Teaching and Learning

Our curriculum vision is based around the principle of us delivering and students remembering the powerful knowledge which will be so important for the rest of their lives. We ensure that our curriculum is knowledge-rich, and so we have developed teaching approaches in the classroom which support this aim, enabling our students to get the most from each lesson.

One of the key elements of learning at Colton Hills are our Knowledge and Assessment Organisers, which students are given for each topic that they study in all subjects. Students keep them all with them every day in their folders, so that they can always have access to knowledge. These booklets contain key subject knowledge, extended reading opportunities, access to cultural capital materials and examples of examination excellent. It is worth noting that all students have access to the same knowledge – we believe in parity of experience and high expectations of all our students.

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We support our knowledge-rich teaching with proven teaching and learning strategies which enable our teachers to be as successful as possible in delivering excellent lessons. We call this our Colton Hills Way of Teaching, and we ask that our teachers refer regularly to this policy in order to continually refine and improve their practice for maximum impact.

The policy has been influenced by a range of different educational thinkers, but most central is the work of Doug Lemov and his book ‘Teach Like a Champion’. The book contains many excellent practical teaching strategies, and focuses on lessons which create engagement, pace and depth and where all students are expected to participate well. We are confident that our teachers have a good grounding in these strategies and support this further by ensuring that all teacher development activities link back clearly to this policy, creating consistency in teaching across the whole school.

Even within this policy, however, we go further to focus on the most key elements of successful teaching with our Expected Five. These are the five strategies that we believe make the most difference in creating a high-challenge learning environment and we ask our teachers to make these their highest priority. They focus on creating lessons with pace and energy where questioning is paramount and where all students are expected to regularly being involved. This, we are confident, will enable our students to achieve well.

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