Teaching & Learning Commitment — Solihull Sixth Form College

Teaching & Learning Commitment

Our Commitment to your Teaching and Learning

We are committed to continually developing our teaching and learning practice so that your experience is of the same consistently high standard.

We have developed a common language around our teaching and learning terminology that allows for more consistent and informed conversations between teachers and yourselves.

You will find that the bar of challenge is high and complements the work you do in academic coaching on high expectations and the VESPA mindset. We aim to promote and support healthy struggle and enjoyment in learning new things. Through challenge, you will be able to develop your knowledge and secure it in your long-term memory.  We are committed to developing your academic agility and ability to respond to different assessments with confidence.

In lessons, you will experience high quality explanation that activates and connects new learning to your prior knowledge. It also takes into account that the working memory is limited so new information is introduced in small steps.  It will transform complicated and abstract material into something clear and meaningful in order to aid your long-term recall of knowledge.

Teachers will regularly model processes in lessons, ensuring that you understand what steps have been taken and identifying how each step fits together, in order to produce high quality work.  In addition, working ‘backwards’, or deconstructing work, will take place to help you to dissect and pin down how a piece of work is assembled, especially through the use of good quality exemplars.

We know that your study practice is essential to make learning permanent. There will be regular opportunity to practise new material in a careful and deliberate way to increase accuracy, quality of knowledge and eliminate misconceptions. We will make sure time is given in lessons to practise new material in challenging ways and place importance on hard work and effortful mastery. During the practice, you will be helped to understand and value making mistakes.  You will be trained in how to respond effectively to feedback. Much of this will take place in class where verbal feedback is given alongside challenging objectives.

Feedback is integral to the growth mind-set of students. We will create an environment where you will know how to act on feedback and actively seek feedback out to support your progress and be the best that you can be.

We also believe that questioning drives excellence in order to deepen and develop understanding. In lessons teachers will use questioning to provoke thought, instigate discussion, challenge misconceptions, and achieve ‘better answers’. Questioning also sustains classroom culture and expectations through demonstrating that everyone’s opinions matter and nurturing students as critical thinkers.