All we do is rooted in the Hope of who we are as people and who we can become. The factors that help young people be fully themselves are Safe Boundaries, Good Relationships and Empowered Learning. We want every student to be able to say “I feel safe and belong here. I enjoy my learning and achieve well. This School helps me make my hopes come true.”

 

As part of this aspiration we want all our students to own their own learning and to be empowered active learners. We believe the “glory of God is a human being fully alive” (Irenaeus). We want to help students develop in all these values, qualities and skills and to become more active, independent and interdependent reflective learners. This is expressed in our Alive model of learning.

 

Empowered Learning is active, and reflects our values, beliefs and aspirations. The Alive model is the basis of our school ABCDE framework for teaching and learning. The five key areas: Assessment, Behaviour, Content, Differentiation and Engagement are derived from the values, skills and qualities which we want our Alive learners to develop. Each department has its own version of our school framework with subject specific examples to show the different methods subjects use to achieve the same aim of developing empowered Alive Learners.

 

We use our four shapes: building on prior knowledge; objectives; assessments and activities as the building blocks of our lessons, to create a learning experience which is responsive and exciting and classrooms which are truly Alive. There is no set order for the shapes to be deployed in any Alive lesson, just as there is no one way to structure an effective lesson. 

 

Lesson building blocks image

 

Thus, the values, qualities and skills of the Alive model form the basis of our framework for teaching and learning, which in turn informs our lesson planning based on the four shapes. Each of our five key areas: Assessment, Behaviour, Content, Differentiation and Engagement develop different aspects of the Alive model. For example, questioning in Assessment and developing the skills of reviewing and revising; justice, respect and forgiveness in Behaviour; ensuring that the Content of what is taught reflects all of our values but especially our faith; developing the communication skills of all our students, regardless of their starting points through effective Differentiation; and providing a learning experience which is characterised by student Engagement and which values creativity while promoting good organisation and developing resilience.

 

Click here to the view the Alive Classroom framework.


While the framework captures these five elements at a school level, each department also has their own subject specific version which recognises that the application of these elements might look different in different subjects and at different stages. For example, effective assessment might look quite different between a Key Stage 3 Maths lesson and an A Level Art lesson. While our shared aim of using formative assessment to provide regular feedback to students so they are clear on how to improve, will be common across both subjects, the detail of how this will be done in each subject and the exemplification which supports this may well differ. These subject specific versions of the frameworks are drawn up by each department based on educational research, best practice and whatever has been shown to have a positive impact on students' learning.

 

In terms of differentiation, our aim is to meet the needs of all our students regardless of their starting points and any barriers to learning, in a way which maximises educational outcomes but minimises teacher workload. Our Personalised Learning Co-ordinator provides help and support for staff and students with a particular focus on differentiation for the more-able, while our Learning Support team provide valuable guidance and support for teachers working with SEND students. However, these are sources of support, they are not responsible for differentiation within lessons. Effective differentiation, including the in class deployment of any additional adults in a lesson, remains the responsibility of the class teacher, with guidance and support from Heads of Subject, the Personalised Learning Coordinator and the Learning Support Team.

 

The Quality Assurance Cycle
Over the course of the year our quality assurance cycle focuses on different aspects of the five elements of the framework and uses work scrutiny, student voice and learning walks carried out by Heads of Subject, SLT links and those with other areas of responsibility such as the Literacy co-ordinator, to establish areas of strength and development within each subject and across the school and to plan for the improvement in any areas where practice is not yet outstanding or to share that which is working well with colleagues through our INSET and meeting programmes.

 

If parents or carers have any questions about a particular subject they should contact the subject teacher in the first instance. More general questions relating to learning can be addressed to the student’s form tutor.