Teaching and Learning
At Whickham we believe that learning is underpinned by excellent teaching based around our Learning Model. It is our aim to secure the highest standards of teaching and learning that ensures every pupil makes strong academic progress. Our model of collaborative planning ensures we remain focused on accelerating pupil progress and achievement as well as sharing best practice, allowing us to discuss the pedagogy behind the content.
The Learning Model
Staff at Whickham use the Learning Model to plan and deliver lessons which enables our pupils to understand their learning and know that it can be challenging. It allows them to take responsibility for their own learning and develop resilience and determination to succeed as well as understanding that mistakes are part of learning.
Across the curriculum there are frequent planned opportunities in lessons and robust, challenging half termly assessments to review and reflect upon the learning of content and skills from current and previous topics. This allows teachers to ensure that the learning gap is closed and misconceptions are addressed. All assessment feedback is specific and meaningful. It informs planning and is used to develop higher order thinking skills/problem solving, consistently challenging pupils to think hard and make the content stick in their longer term memory.
We believe that high quality, differentiated homework is an essential tool to extend learning beyond the classroom and develop pupils’ ability to take responsibility for their own learning and become independent and resilient. We believe that well planned, relevant and challenging homework promotes self-confidence and understanding. All homework is assigned using the Class Charts app and is clearly related to ongoing classroom work or retrieval practice of content from previous topics. Homework and the frequency of homework is set in proportion with curriculum hours. At KS3 this ranges from 20-45 minutes weekly. At Key Stage 4, English, Maths and Science set on average 90 minutes per week with other subjects setting an average of one hour per week. At Key Stage 5, all subjects set four hours of homework per week. It is expected that pupils complete their own independent learning in addition to this.