Our Approach to Teaching
Each school at the Inspiration Trust has its own bespoke approach to teaching and learning, however, we are informed by shared principles and research which are detailed below:
- Enthuse your subject with joy
What we teach is worthwhile in its own right, if it were not, we would not be teaching it. We are clear about why our subjects matter. We use every appropriate moment to advocate subjects to our students.
- We flourish as individuals in a respectful environment
Polite, respectful behaviour is expected of all students and adults at all times. We attend to the routines and structures of our school. We hold children to account consistently using whole-school sanctions.
- The curriculum is the progression model
If children are learning what we want them to learn, then they are by definition making progress. Teachers hold themselves to account against this idea.
- Memory is the residue of past thought
We learn what we spend time thinking about. If an activity diverts children’s attention away from what is being learnt, then its not fit for purpose.
- Something has been learnt when long-term memory changes
We attend to the memories of our students. We cultivate their schemata. We consider what we know about how students learn and how this shapes the kinds of actions we need to take. Retrieval practice, spaced practice, interleaving, dual coding and elaboration should be developed in a way that is meaningful to subjects.
- Time is your most precious resource
We consider the opportunity cost of our teaching methods. Is the time investment worth the outcome? Could the time be used more efficiently? Efficiency is not the same as speed.
- We don’t get better at a final performance by practising the final performance
We attend to the causes of later success by identifying the pre-conditions and prior steps that need to be in place. If we teach these well, and do not spend too much time practising the final performance.
- Work out how well children understand what you have taught them, and then act accordingly
We use formative assessments diagnostically. If we find that a small number of children have not understood what we wanted them to learn, then we do something about this. If we find that a large proportion of the class has missed the point, then we do something about this.
- Break any of these principles, sooner than do anything barbarous
A teacher’s subject comes first and they should do what is right for their subject. They are the professional with high ethical standards. They must exercise their judgement.
Key areas of Wayland’s Teaching and Learning Approach
- Principles of instruction
- Retrieval practice
- Independent practice