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Teaching & Learning

 Teaching and Learning Model

  • Connect the Learning - The teacher plans to: connect new learning to prior learning and existing knowledge, make connections with the world outside of the classroom, and stimulate thinking about new learning to come. Teachers use this opportunity to gauge what students already know so they can all be challenged from their starting points.
  •  Discuss Learning Outcomes and Agree Success Criteria - Teachers explicitly share the purpose of the lessons with their students so that the students are in no doubt as to what is expected of them during the lesson. The teacher will: make the content, skills and thinking explicit; state clearly what the students will have learned by the end of the lesson; discuss and share the criteria against which the learning will be assessed. 
  •  Share New Information - Students will be presented with, or introduced to, the new information that they are required to work with. Teachers need to consider what will be the best way to present the information so that it provides for the maximum inclusion of the students.
  •  Challenge Activity - Developing Understanding - Students are given the time and the opportunity to develop understanding of the new information and to practise using their developing skills. The students are actively engaged in exploring the content. At this time it would be common for the students to be working in groups, talking with each other about their work and quite often making errors, but most of all working towards building a personal understanding of what they have been presented with.
  •  Demonstrating New Learning and Understanding - Students are participating in a task or tasks that will allow them to demonstrate their development of their understanding of the content that was presented. During this time teachers and students may be involved in assessing and evaluating the outcomes of the students’ learning. Over time there should be a variety of techniques and methods used to determine the levels of achievement.
  •  Review / Reflect - Review takes place throughout the lesson and time is given for students to be reflective and consolidate their understanding. During these times questions may be posed to unpick what has been learnt and how well, to encourage reflection on how learning took place and to preview and reflect on next learning steps.

Growth Mindset

Mindset is based on the work of Psychologist Carol Dweck; she has conducted hundreds of studies with learners of all ages to understand how they think about themselves and how this influences their actions. Mindset is the idea that we hold a set of beliefs about our own intelligence and ability, and that these beliefs shape the way we behave. We have tried to foster in our learners a growth mindset – the belief that intelligence and ability are not fixed traits, but can be changed with effort.

Adopting a growth mindset means:

  • seeing problems as challenges to be overcome;
  • seeing difficulties as opportunities to learn;
  • seeing setbacks or failure as feedback for improvement;
  • seeing effort as the key to success;
  • seeing the journey as more important than the outcome;
  • seeing success in others as inspiration.

Students with a growth mindset are more resilient and determined, they have a passion for learning that will last, they do not allow problems and challenges to stop them from achieving.  Students who have adopted a growth mindset embrace the challenge of learning. They want to be pushed and stretched in lessons as they recognise that only doing tasks that are easy will not lead to improvement.

Mindset is a key part of the induction process for students as they start in the Sixth Form. Students are introduced to the main ideas, and helped to recognise their own mindset, and how this influences their behaviour. 

Kagan

Kagan Co-operative learning is an approach which has a proven track record of improving the attainment and engagement of all students and narrowing the attainment gap between the most and least able. It is based on the use of a number of structures suitable for any content which incorporate co-operative student-to-student interaction as an integral part of the learning process. It supports much of our other work in Assessment for Learning and Behaviour for Learning at The MFG.

The benefits of Kagan Co-operative Learning:

  • Actively involves students in the learning process;
  • With Co-operative learning results have improved – research indicates that this approach can help students achieve more and close the achievement gap;
  • Promotes critical thinking;
  • Increases a long list of social skills, including: listening, taking turns, conflict resolution skills, leadership skills, and teamwork skills which can help to boost self-esteem and responsibility and ultimately helps to prepare students for success in life;
  • Encourages a “can-do” attitude because students have opportunities to process their thinking and answer.

 

The more structures a teacher has in their toolbox, the more their learners will become independent experts and be stretched in their learning. These structures are also crucial to building and developing our most able so that they become flexible and critical thinkers for their future careers.