Student Learning and Progress
Teaching and learning is our core purpose and is given the highest priority.
At Consett Academy our approach to teaching and learning follows the ‘Big 4’ principles of teaching.
All students will receive frequent feedback. Feedback will come in many forms and will include verbal and written feedback from the teacher, peer feedback and opportunities to self-reflect and evaluate their own work.
We encourage all students to develop their independence and deepen their knowledge and understanding through exploration and enquiry.
All lessons will be challenging to all students. Meta-cognitive activities will prepare students to be lifelong learners and raise their own aspirations. Differentiation will motivate and stretch learning.
Lessons will be highly engaging and will appeal to all learning styles. A variety of engagement strategies will be used throughout lessons which will make learning fun, interactive and purposeful.
We judge students on the progress they make as well as the grades they achieve and share this success through achievement points, certificates, badges and various other rewards.
At Consett Academy, we believe that learning is a skill which is developed throughout the lives of our students both in and out of the classroom and although we recognise that exam results are an essential key to future success, there are many other crucial milestones in a student’s educational journey.
We endeavour to foster a love for learning by delivering inspiring lessons which promote curiosity and encourage our students to challenge their own and each other’s ideas and opinions.
Student Support Programme (SSP)
To provide a period of quality time every day for students to work with their tutor group on a number of activities which promote their progress as individuals and progress academically.
Each Progress Tutor Group will have its own Progress Tutor who will facilitate each daily session of SSP and who will, in the first instance, monitor each student’s academic progress. Each week there will be a discussion with their Progress Tutor who will record dialogue on a tracking sheet developed by the Achievement Leader. Each week will have a similar pattern, ie, each day of the week will have a different emphasis but repeated every week. One of these days in the week will be an assembly for a respective Year Group.
The content of SSP can be broadly broken down into three distinct areas; academic progress, personal development and ethos.
Each week there will be a focus on how well all students progress from their different starting points and achieve or exceed the expected age-related standards. Those students who might be vulnerable to academic underachievement, for whatever reason, will be given specific support and guidance.
Many of the activities included in the SSP programme will include a range of topics that have a direct impact on the students’ personal welfare. These will include: managing feelings, keeping healthy and safe, as well as self-confidence and preparation for the next stage in education and employability. All of these foci will be intended to enhance our students’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development.
Each week students will work closely with their Progress Tutor to critically reflect on their personal performance, particularly in relation to key issues that include: behaviour, attitude to learning and attendance. There will be an expectation that students set themselves frequent targets so that they are continually striving to develop their personal ethos within the Academy. The relationship/communication between the Progress Tutor and Achievement Leaders is integral to development of Academy ethos via the SSP programme.
Progress and Attainment
Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3 we have found that if we base our work with students on scores, levels and marks they focus on these rather than on what they do know and what they need to learn next. Therefore in lessons and through our marking and feedback we concentrate on discussing the specific subject skills. These are based around skills hierarchies which show the different types and level of skills in each subject. From using these skills students can see what progress they are making.
Clearly it is also important parents and carers know what progress their child is making. For reporting purposes we do not use out of date national curriculum levels. As the courses at Key Stage 3 and 4 have changed it would be inappropriate to use these. Instead we have two ways of highlighting what a child can do.
English and Maths- Parents will receive regular information about what their children can do measured against the new GCSE 1-9 scale. Over the course of Key Stage 3 students should move up this scale.
Other Subjects- As the new GCSEs are introduced to other subjects reporting will be moved to the criteria for these new courses. Clearly though we cannot wait until this happens so other subjects will be reported using a scale based around age related expectations.
Key Stage 4
As students need to more clearly understand what they are achieving in relation to grades, GCSE and Vocational grades are used increasingly in lessons and feedback.
We have also used the available national data to set Progress 8 expectations for each student. This is based on ensuring students at least reach the Key Stage 4 grades attained nationally by students with the same Key Stage 2 SAT score. We would stress this is a minimum expectation, not a target and we would expect many students to surpass these expectations. These Progress 8 expectations are shared with teachers and students.
Key Stage 5
Students in Key Stage 5 are set targets based on what they achieved in Key Stage 4. These are shared with teachers, students and parents and are used as the basis for measuring progress.