Teaching and Learning
Teaching and Learning is rightly given a high priority at John Whitgift Academy and a robust CPD programme has been developed over the last few years to ensure that students are given a quality learning experience by all teachers.
The Academy has appointed a Senior Leader who has a specific responsibility for teaching and learning pedagogy to ensure that teachers at the Academy are continually striving to improve their skills as practitioners.
A rigorous quality assurance system is in place to monitor the day to day practices of teaching staff, supported by subject leaders and senior staff who conduct regular work scrutiny and learning walks on all departments to ensure that standards are typically high.
Classes, where appropriate, sit in groups of 4 of mixed abilities. Lessons are designed and delivered using collaborative learning structures which enable all students to be actively involved in a variety of tasks that will challenge them. Students are expected to work positively with each other, supporting their face or shoulder partners, to foster a climate for learning where everybody can achieve. There are numerous collaborative learning structures that are specifically designed to extend learning so that students achieve above their potential and give them opportunities to lead on learning within each subject.
Senior leaders maintain a high presence within lessons and conduct climate walks to ensure that the teaching, learning and assessment students are receiving in their lessons is up to the required standard. Middle leaders also conduct regular quality assurance checks on their department which helps to produce a clear picture of the standard of teaching and learning. A Quality Assurance document is created each half term collating these findings and setting targets for improvement.
The continued professional development of all staff is of key importance at the academy. The academy CPD programme enables all teachers to follow a training programme which ensures skills are developed in the classroom as well as aiding personal career progression. To support the improvement of literacy and numeracy across the academy, staff will have a literacy or numeracy ‘starter activity’ before the weekly CPD session.
At John Whitgift Academy we pride ourselves on listening to our students through student voice questionnaires and interviews. All aspects of teaching and learning are discussed with all year groups and this enables the school to keep a ‘live’ view of the service we offer. We strongly believe that the quality of provision we offer at the academy must provide the best start to the lives of our students.
Homework is set regularly in all subjects and supports the work undertaken in the classroom. The tasks are varied and include a more creative, extended learning programme to enable homework to impact further on learning. Knowledge booklets are given to all students for them to work on key skills from every department; they are questioned through a weekly homework quiz to check on learning.
The new Assessment and Feedback policy has further strengthened the academy’s procedures and students receive clear and regular feedback on how to improve their work. Progress data is regularly reported back to parents throughout the year.
The academy also offers targeted students the opportunity to improve their reading age by participation in various reading intervention programmes. These interventions see good ground made by the majority of students and continually strive to drive up standards of literacy in the Academy.
The Read to Succeed campaign ensures that all students carry a reading book with them at all times and that they are given the opportunity to have silent reading time, with an adult, on a daily basis. Reviews are written and displayed and reading is celebrated and rewarded, to foster an enjoyment of reading. A free library is also available in our reception for adults, staff members, visitors and members of the local community to be able to borrow and share books.