The Hylands Way

A Model for Teaching and Learning

This Term at Hylands…Checking For Understanding

As a result of the work we have done on the New Learning phase of the lesson, students are more confident in articulating what new knowledge they are learning each lesson and how this builds on their prior learning. Year 11s especially are speaking about areas that are repeated with added complexity to help strengthen synapses and, therefore memory.
By systematically checking for understanding, not just at the beginning of the lesson during the Remember Phase, but also at regular intervals through the use of whole class questioning techniques, teachers are then able to work out the best next steps for the lesson. 

Student Voice – What is DIRT?
As part of our Feedback Policy, teachers use DIRT as an acronym to feedback to students; Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time. It can be a tough process that requires hard thinking as students reflect on their mistakes and try to improve on areas they had previously got wrong. This week lots of classes are undertaking DIRT tasks following assessments so we have asked them about the process…

‘I know it’s important as I got these questions wrong and now I can make sure I don’t make the same mistake’.
‘I’d forgotten this section but now I’ve been reminded and practised using it, I hopefully won’t forget in future’.
‘My science teacher got us to work in pairs to work out why we got the question on cells wrong. My friend helped me work out what we’d missed and then shared with the class the right answer.’

Teacher Training Learning Walk
Last week our trainee teachers undertook a learning walk, observing experienced teachers across the school using a Google Form to focus on key areas of practice. They reflected on the high levels of challenge they saw in the lessons they visited, noting students deconstructing Grade 8 and 9 responses, probing questions by teachers to really stretch thinking and complex texts being tackled with support during Reading Lessons.

Department in Focus – History
In line with the whole school drive for students to know more by remembering more, the History department are adopting a whole range of methods to make learning stickier; from Play Doh revision and student presentations using only pictures, to collaboratively creatively timelines and quizzing one another using Top Trumps. The history team are proving to students that Thinking Hard is fun!

Mrs Cardy 
Assistant Head Teacher