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Teaching & Learning
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Teaching & Learning

Our Teaching & Learning Philosophy

Our T&L is underpinned by the extensive research of Shaun Alison & Andy Tharby’s Making Every Lesson Countthe five principles are the key skills we develop and use extensively in teaching.

Cockshut Principles:

  • Challenge
  • Explanation
  • Modelling
  • Questioning
  • Feedback

Lead Practitioners

We have 7 Lead Practitioners across the school who lead and drive on embedding the Principles in their areas and lead on Professional Learning Development (PLD) sessions across the school both in departments and whole school. They also quality assure T&L alongside senior team, coach staff and show case their teaching to others too.


We have designed a Positive Checklist for teachers to follow and adhere to and have also created a Cockshut Hill (CSH) lesson plan which clearly outlines how and when the principles should be embedded into lessons.


This year, we have introduced that each member of staff have a ‘Teacher folder’ where they store their seating plans, context sheets, raising achievement maps, and whole class marking sheets for each class.

PLD- developing staff:

  • Staff are coached & mentored by Lead Practitioners and this is reviewed after each T&L Review week.
  • Wednesday morning briefing is a T&L briefing based on one of the Principles (see Professional Learning Development (PLD) Calendar)
  • Every Weds Week 2 is Department T&L Development meeting- where the purpose of the meeting is only T&L- planning and preparing lessons collaboratively and again one of the Principles is the main focus
  • Tuesday fortnightly sessions planned for ‘Drop-in’ workshops (see Professional Learning Development Calendar)
  • Principles Mastery Timetable- watch others work scheduled twice
  • Investment of Edu Books in our PLD section of the Learning Pad
  • Big push this year on subject knowledge and development- encouraging staff to go on examination courses, exam marking – particularly in the core subjects.
  • Trust Teachmeet hosted at CSH- sharing ideas and resources
  • LPs Workshops based on the Principles where staff choose the sessions bespoke to them and differentiate accordingly
  • Bring & brag session for all teaching staff to share ideas- opportunity provided in briefings and in evening PLD sessions
  • Trust have also provided further opportunities for NQTs, RQTs, Middle and senior leaders.
  • External experts Shaun Allison & Andy Tharby ‘Making Every Lesson Count’ PLD session Feb 28th– to work with targeted staff and middle and senior leaders
  • External Educational Advisor Chris Moyse April 3rdworking with LPs on coaching and quality assuring T&L and also delivering a twilight on top tips re: T&L and cognitive learning

Quality assuring T&L CSH

There are three scheduled T&L Review Weekslinked to Appraisal where staff are observed by SLT & LPs. Review Weeks have a focus based on our Cockshut Hill Principles for example data showed lack of challenge with HA students, so that was a focus for T&L Review Week One.


Staff get immediate feedback– both verbally and written feedback.


Senior Leadership team undertake daily learning walkabouts, often with a focus – for example, quality assuring compliance with class Raising Achievement documents (RAMs), work scrutiny, and an opportunity to talk 1-1 with students about their learning.


Skills matrix

After each T&L Review Week, we update our Skills Matrix (based on our Cockshut Hill Principles) and this enables us to prioritise which staff need developing and which principle they need to improve.


Trust Staffing matrix

The Trust have now created a uniformed Quality Teaching Matrix based on a Professional Development Framework. This places each member of staff on a scale 4-1 and its sole purpose is to develop staff. Staff are placed on scales using a range of sources: Learning Walks, appraisal observations, work scrutiny, data and progress, student panels.


Student Panels

We regularly get feedback from our students via questionnaires and have involved them during T&L Review Weeks by doing a student focus work scrutiny. Our Young Researchers also carried out a learning walk during Review Week Two where they reviewed Modelling. Their findings and actions as a result were fed back to staff during a T&L briefing.

Our House Captains completed a School Improvement Plan which is largely based around our Cockshut Hill Principles.


Work Scrutiny

Work scrutinies are regularly carried out by Heads of Departments and Senior Leadership Team and we also include students in the process. They bring their work to SLT and conversations are had about their progress and the quality of the T&L they receive.