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Learning and Teaching

Model of Learning

Effective teaching is a complex, nuanced art and, at Thomas Keble, our aim is to create a culture in which teachers have the confidence to innovate and develop, rather than reduce teaching to a formulaic approach which constrains and inhibits. The measure of effective teaching will be excellent progress for all students. We want our students to be resilient and to value effort, understanding that learning is a continuous, deliberate process that is summarised below:

Understand it

You will need:
  • Class books
  • Text books
  • Model answers
You might also require:
  • Revision Guides
  • Knowledge Organisers
  • Revision Websites
In addition:
  • Identify any bits of knowledge you have missing.
  • Go to see your teacher to help fill any gaps.
  • Attend any relevant revision sessions being offered.

Transform it

You could do this by:
  • Creating mind maps
  • Making Flash cards – use Quizlet?
  • Making your own knowledge organiser
  • Post-it notes
  • Audio recordings
  • Cornell notes
  • Make up questions to test yourself
  • Make up mnemonics or a ‘memory palace’
  • Dual coding - When you have the same information in two formats - words and visuals - it gives you two ways of remembering the information later on. Combining these visuals with words is an effective way to study e.g. with infographics, timelines, cartoon strips and diagrams.

Review it

Read, Say, Cover, Write, Check
  1. READ the quotation / statements.
  2. SAY it out loud.
  3. COVER the information.
  4. RE-WRITE the information in as much detail as possible. Challenge: develop the points you have made in even further detail, offering more thoughtful interpretations.
  5. CHECK your original. Compare your rewritten work to the original. Have you missed anything out? Add this to your rewritten work in a different colour.
Revision clock

A way of revising which can break a topic down into 12 sub-categories:

  • Make notes in each chunk of the clock.
  • Revise each slot for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the clock over and recite back or rewrite certain sections of the clock.
Teach to another

Give your Knowledge Organiser to someone else and if they give you the headings, you teach them what the information under that heading means, without looking.

Low-stakes testing

Easy, quick quizzes which test small pieces of knowledge. This works well for simple facts, dates, key words or important formulae. Use your flash cards, mnemonics, memory palaces, Quizlets etc.

Apply it

Exam-style questions Practise a range of the exam questions.
  1. Review the mark schemes first to remind yourself what is required.
  2. Ensure you plan your responses appropriately.
  3. Once you have finished, self-assess your work using a mark scheme / give to your teacher to mark

Model of Teaching

Whilst there is not a formula for expert teaching, we believe it is helpful for teachers to have a common language when considering the craft of the classroom. To provide this, we have adopted the principles outlined by Shaun Allison and Andy Tharby in ‘Making Every Lesson Count’ and these are further elaborated below:

Book review: Making Every Lesson Count by Shaun Allison and Andy Tharby –  The Literacy Globe

Consistent Challenge for All

Learning happens when people have to think hard.” (Robert Coe)

Overarching principles of challenge:

  • It is not just about the ‘most able’.
  • We should have high expectations of all students all the time.
  • It is good for students to struggle just outside their comfort zone, as that is when they are likely to learn the most.


Explanations are the bedrock on which all future learning is built. Principles that define the best explanations:

  • They should be tethered to something students already know about.
  • They should allow for the limited capacity of the human memory to hold on to a number of new ideas at once.
  • They should transform abstract ideas into concrete ones.


Essentials of day-to-day modelling:

  • Do not assume that students know how to do something they have never been taught to do.
  • Always model high – set the benchmark of excellence.

Deliberate practice

“Success has to do with deliberate practice. Practice must be determined, focused and in an environment where there’s feedback.” (Malcolm Gladwell)

Deliberate practice should:

  • Immerse students in a culture of purposeful writing practice rather than merely writing for ‘admin’.
  • Insist upon good writing habits, such that they become permanent with repetition.
  • Cultivate a culture of silent immersion in extended writing.  Develop students’ independence by providing scaffolded direction, and then removing this when the time is right.


Key purposes of classroom questioning:

  • To test understanding of a new concept – have students got the basic knowledge?
  • To deepen and develop understanding – provoke the students to think.
  • To ensure that students share in the cognitive work of the classroom – are all students required to remain attentive and compelled to think?
  • To form and maintain your classroom culture e.g. Do you expect students to answer in subject-specific language? Do you accept incorrect or incomplete answers, or do you expect a high level of correctness? Do you expect them to listen respectfully to each other and to respond sensitively?


An effective assessment model makes:

  • Maximum use of formative assessment: low-stakes, high-frequency testing focused on specific, clearly defined areas of knowledge and skill.
  • Judicious use of summative assessments that support the leanest possible tracking.
  • Minute-by-minute use of responsive teaching.
  • Use of intelligent, lean marking approaches that acknowledge the limited effect marking has in relation to the demands it places on teachers