Teaching and Learning
In terms of teaching and learning, our focus is firmly on building on our approach to developing excellence.
The 2016 White Paper ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’ makes a number of specific references to the development of an evidence-informed teaching profession, including ensuring Initial Teacher Education and subsequent Continuing Professional Development is evidence-based, and increasing teachers’ access to high quality evidence. Although evidence-based practice has its complexities, teachers should be able to make use of the evidence available to enable them to make better decisions. Putting Wyedean School at the forefront of this agenda means we will be at the cutting edge of what is required of us.
A core part of this cultural shift is our lesson study programme. This collaborative approach to lesson planning and observation enables our staff to be open and reflective in their discussions, and on improving teaching and learning through a non-judgmental approach to lesson observation. Lesson Study blends all the features of professional learning that most improve learning and teaching (Cordingley et al., 2004). These are that:
- Professional learning takes place over time – and is not a one-off event;
- It happens in real classrooms with real pupils;
- It involves an element of collaborative enquiry or experiment between teachers who are trying to solve a problem or improve an approach.
Every academic year, our focus for teaching and learning will be based on our school priorities. We look forward to continuing our investigations, and sharing our findings more widely. Wednesday teaching and learning briefings build further on our approach to staff development, ensuring that “the research story and the local-practice story are brought together. The researcher does not know what is relevant in the concrete context faced by the practitioner; that is for the practitioner to decide” (Kvernbekk, 2018). In this way, our staff are trusted as professionals to decide what is right for the students in their classrooms.