Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning at Thomas Bennett Community College

Bennett Benchmarks 2016-17

This is a set of non-negotiables that should be evidenced in every lesson across the school.  Lesson Observation Forms are based on these.

  1. COMMUNICATION - Every opportunity is taken to encourage students to effectively communicate both verbally and in their written work.  Opportunities for students to apply Numeracy Skills are also taken.
  2. FEEDBACK - Student work is well presented, according to the school’s presentation conventions.  All work displays evidence of regular marking and feedback using the school’s marking policy and including regular opportunities for self and peer marking (green pens) and student reflection.
  3. PLANNING - The lesson is carefully planned to meet the requirements of the curriculum and to meet the needs of all students, including any ‘Priority Student’ groups. Clear Learning Objectives and Success Criteria shared.
  4. AFL - Assessment of student progress [learning checks] takes place at least 3 times within the lesson – intervention takes place when appropriate and impacts on learning.
  5. INDEPENDENCE - Independent/Collaborative learning is encouraged through planning, questioning, classwork and the regular setting of homework.
  6. ENGAGEMENT - Students are actively engaged for the entire lesson so that behaviour does not disrupt learning.
  7. PROGRESS - Students make good progress against targets in the lesson. This progress is supported by their written materials and student data.

Three Priorities carried over from 2015-2016:

  • Punctuality to Lessons
  • Using Green Pens for Peer and Self Assessment
  • Presentation Conventions for Staff and Students:  Staff: All lessons will include a clear title, skills-based Learning Objective, Success Criteria and these will be shared with students at, or near the beginning, of every lesson.

Students: All books and folders will be treated with respect and will not be covered in graffiti.  At the start of every lesson, the title and the date will be underlined and the Learning Objective will be copied out.  If space, the work from last lesson will be underlined and the new lesson’s work will start on the same page.

Talk for Writing

At Thomas Bennett we believe that all staff should have the opportunity to take part in a bespoke Continuing Professional Development programme which is designed with our students, staff and school in mind. With this in mind, our new pedagogical focus for 2016-17 is Talk for Writing in order to improve students’ communication skills across the curriculum, this links to Bennett Benchmark #1.

T4W is based on these principles:

Provide a model:

Teachers systematically model the speaking, listening, vocabulary and sentence patterns the students need. When writing or a process is required, teachers provide a model text so that students begin by imitating the model.

Facilitate oral rehearsal:

Students internalise the pattern of the language required – they talk the text before they write it.

Make the learning visible:

Display work in progress: for example, a word bank, text map, model text, boxed-up structure, toolkit and shared writing to help students innovate on the pattern they have internalised.

Co-construct the learning:

The students are involved in activities that help them construct their learning and develop understanding so that they can become independent thinkers, practitioners and writers.