I've written previously about how we use our teaching and learning model to stretch and challenge our students. I've also described how we're developing a mastery curriculum to match the high expectations we have of our students. We're approaching the end of the first year of seeing our Year 7s through this curriculum and teaching our students in this way. More recently, I've also written about Martin Robinson's Trivium 21st Century and the ways in which it is supporting a re-evaluation of our work, challenging us to educate for educations' sake and to ensure we enable our students access to the best that has been thought and written. As a result of all this, we spent a substantial part of our Curriculum Leaders' Planning Day, on Friday, reviewing the impact of this year and looking ahead to the next.
Prior to the session, we'd crafted and redrafted together this overview of the principles behind the curriculum and our teaching model. At Swindon Academy, we don't prescribe a model of lesson, in that we don't have a three part lesson or a five part lesson or an eight part lesson. We don't have a lesson sequence which we expect in every lesson - we don't expect teachers to have eight mini-plenaries and limit the amount of teacher talk to five minutes in every sixty five minutes. This is because we believe that the lesson is not necessarily the best unit of learning. However, we do have a set of Swindon Academy expectations in terms of operating in the classroom - some credit for which must go to Shaun Allison from Durrington Academy in Sussex and Doug Lemov and the Teach Like a Champion Team. These have been agreed with all Curriculum Leaders.
Keeping all this in mind, our Curriculum Leaders presented their curricula to each other and used a tuning protocol to ask questions and identify strengths as well as potential risks and blind spots. Over the next few posts, I'll share with you the outcomes of this review.