During the last year as a school we have reflected upon the way that we are trying to deliver high quality learning to our students. When I look back I am hugely impressed by all the hard work and positive energy that has been given by the staff body to this piece of work so far. Part way through the last academic year we decided upon the Oriel 5 as the way that we would describe the essential parts of teaching to achieve high quality learning at Oriel High School. For new members of staff the Oriel 5 are:
- High Expectations.
- Assessment to Promote Learning.
- Appropriate challenge for all.
It is important to recognise that these areas should not be viewed as a list but rather a group of elements that when combined should produce an environment where high quality learning can occur. It is the expectation that as a group of staff we will all strive to include these elements in our lessons. BUT this is not saying that there is one way to teach or one preferred or expected methodology; all staff have professional freedom to lead students to achieve high quality learning and subsequently progress in any way they see fit. I think that it has to be a priority that we all work towards ensuring that we include all of these elements in our lessons and work collaboratively to continuously improve our ability to do so into the future.
At the heart of everything we do has to be the progress made by the students we are working with. If the students are not making progress then we need to change the way that we do things. However I appreciate that it is easy to say and not as easy to achieve! I would very much like to encourage teachers to be reflective about their practice and simply ask the following question:
Did the students achieve the learning and therefore progress that I expected them to using the teaching methodology that I had planned?
If the answer is yes please share your success with others via dialogue within subject or faculty teams or maybe if you are feeling brave write a short blog post!
If the answer is no then I would congratulate you for taking a risk and trying something new and encourage you to remain upbeat and positive whilst considering the following:
- What stopped the learning from happening as I anticipated?
- What could I get the students to do next time to help achieve them the learning that I had planned for them?
- What could I do next time to help achieve the learning I have planned for the students?
- Could I engage in professional dialogue with a colleague to help me plan and deliver the learning that I want?
I personally am a strong advocate of the use of IRIS as a tool to help self-reflection. If you haven’t used it or are unsure then please speak to a staff member who has made use of it and give it a go! Alternatively please consider getting involved as a part of a lesson study trio. More details to follow….
Over the next week or so I plan to post a short series that takes a closer look at each element of the Oriel 5, if you have anything that you would like to contribute please get in touch!