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Teaching and Learning

Teacher with student 

Teaching and Learning

At Sir Jonathan North we use the latest approaches in educational practice in order to give our students a high quality day to day learning experience where they are engaged, challenged and inspired to achieve.  Every classroom and laboratory has an interactive whiteboard connected to Apple tv, and suites of iPads and netbooks are used regularly to encourage independence and peer collaboration.  Ofsted (October 2013) judged the quality of teaching to be outstanding, with 99% of lessons judged to be good or better. Our parent questionnaire (June 2015) supports this judgement with 99% of parents agreeing that their daughter is taught well at the College. We endeavour to improve our quality of teaching further through our Continuing Professional Development Programme. This is led by a number of inhouse experts who share good practice and support colleagues in other schools across the City and beyond.

 At Sir Jonathan North we know that effective teaching results in effective learning. To ensure this, teachers will:

  • share the learning objectives and outcomes with the students. These will build on students’
    earlier learning and be part of a scheme of work that allows students to progress;

  • create lessons that interest and involve students whilst challenging them and allowing them to be creative;

  • have excellent knowledge of their subject and a wish to excite students, make them enthusiastic and have a wish to learn more about the subject;

  • make good use of the school’s technologies to improve the students learning;

  • have high expectations based on what students have previously achieved and the target they have been set, whilst understanding that students are able to do better than expected;

  • use different teaching styles to support the different learning styles of the students;

  • know the students’ strengths and weaknesses and take them into account when thinking about the pace of the lesson and its difficulty;

  • make classrooms a safe place where students can get involved without fearing failure or being embarrassed;

  • encourage good behaviour by being positive, giving praise and always behaving in a way that is a positive role model for students;

  • show students how they will be assessed and show them what they need to do to achieve in a lesson; give examples of good work;

  • regularly assess students in a variety of ways to find out what students understand and what they need to learn next;

  • check students’ understanding during lessons so that it is possible to address difficulties they may be having with the work and so help them make progress in their learning;

  • give feedback on work, both orally and in writing, so that students understand what they need to do to improve;

  • use good questions to assess students’ understanding and change explanations and tasks, if necessary, to make the work clearer;

  • encourage students to think about what they have learned, to assess what they have understood and what they need to do to improve;

  • be aware of students’ needs e.g. special educational, pastoral, gifted and talented and language needs and make sure these are met. Make good use of available in-class support to help these pupils;

  • adapt teaching to support all students within the group so that all students can make good progress e.g. give extra activities or more support and structure;

  • create lessons that allow students to work in groups and on their own. Encourage students to take responsibility for their learning;

  • allow students to ask questions, to think about why they are learning and make links between what they are learning and life outside school.

Feedback and Marking

We recognise the importance of regular marking and verbal feedback in order to:

  • help students become better learners;

  • give recognition and praise for effort and achievement;
  • enable tracking of student achievement to identify targets for individuals or groups
  • enable parents to understand their daughter’s strengths and weaknesses.

Marking should be regular and pertinent, although not all pieces of work are subject to teacher assessment. Marking and verbal feedback should help students understand what they have done well and what they need to do next to make progress. Effort will be acknowledged. Teachers will also provide feedback on specific literacy issues.


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