At Cheam Common Junior Academy our aim is to develop children who are prepared in every way for education and life beyond our school. We are fully committed to ensuring that ours is a school where every child realises their potential. In order to achieve this aim, our teacher development programme equips staff with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to deliver lessons of consistently the highest standard.
Through our literacy, mathematics, science, computing and integrated curriculum lessons, we encourage our children to use and develop the following learner attitudes through our ‘Excellent Learners’ programme:
- Like a challenge and work hard
- Listen well and concentrate
- Ask questions
- Understand others
- Want to improve
- Don’t give up
- Try new things
- Are independent
- Ask for help
- Are imaginative
We believe that, by developing such learner attitudes alongside an excellent grasp of basic literacy and numeracy skills, our children will be equipped with the skills and attributes needed to thrive in the changing landscape of the 21st century.
In every lesson, teachers and teaching assistants use ‘learning lenses’. Learning lenses enable teachers to view the most important features of their teaching with a sharper focus and greater clarity, ensuring consistently excellent teaching, learning and progress. Checking, marking and assessment are key factors that affect pupil progress and are central to every lesson.
The most important measure of teaching is its impact on progress. The best progress is highly visible, measurable, rapid and sustained across all subjects. This lens gives our teachers the final check as to whether the efforts of their teaching bring benefits in learning. The other six lenses are all factors that affect progress. The progress lens is therefore used in conjunction with all of the other lenses. Teachers explore and use each lens in relation to how it promotes and helps them to achieve good and outstanding progress for all of our children.
Whilst it is possible to make progress in almost anything, the assessment lens helps teachers to plan for progress for individuals in the right things, to the right, challenging standard. This lens concentrates mostly on lesson planning and its importance in focusing lessons on individuals needs and ensuring that outstanding differentiation is at the heart of every lesson.
The checking lens helps teachers to focus on the signs of progress during lessons. By continually checking on progress, teachers can maximise it and reshape teaching as required. Many methods of checking progress and the subsequent reshaping of lessons actually delay the progress of some pupils. This is because they are too reliant on whole-class techniques. This lens helps teachers to explore ways to check progress and reshape teaching without interrupting the learning of others during the checks.
Excellent checking and reshaping has a notable impact on progress. For this lens to be effective, teachers and/or teaching assistants should aim to interact with every pupil, every lesson. Guided groups may form as a result of checking; they will not necessarily be planned for in advance.
Progress is affected by the quality and frequency of feedback. Consistency of quality feedback helps pupils to know what they have done well and helps them to improve. This lens offers an evaluation tool for teachers to assess the quality of their feedback as seen in the visible progress that emerges as a result. Marking response time (MRT) is regularly built into lessons each week as appropriate.
The methods that teachers use to promote progress for individuals are almost unlimited in number. Excellent teaching involves finding the right methods for a particular group, or an individual to ensure they make progress. There is no hierarchy nor any preferred methods at Cheam Common Junior Academy. Instead, by maximising our Teaching Development Programme, this lens helps teachers to explore new methods and to evaluate the effectiveness of those already used in maximising progress for all.
One thing that is consistent in every lesson is a relentless focus on learning and progress. All teachers ensure that they maximise the time children spend of purposeful learning activities in every lesson; always enabling good progress to take place.
Best thought of as the ‘silent objective’ of every lesson, the basic skills lens helps teachers to maximise opportunities for developing writing, mathematics and reading in every lesson.
The attitudes lens helps teachers to focus on the learning skills and behaviours of pupils. Excellent teaching promotes, almost intuitively, the right balance between academic learning and the attitudes required for competent learners. This lens helps teachers to identify the traits of a competent learner and ways in which the traits can be promoted in all lessons.