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Teaching & Learning
Our academy is a community in which we support and encourage each other to achieve our personal best. We combine the traditional values of discipline, respect and good behaviour with contemporary best practice in teaching, learning and technology.
Teachers take the time to get to know and understand each boy. Whether they need to be stretched, are struggling, or are somewhere in the middle, we will always work to inspire the best in all our students.
Children learn best when their school environment is safe, inclusive and welcoming. We have a culture of mutual respect between students and staff, and zero tolerance of bullying in any form.
Bringing learning alive
We provide students with a high quality education that raises standards and aspirations. This means:
- Offering a full, broad and balanced curriculum, and helping every student find something he excels at
- Keeping class sizes as small as possible, and employing teachers who make learning fun and engaging
- Giving support to students who need it through extra tuition in literacy and numeracy
- Offering a range of specialised courses for our Most Able students
- Setting regular homework - for Year 7 students this will usually be two or three subjects per night
- Encouraging debate, participation, and a spirit of enquiry.
What does learning at HBAED look like?
At Harris Boys’ Academy East Dulwich (HBEAD) we believe it is vital that students finish every learning opportunity knowing more or being better at something than they did before they started. This underpins everything we do in the academy.
A typical lesson at HBAED will follow a model based on the TEEP (Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement Programme) cycle but adapted for our students. Lessons (or series of lessons) are split into distinct phases:
- Prepare for learning – students are given a starter activity which ‘hooks’ them into the lesson and new content being learnt or skills being developed
- Set learning objectives – these are clear objectives for the learning within the lesson, linked to Blooms Taxonomy
- New information – this is the teaching phase where new information or skills are given to the students for the first time, or in a redesigned way if it is part of an attempt towards mastery
- Construct – students in this phase of the lesson need to do something with the information or skills. This is where the knowledge is embedded through recall and higher order thinking
- Applied learning time – students are expected to spend 10-12 minutes, normally in silence, applying their learning. This could be to a task set by the teacher for example an exam question. This is where the teacher can assess the progress a student has made in their learning
- Evaluation – all lessons end with a review of the learning that has taken place and are used by teachers to inform planning for the next lesson.
We do not insist that all our teachers adopt this method. Some people have individual and unique styles of teaching which can be equally as effective. However, this is the normal approach our students experience. It is a great method because it acts to stimulate the students, get them thinking and then applying what they have learnt. It means that no lesson is ever wasted as they look to gain knowledge and develop skills.
How do students know how well they are doing?
Teachers give huge amounts of verbal feedback during learning and the importance of this personalised feedback cannot be underestimated. In addition to this we also have departmental formal marking stickers which are used to record feedback for students within their books.
These stickers are designed to help support progress in specific subjects and are therefore all unique. Each one contains a section for a dialogue to take place between the student and the teacher about the work they have completed. This is vital to ensuring that feedback is meaningful and has impact.
How do our staff try to improve?
We have an incredibly talented and dedicated staff here at the academy. Every single member of the team, including all our support staff, knows that our number one aim is for outstanding learning to be taking place all the time. Each individual job people do makes a difference to this goal.
Our staff are only so good because they have the desire and opportunity to develop their own knowledge and skills through continued professional learning (CPL). One benefit from being part of the Harris Federation is our access to national programmes such as the NPQH, NPQSL and NPQML. These are all designed for leaders at different levels from headship to middle leadership. We have had a number of staff successfully complete these. We also run a series of CPL projects within the academy which are personalised for our staff to help them improve specific aspects of the practice. These are completed to an incredibly high standard and allow us to constantly share the outstanding best practice we have taking place here amongst our skilled staff.
What does HBAED learning lead to?
Ultimately, learning at HBAED is about ensuring our students leave the academy with outstanding outcomes which gives them a ‘master key’ to success in the future. We never want to waste a learning opportunity and we want to develop students who can go to make huge contributions to our local community, our capital city and our country. This all starts with the learning in the classroom, each and every lesson they have. We believe this is a great place to learn.
Here are our policies linked to teaching and learning. For more specific information on how we do things here please see our Quality First Teaching Policy which can be downloaded below.