Teaching & Learning at JOG
High expectations of students and staff are central to the ethos and culture at The John of Gaunt School (JOG). It is our conviction that students can achieve excellence regardless of their starting point, and our approach to teaching and learning hinges on raising our students’ confidence and aspirations.
Teachers are expected to set ambitious learning aims for students and monitor their learning closely, providing more focused support where needed. Research suggests that this kind of responsive teaching is much more likely to result in students making good progress than producing lower level tasks for certain students (OFSTED, 2019). It also ensures that students are effectively challenged, and that they aspire to achieve their best.
We are a school of reflective practitioners, who are committed to our continuous professional development. We aspire to remain abreast of cutting-edge educational research, in order to equip our teachers with the knowledge and skills to have the greatest impact in the classroom.
Implementation – The EQUA Essentials
At The John of Gaunt School we ensure that teaching and learning is consistently excellent so that every child can achieve their full potential. To facilitate this, a framework for high quality classroom practice – the EQUA Essentials – has been created, and all teachers are guided by this in their practice.
With a foundation built upon educational research (e.g. EEF, 2014; OFSTED, 2019; The Sutton Trust, 2014) the Essentials incorporate expectations around six key elements of classroom practice:
- Assessment and Feedback
- Adaptive Teaching
- Independent Application
- Behaviour and Engagement
- Quality of Instruction
All teachers receive termly CPD in these six areas, and are coached in developing their pedagogy through twice-termly developmental drop-ins (DDIs) and coaching conversations. This process means CPD is ongoing, needs-based and self-driven for the individual teacher and always contextualised for the classes they teach.
Implementation - Knowledge organisers and retrieval practice
In order to succeed in their learning, students need to be able to remember key knowledge. Recent research points to the importance of students regularly reviewing their learning, so that it is retained over time (e.g. McCrae, 2018; OFSTED, 2019; Rosenshine, 2012).
At The John of Gaunt School, the key knowledge that students need to remember for each topic is summarised in a knowledge organiser, and students are given a booklet of these at the start of each term. A significant portion of a student’s homework involves self-quizzing using their knowledge organiser, and every lesson starts with retrieval practice so that students can purposely recall this learning. These quizzes interleave content from current topics with that learned previously, so that students can strengthen their recall.
Basing homework on knowledge organisers means parents are able to access homework resources easily, and can support their child with the learning of core topic knowledge for each subject. Knowledge organisers are made available to parents on the school website.