Teaching and Learning

At Sir Jonathan North we recognise that quality first teaching in every lesson is key in order to maximise student progress. We use the latest approaches in educational practice in order to give our students a high quality day to day learning experience where they are engaged, challenged and inspired.

We are a learning community and we expect staff to reflect on and debate the way they teach in order to innovate in ways that are right for their students. We expect all staff to be actively involved in the culture of sharing pedagogy/best practice and the College continuing professional development programme.

 At Sir Jonathan North we know that effective teaching results in effective learning. To ensure this, teachers will:

  • plan provision that caters for all the students in the class, including the lowest to the highest ability;
  • know the students’ strengths and weaknesses and take them into account when thinking about the pace of the lesson and its difficulty;
  • have high expectations based on what students have previously achieved and the target they have been set, whilst understanding that students are able to do better than expected;
  • have excellent knowledge of their subject and a wish to excite students, make them enthusiastic and have a wish to learn more about the subject;
  • engage students into their learning by modelling how to apply skills and knowledge using well-judged teaching and engaged activities and resources;
  • make explicit connections between lesson activities and expected learning outcomes.
  • make classrooms a safe place where students can get involved without fearing failure or being embarrassed;
  • encourage good behaviour by being positive, giving praise and always behaving in a way that is a positive role model for students.

Feedback and Marking

Evidence from the Education Endowment Foundation shows that the provision of effective feedback to students is one of the key factors for improving learning. This research shows that effective feedback should:

  • Redirect or refocus either the teacher's or or the learner’s actions to achieve a goal
  • Be specific, accurate and clear
  • Encourage and support further effort
  • Be given sparingly so that it is meaningful
  • Provide specific guidance on how to improve and not just tell students when they are wrong.

Policy in practice

Feedback should not be exclusively subject specific, but should focus on literacy too. Teachers should ensure students receive regular verbal feedback along with self and peer assessment (green pen). Research shows that written acknowledgement and effort marking do not impact on student outcomes, we do not expect to see this on students’ work. We recognise teachers’ workload and acknowledge that students will not get detailed feedback on every piece of work.

Core offer for written feedback

  • Students are given written feedback on written work twice per topic, i.e. through interim feedback in books and end of topic test (graded)
  • Interim feedback in books is in the form of key questions or a WWW/EBI (what went well/even better if) leading to a clear student response (in green pen)
  • In addition to the above, closing the gap tasks should be used following end of topic tests for those students not on target. This could be self or peer marked
  • Teachers need to build time into lessons for students to respond to feedback and improve their work.

Agreed conventions for written feedback

  • Teachers to mark in purple pen
  • Students to respond in green pen
  • Green paper to be used for closing the gap tasks or feedback sheets
  • If highlighters are used:
    • Teachers to use pink highlighter, to denote a key strength (‘tickled pink’)
    • Teachers to use blue highlighter, to denote a key area for development (‘blue to improve’)

Agreed symbols for literacy marking

  sp           Spelling mistake    // New Paragraph 
  O (P)      Punctuation needed (put a circle around error/omission) and add P   Upward Arrow   Word/words missing
~~ (?)    Expression (unclear).  Underline with ~ ~ and add ?