Teaching & Learning
The Vision for Teaching and Learning
At The Gateway Academy, we strive towards a culture where each and every member of staff, and our students, are driven by the desire to learn. We work towards achieving the very highest standards and continuously seek to improve upon these throughout our time at the Academy and beyond.
To achieve this, we recognise that teaching and learning must be at the forefront of every thought and action - for both staff and students. We are committed to creating an environment where teaching and learning flourishes within the classroom. Our dedicated and passionate educators inspire curiosity and critical thinking by employing innovative teaching methods underpinned by research and evidence. We wholly believe that students, when actively engaged in the learning process and encouraged to think deeply about subject content, are better equipped to face the ever-changing demands of our society.
We know that a great teacher is a crucial component of determining excellent student progress. We are proud to be a school that invests heavily in thinking about what great teaching looks like and how we support, provide opportunities and train our staff to continuously improve their practice every day.
Our culture for learning is developed through 6 key elements:
- Classroom Environment: Ensure that the climate is safe, fit for purpose, well-organised and professional; that classroom routines are consistent and efficient; use Teach Like a Champion and Steplab action steps to create a productive stage to learn.
- Effective Planning: Use the understanding of how students learn to maximise learning events in the classroom. Double planning, retrieval loops, vocabulary acquisition.
- Expert Presentation of Material: Use precise language to give instructions and introduce new knowledge; script explanations of difficult concepts or new processes; provide dual coding to reduce cognitive load.
- Model and Scaffold: Use ‘I do, We do, You do’ to model new information to students and scaffold to ensure challenge is maintained across the range of learners in the class.
- Questioning: Use a range of questioning techniques to build high participation and thinking ratio, as well as gather vital information about student understanding and progress.
- Feedback: Students are supported to continually improve their work and understanding through the use of precise, timely and constructive feedback. Feedback should highlight what has been achieved and what actions need to be taken to improve further.
Developing Expert Teachers
“We need to put as much thought into teacher development as we put into student learning.” Matt Hood
Effective teachers help to provide student learners with the necessary skills that aid success in school and beyond. They help to construct students’ mental schema that allow their thinking to be more coherent and abstract than their novice peers, and they do this much faster. Students taught by expert teachers are more likely to attend school more regularly, pursue further education and live healthier lives.
The Gateway Academy supports the ongoing development of teaching skills and practise through a number of methods. Instructional Coaching is an integral part of daily life in the Academy to ensure that teachers are challenged and supported to continually develop their practice. We know the coaching process of observation, feedback and deliberate practice through rehearsal supports teachers making effective and persistent change, which forms the foundation of our CPD provision for teachers.
Our professional development provision consists of:
- daily drop ins and weekly and fortnightly instructional coaching for teachers focussed on our Academy priorities
- weekly Subject Leads meetings - developing leaders' insights and knowledge to improve specific skills within their faculties
- weekly coaching sessions for ITT and ECT’s
- weekly PD for all staff focussed on our Academy priorities
- half-term coaching clinics for all ITT’s and ECT to develop practice.