The Canons Pedagogy and Pedagogy Leaders

The whole school development of pedagogy is being led by the school’s Pedagogy Leaders. This group of teachers keep abreast of the latest developments in pedagogy; working with teachers and students to ensure that learning and teaching at Canons is structured and progress is demonstrated. That lessons and/or series of lessons are planned so that learning is connected to what has gone before, outcomes are clear and shared with students. In lessons students are introduced to new learning and have an opportunity to demonstrate and consolidate what they have learnt.

 The key learning themes that underpin the Canons Pedagogy are:

 ·         Applied Learning which encourages students and teachers to make connections between the classroom and the real world

 ·         Challenging Learning which encourages a culture of ‘Challenge for all’ irrespective of the point from where students begin

 ·         Creative Learning which encourages teachers and students to push the boundaries of current practice and take more creative approaches to learning

 ·         Evaluative Learning which encourages the honest identification of strengths and areas for development

 ·         Interdependent Learning which challenges students to work in effective partnerships as they learn

 ·         Language Learning which encourages the development of an academic vocabulary amongst students that enables them to take their learning further

Our Core Teaching Techniques are encompassed within the CHS8.  These techniques are teaching tools that we have chosen to invest time and resources into developing amongst teachers, but are not the only teaching techniques that might be demonstrated within the classroom at Canons High School.

The CHS8 are:

 ·         The Flipped classroom- this is a reversed teaching model that delivers instruction at home through interactive, teacher-created or teacher-selected content (often, but not exclusively, videos) and move “homework” to the classroom.  Moving new knowledge input outside of the classroom allows teachers more time with individuals or small groups.  Learners have the opportunity to ask questions and work through higher order thinking activities with the guidance of their teachers and the support of their peers – creating a more collaborative learning environment.

 ·         Forum Theatre – which involves teachers using a variety of approaches to allow students to demonstrate their understanding.  Understanding can be conveyed through written or spoken exchange, although more often than not we rely on written work as the main way of demonstrating understanding.  Forum theatre is one strategy teachers can use to create opportunities for learners to practically engage in the demonstration of their learning.  Forum Theatre is a highly interactive, student led technique that will allow students to communicate their learning and understanding of key ideas and concepts in any subject.

 ·         Group Learning- this is an excellent tool that can enhance the learning and progress of all pupils.  Group learning that is innovative develops learners collaboration skills, encourages leadership, independence and initiative.  Above all it results in fantastic outcomes for learners.   A culture of collaboration will enable all learners to accept and work towards a central goal giving pupils greater control over their learning; this is key to ensuring progress.  Group learning can be used in a variety of ways: home and expert groups, carousels, presentation and even Apprentice style competitions!

 ·         Investigation and Enquiry- this is learning through questions, investigations and outcomes generated from the interests and curiosities and experiences of the learner.  Investigation and Enquiry helps move learners out of inertia and empowers them to be able to make meaningful connections.  Learners are expected to construct their own knowledge and understanding by engaging in supported processes of enquiry.  This can be done through approaches such as field work, case studies, scenario, research projects and problems based learning.  The learner is placed at the heart of the learning process and presented with greater independence in decisions relating to their learning.

 ·         Questioning- Learning always begins with a question.  Questioning is one of the most common techniques we use to gauge knowledge, evaluate learning and creates challenge.  Questioning encourages learners to be actively engaged in their learning, more reflective and to delve deeper.  When we ask a question in the classroom, we are modelling a process that learners can and should use themselves as long as they have the appropriate strategies.  These strategies include closed questioning; re-calling information to open questioning and higher order thinking with the use of Blooms Taxonomy

 ·         Scaffolding- Given the nature of the majority of our learners at Canons, their bilingualism, diverse backgrounds and varying levels of literacy we need to ensure that as teachers we do enough to develop their academic language.  Scaffolding is a key way of doing this; we know where we want learners to be in terms of their ability to communicate effectively and clearly and we must put in place clear steps in order for them to get there.  Scaffolding is not about writing for learners, but rather providing them with the right tools to enable them to communicate for themselves and flourish.

 ·         Self & Peer Evaluation- this is a powerful tool learners can use to understand the current situation, analyse strengths, identify areas for development and set targets which will help them to improve and become more effective learners.  Self- evaluation is a skill that our most successful learners develop most effectively to ensure progress and development as life-long learners; helping to achieve their goals well beyond their school career.

 ·         SOLO Taxonomy- In a nutshell SOLO allows “ ..the learner to think about the strengths and weaknesses of their own thinking when they are learning and to make thoughtful decisions on what to do next.”  The taxonomy focuses on learning, is extremely learner friendly, allows teachers and learners to consider feed forward strategies, and can be used in any learning context.  As a teaching technique it can be used when pupils peer evaluate in lessons, as well as setting and agreeing success criteria.  In an OFSTED setting SOLO enables learners to demonstrate their independence, and can be an effective vehicle for illustrating learner progress.