 
  • Each unit of work is devised around a big question - with each component within that unit being based on a question that helps build knowledge and understanding towards the overall big question.  
  • There has been significant training and development time over the last 5 years dedicated to the academic pursuit of subjects creating coherent and well sequenced curriculums.

Meeting the needs of SEND students

  • The College has had the SEN friendly classroom as a focus for pedagogical development for the last 5 years.
  • We have an unrelenting focus on the quality of differentiation and what this looks like in different forms, other than just different worksheets. Work has continued helping teachers understand how itslearning can be used to support differentiation in class and with homework.

Teachers’ subject expertise

  • We have collaborative planning time every Tuesday for 45 minutes which allows teachers to plan lessons collaboratively, thus working together to extend subject knowledge.
  • Disaggregated training allows for subjects to spend time specifically focussing on subject expertise.
  • Core departments and subjects where the development of expertise is required are supported by HIAS advisors. This has specifically led to strong developments in science, RE, maths and English.

Adaptive teaching (checking for understanding-CFU)

  • Staff training on different strategies for CFU as well as teaching and learning blogs focussed on this.
  • Coaches are trained for developing CFU and working with staff in different subjects.
  • We have a Blended learning focus on different ways to CFU, through the classroom or through itslearning.
  • Mini whiteboards are used consistently, and are a focus for everyone next year.
  • Coaching tables have been introduced in some classes which will be rolled out in more classrooms in 2023-2024

Professional reading

  • Teacher professional reading has focussed around the impact of quality CFU through texts such as ‘Rosenshine Principles’, ‘Teach Like A Champion’, ‘Reaching the Unseen Children’ and ‘Leadership Leverage’.

Teaching to remember long term with fluency

  • DBLP (Developing Blended Learners Programme) was developed over previous years to support moving information from short term memory to long term memory. The emphasis on this is increasing the confidence and skill set of the Independent Learner.
  • Retrieval practice is planned into each MTP to allow for information to be transferred into the LTM.
  • Technology platforms introduced to support teachers with planning of retrieval practice.
  • Implementation of DBLP and the two specific types of retrieval techniques - Cue Cards and Mind Maps- delivered by subject specialists rather than external presenters.

Teaching environment & resources

  • Classroom layout is generally in groups, which is supportive of our mixed-attaining philosophy.
  • We have mixed attaining groups in KS3.
  • Classroom environment has been a key focus for 5 years, with time given to staff to make sure learning walls are appropriate and effective to support learning and learners.

Use of assessment, including response to any learning loss

  • We have 3 points in the academic year when assessment is planned into the calendar, at regular and appropriate points in the academic year.
  • Staff have been trained in QLA, so after each assessment point MTP’s are expected to be adapted due to that analysis done.
  • All assessment is planned into Medium Term Plans for all year groups. Assessment can take many forms but always requires detailed formative feedback so that it enhances the learning of the students.
  • Student reports allow for a more in-depth analysis of the ‘Crookhorn Cornerstones’, giving parents, students and staff a more detailed analysis of how each child is doing.
  • Staff identify students to be allocated intervention time, which is then co-ordinated, and progress checked.
  • We have appointed two SEN teachers, who are working with students who have been identified as having learning loss and who have specific and profound barriers to cognition.
  • Academic mentors in place for numeracy and literacy to support students identified through GL assessments as having dropped progress in Years 7 and 8, or for students identified by class teachers in the other 3 years as having dropped in performance through class assessments.
  • Use of reading data to identify amber readers for reading coach intervention.
  • GL assessments brought in for KS3, with gaps in knowledge identified by CORE subjects and addressed.