Our Approach to Learning

Our vision of Students First continues in our approach to learning. Staff at Consett Academy support teaching that allows all students to be challenged so that they make progress and can demonstrate excellence. We believe that every student can be the best that they can be and that all students can achieve excellence.

Our curriculum offers breadth and depth and subjects plan for a learning journey that develops student learning through their 5 or 7 years with us. Subject curriculums are developed through their key concepts, knowledge and skills. Students at all stages of learning are challenged and supported with new learning. Teachers will provide students with Learning Journeys – a challenge ladder which gives an overview of topics or units of learning. These allow students to see their progress and identify how to improve.

Teachers plan lessons to engage students and deliver activities with clarity and enthusiasm. All lessons are planned so that they are pitched at a level for all students to make progress and be challenged in their learning. Active learning is promoted through student discussion and questioning so they can develop understanding, construct knowledge and make links with prior learning. Appropriate differentiated teaching approaches support students’ learning. Students can expect to see progression through bronze, silver and gold activities that are explained in every lesson. Activities ensure progression in student learning by increasing the level of conceptual challenge, the depth of understanding and the breadth of application of skills. Active listening is promoted, inviting a range of different responses and building in time for reflection. Constructive, relevant assessment and feedback is provided for students so that they know what they have done well and how to improve and refine their work. Teachers across the Academy develop students’ literacy through a focus on vocabulary, oracy and promoting a love for reading.

Homework is set to consolidate learning and may initiate, deepen or extend student learning. A range of activities and tasks will be set for homework.

Expectations of students:

  • To be engaged and not passive in their learning;
  • To work effectively and purposefully in a range of contexts;
  • To come fully equipped and prepared to maximise their learning opportunities;
  • To be prepared to share their learning and ideas in an atmosphere of trust;
  • To ask questions where appropriate – of each other and the teacher;
  • To support one another, working collaboratively, recognising the contributions of all;
  • To undertake self-assessment or peer assessment with some confidence, becoming increasingly able to apply the criteria for success and to set appropriate targets for improvement;
  • To know where to go for help and recognise that further progress can always be made;
  • To develop resilience in approaching problems and new learning challenges;
  • To be able to select appropriate learning resources to help develop their own learning;
  • To work with increasing independence, developing the skills to become lifelong learners;
  • To make effective use of ICT to develop their learning, accessing a wide variety of sources and using appropriate methods to present their work;
  • To act on all assessment, marking and feedback;
  • To use initiative and develop more independent learning;
  • Complete homework on time and to the best of their ability.

Expectations of teachers

FACE: Feedback, Autonomy: Challenge: Engagement

Staff at Consett address all of these essential elements by applying ‘FACE’ to all lessons; frequent FEEDBACK of student’s progress and understanding, helps them know what to do to improve. Students are supported to work AUTONOMOUSLY where possible, to produce independent lifelong learners. All students are CHALLENGED to make their best progress through lessons that are ENGAGING in order to promote excellence in all.

Cultural Captial

Cultural capital is defined as the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that a student can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness, knowledge and competence; it is one of the key ingredients a student will draw upon to be successful in society, their career and the world of work. At Consett Academy we work tirelessly to build our student aspirations and expose them to a range of experiences to helps them achieve goals and become successful.

We recognise that for students to aspire and be successful academically and in the wider areas of their lives, they need to be given rich and sustained opportunities to develop their cultural capital. We do this in many ways, for example, through our curriculum, extra-curricular activities, trips and visits and careers activities.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

At Consett Academy we believe that it is important to support students in their academic studies, as well as their spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development. As such, we endeavour to create an ethos in which all students feel able to explore these aspects throughout Academy life.

In focusing on the student’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development we hope to enable our young people to develop their personal qualities and become:

  • Responsible for themselves, accepting an appropriate measure of responsibility;
  • Confident and competent both academically and socially;
  • Able to distinguish between right and wrong;
  • Able to articulate their own attitudes and values;
  • Able to understand and be sensitive to the beliefs, values and ways of life of others, responding appropriately to injustice and prejudice;
  • Demonstrate tolerance towards others;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of British values;
  • Caring, considerate and compassionate;
  • Skilled in working collaboratively and independently;
  • Able to reflect on their learning and plan for future development;
  • Able to respond positively to challenges and problems.

All staff, including support staff are involved in spiritual, moral, social and cultural education. These qualities should be evident in the way that children and adults interact throughout the Academy, in accordance with many other existing qualities.

In developing our spiritual awareness, we are supporting our young people to explore beliefs and experiences; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; as well as use imagination and creativity.

In developing our moral awareness, we are supporting our young people to recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.

In developing our social awareness, we are encouraging our young people to investigate moral issues; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and be cooperate; resolve conflict; demonstrate tolerance towards others; engage with the fundamental values of British democracy.

In developing our cultural awareness, we are supporting our young people to appreciate cultural differences and cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain's parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.

In promoting British values, we are supporting our young people in demonstrating tolerance to all faiths and belief systems; mutual respect for one another; individual liberty, democracy and the law. We do not see the promotion of British values as a stand-alone element of the curriculum, rather we aim to embed these aspects throughout academy life.

At Consett Academy we aim to achieve students spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through:

  • Our Inspire and Enrichment programmes;
  • A focused tutorial programme with challenges to engage students in the elements of SMSC;
  • Themed assemblies led by a variety of staff and visitors;
  • All subjects within the curriculum;
  • Extra-curricular activities ranging from competitions to weekly clubs;
  • Developing our International Links and gaining International Schools Award;
  • Active Student Voice, demonstrating leadership qualities from Year 7-13.