Teaching and learning

Sustained excellence in teaching and learning is our core business. We believe this leads to outstanding rates of progress for all students throughout their time with us.

We support our teaching professionals in terms of:

  • Personalised Continuous Professional Development;
  • Training in awareness and understanding of barriers which may prevent students progressing;
  • Strategic Seating and Interaction Plans (SSIP).


We support our students by:

  • Developing their resilience and leadership skills;
  • Pushing them out of their comfort zone (The Purple Zone);
  • Encouraging high levels of student engagement;
  • Promoting expert questioning;
  • Appropriately pitching personalised challenges;
  • Placing them within the ‘Purple Zone’, where they engage in the silent application of highly challenging work.
  • Encouraging them to respond to feedback, including challenges set as part of the marking and feedback process. We are keen for students to take ownership of their learning journey and engage in a learning dialogue with their subject teachers.
  • Encouraging them to be leaders of their learning, for example, we support our students in developing resilience and independence so that they are able to rise to the challenges of the unexpected. We recognise that one of the key skills students need to master to achieve the higher grades in their examinations is the ability to apply their learning in unfamiliar contexts.



We believe that home-learning, homework as you may know it, has an important role to play in extending learning, developing independence and resilience, as well as embedding excellent study habits for lifelong learning. As a guide, we suggest:

  • Key Stage 3 – 20 minutes per hour in the classroom
  • Key Stage 4 – 30 minutes per hour in the classroom


Setting home-learning

Tasks are always written on the whiteboard by teachers; students record the details in their planners, including hand in dates.


How Parents/Carers can support home-learning

  • Ask your son/daughter about their home-learning tasks
  • Check that your son/daughter is accurately recording home-learning in their planner
  • Support and enthuse your son/daughter with their home-learning
  • Provide a suitable working area at home for your son/daughter
  • Ensure home-learning is completed on time and to a high standard
  • Communicate with your son/daughter’s teacher
  • Sign and comment in your son/daughter’s planner each week, carefully review your son/daughter’s use of Green for Growth and discuss their plans for improvement
  • Support your son/daughter by helping them to improve their use of Capital letters, Apostrophes, Punctuation and Spelling (CAPS)


Benefits of independent home-learning

  • Students will receive feedback on their home-learning and the progress they have made as a result from their teachers
  • Students will receive praise in line with the Positive Discipline Policy
  • Develops independent learning skills, imperative for employment
  • Home-learning fosters a real sense of pride in students’ own learning
  • Home-learning supports students in learning to further extend learning without prompting, a higher order skill which promotes academic success. For example, students may engage in further reading around the subjects they are studying, or perhaps they might produce a piece of research on a particular aspect of their learning.

The Student Planner

The Student Planner is an essential part of a student’s equipment. The planner supports students with their effective organisation which is imperative for self-propelled learning e.g. at home.  Furthermore, the Student Planner contains valuable learning aids which students may need during their lessons at school. 

Each student will be issued with a new Student Planner at the start of a new academic year.  Students are required to bring their Student Planner to school on each occasion they attend.

The Student Planner includes:

  • Week to view pages which have a section for stamps and negative comments. If a student receives three stamps in a subject, this equates to a credit. Once students have received 50 credits they are eligible for a certificate in recognition of their achievements. Negative comments are recorded using a code (B, H, L, E, U, W), explained at the front of the Student Planner.
  • A signature is required each week to show that a parent or carer has seen the Student Planner at home.
  • The yellow Assessment Point Review pages at the back of the Student Planner provide a record of the conversations that students have with their teachers. All students should know their current level of performance and target level, and should understand what they need to do to achieve it and how they will go about doing this.
  • Linking Learning pages at the back of the Student Planner which are designed to assist students and their parents and carers with learning at home.