Our curriculum is carefully sequenced: progression documents clearly outline both the knowledge and skills developed in each area of study. Dedicated time for revisiting key knowledge is carved into each half term and class teachers’ planning builds in time to recap previous learning in order to then build on knowledge and understanding in new, related areas of study.
Purposeful links are made across the curriculum, meaning that knowledge and understanding is consolidated.
We value the power of authentic experience; learning is brought to life and given relevance and meaning. We therefore carefully map trips, excursions and in-school events across school, supporting our key driver of ‘Broadening Horizons’ by ensuring a balance of coastal, urban and rural experiences.
At the heart of our collective teaching pedagogy lies evidence-informed practice. We value Rosenshine’s principles of instruction and these can be seen in practice in classrooms across school.
School-based action research into high quality questioning and quality talk in the classroom has led to a talk-rich learning environment in which pupils co-construct big ideas and learn to become active participants.
What will I see if I visit a lesson in Throckley Primary School?
Creative, dynamic and passionate teachers: At Throckley Primary, we love learning. Class Teachers work collaboratively to bring children’s learning to life through planned experiences, which make learned content both memorable and engaging.
Clear, detailed explanations and modelling: We fully understand the importance of teaching being explicitly clear, and tailored to individual need. The use of WAGOLLs and WABOLLs (What a good/bad one looks like) means that expectation is clear and children are scaffolded during independent practice. Children across school are taught to analyse shared examples in order to identify key ingredients for success. Support is layered; class teachers’ keen understanding of assessment allows them to know each child as an individual and know when the time is right to remove a of support, guiding the child to independence, at a pace right for them.
Quality talk: At Throckley Primary, classroom talk is explicitly taught. Age appropriate prompts in the classroom support children in dialogic talk by scaffolding and extending responses. Talk ‘norms’ are embedded; with differentiated sentence stems displayed which support children in reciprocal talk. Children are taught talk moves, including how to agree, disagree, support, challenge, clarify and summarise.
Skilful teacher questioning: A commitment to staff training in this area has led to a teaching team that is skilled in using questioning to support learners in reaching their potential. A mix of strategies allow class teachers to direct questions to individuals where necessary, or use a ‘no hands up approach’ to allow children to contribute freely. To stretch children to the appropriate cognitive level, class teachers use prompts and cues to extend thinking. To develop this further, class teachers probe for reasoning and clarification, and, as pupils move further up the school, they are taught to give full, detailed and reasoned responses.
Spaced retrieval of key learning: At Throckley Primary School, we have developed a number of strategies, which support children in the recall, and retention of key knowledge. These are drawn upon during low-stakes assessments and prior to the teaching of new, yet related, content.
Clear learning intentions and tasks, which are appropriately challenging: We value the Blooms Taxonomy framework and this underpins learning sequences across the curriculum. Building areas of study around Blooms allows us to build factual, conceptual, procedural and metacognitive knowledge, resulting in fuller understanding and greater depth. Our aim is for children to remember key knowledge, but also to develop a full understanding of it in order to then apply this in context, creating authentic outcomes, which draw on their learning experience over time.
Hard Thinking: We think carefully about tasks which allow children space to attempt putting new learning into practice. Low-stakes tasks allow misconceptions to be addressed before children commit to working in books. We also value thinking hard; this type of active learning supports working memory and helps children to embed key knowledge. Class Teachers are skilful at ensuring that all children are expected to ‘think hard’ and tasks are designed to support this.
Resilient, independent learners: At Throckley Primary School, we teach children metacognitive strategies, including how to plan, monitor and evaluate their own learning. Shared success criteria allow children to have ownership of their learning and support them to be able to monitor their progress. Shared and verbalised class teacher thinking also models the thinking process for children and this is evident across school.
Our Wonderful Learners (OWLs) have been created to support children’s metacognitive development. Our OWLs encapsulate six learning behaviours, which we believe are integral to success both in school and beyond:
Classroom scaffolds and displays allow children to see what each behaviour looks like in practice. As children move up the school, they are taught to independently identify the learning behaviour needed for a given task. OWLs support children’s self-regulation and also provide scaffolds for group and paired work.
Beautiful Work: At Throckley Primary, we celebrate beautiful work! Driven by our value of ‘pride’, we teach children the importance of well-presented, carefully planned work. Children are proud to display their outcomes; resilience, effort and progress are praised.