Teaching and Learning
Teaching and learning is at the heart of everything we do. In every lesson, every day we want to inspire our young people to become curious learners and be enthused by our teachers’ love for their subject.
We believe that quality first teaching is the most important influence on young people's progress and attainment within our Academies. We strive to teach lessons which engage, inspire and fuel a love of learning in each and every one of our students. We believe passionately that everyone should be open to developing their teaching and to keep up to date with new and innovative thinking and research.
We want our teachers to be fearless, to take risks and to inject joy into their lessons.
For a long time into their futures, we want our students to remember the passion, the wisdom and the energy their teachers brought to their learning experiences.
As Greek philosopher and polymath Aristotle said:
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
Click on one of the areas below to find out more
The Science of Learning
Across all of our Academies, we are sharply focused on improving our understanding of the science of learning. This means keeping up with the latest research and developments in education thinking, and sharing what we know works with our colleagues.
As a member of staff working with our students, you would be expected to maintain interest in pedagogical enquiry and foster a mindset of growth, evolution and continuous improvement. In this way, you take responsibility for your own development as well as learn from our home-grown talent pool, many of whom have completed Masters degrees and Doctorates in their specialist areas.
The Gateway Learning Community actively encourages and promotes higher level thinking amongst our students, and firmly believes that our staff deserve exposure to a more cerebral way of challenging themselves to become the world class teachers our students deserve.
Why not explore the links in this section to discover more about your own teaching and lose yourself in the wealth of resources we have collated for you? Build upon your existing understanding of what it means to be a teacher in the current climate and see how you can prepare yourself for the educational landscape of the future.
Download - Science of learning CPD -Trudi Bryant, Assistant Principal Gateway Academy
Download - Modelling and Metacognition in Action - Alex Mitchell, Assistant Principal Gateway Academy
Modelling and Metacognition
There is some evidence, at least in terms of metacognition, that modelling and thinking aloud should not be too specific as this may inhibit students’ reflection. Indeed, as the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), says, “some ‘deliberate difficulty’ is required so that students have gaps where they have to think for themselves and monitor their learning with increasing independence”.
Teachers need to set an appropriate level of challenge if they are to help develop students’ metacognition and self-regulation because if they are not given hard work to do – if they do not face difficulty, struggle with it and overcome it – they will not develop new and useful strategies, they will not be afforded the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and they will not be able to reflect sufficiently on the content with which they are engaging.
Moreover, if students are not made to think hard, they will not encode new information into long-term memory and so learning will not occur.
The EEF offers some useful questions for students to ask that gauge the difficulty level of the work they’re doing:
Knowledge of task:
Is this task too challenging for me?
What are the most difficult aspects of this task?
How much time should I devote to this task?
Are there easy bits I can get “done”?
Knowledge of self:
Is this task asking for subject knowledge I can remember?
Do I understand the concept(s) that underpins this task?
Am I motivated to stick at this tricky task?
What can I do to keep myself focused?
Knowledge of strategies:
Are my notes effective for understanding this task?
Do I need to ask the teacher for help?
What strategies can I deploy if I am stuck?
What can I do to ensure I remember what I’ve learned?
Download - Modelling and Metacognition, tackling tasks - Alex Mitchell, Assistant Principal Gateway Academy
Download - Retrieval Practice
Effective differentiation in the classroom - David Zeffie, Assistant Principal Gateway Academy
Assessment for learning - Sarah Shaw, Assistant Principal Gateway Academy
Effective questioning strategies - Gateway Academy
Google Classroom, Rozz Horn, The Gateway Academy
Students and staff across our Academies have embraced the advances in technology and supplement the classroom experience by utilising the Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) set of apps made available through Google for Education.
We believe that becoming digitally literate citizens will equip our students with the skills they need to thrive in their futures. By developing their confidence whilst at school, our students learn to work collaboratively, efficiently and self-assuredly, becoming agile and responsive users in an ever-evolving digital landscape.
Curriculum Development, Alex Mitchell, The Gateway Academy