What is our pedagogy - How do we learn at West Wittering?
The way we teach is important to us, and more importantly our children. We have spent a lot of time finding out what works and what our children need, reviewing previous learning and learning about some of the newest, and most effective pedagogy behind learning. Our curriculum design and associated pedagogy is built around a few simple concepts.
We have studied the forgetting curve, which explains to us that one off delivery of information has limited impact for sustained memory. To transition information from our short-term memory, to the long-term memory, we need to embed this through revisiting learning in close successions. Each time we revisit learning we know we retain a little more information and our aim is to try to secure our understanding long-term by revisiting an idea on several occasions. Lessons from day to day make connections to previous days and previous learning, for short term frequent revisiting of knowledge.
After looking at Barak Rosenshines 'Principles in Action' we have studied questioning in more depth, looking at different ways of engaging children through questions. We know that the questions, the associated language, as well as the quality of responses from our young people, all make a big difference to the impact of questioning. Our lessons are designed to not allow 'opting-out' and include a wide range of questioning from 'lolly stick responses', 'Pop-corning', 'Ask another', 'Repeat the response', in order to make sure that this helps to ensure clarity in understanding, promotes positive discussion around learning and ultimately helps embed the learning.
Retrieval practice is key. We challenge our learners to revisit learning through weekly 'Distance from learning' activities that help us to really see how well the knowledge has been embedded. Tasks challenge children to revisit work from 'This week, last week, last month and last term' to give the children the chance to showcase what they have truly learnt, away from the point in learning. Teachers can then easily assess what the children have secured, and what needs further work to secure.
Our young people need to know how their brain works and how we learn, in order to be the most effective learners. If you were to go to the gym and did not know how to use a piece of equipment, what could happen? Would you be safe? Would you use it efficiently? It is unlikely. This is like learning.
We spend time each year, in Autumn term, learning about metacognition and the science and behaviours behind them. We then spend time looking at our 'learner Tools' and understanding how these look when they are being used. The idea is that we are learning about how we learn. We are ensuring that our young people have the skills they need to be effective life-long learners. Check out our PSHE/RHE page to find out more about this.
All young people, no matter what their background, need, or confidence level, needs to be catered for, needs to be able to access learning so that they can succeed with their education. Our staff are very aware of where each and every child is academically, they know what support needs to look like for them to grow and they ensure that all children are catered for through scaffolding in planning. Teachers work with the Ordinarily Available Inclusivity Practice to help them meet the needs of all learners.