Our teaching will be born of a passion for learning and a desire to make a difference to the lives of young people. It will be aspirational, inspirational, motivational and provide enjoyment in learning.
We teach for progress. This means that we work to ensure that all students are improving skills, knowledge and understanding across all lessons and activities. We recognise the need for consolidation and practice but we are vigilant in our avoidance of tasks that involve unnecessary repetition or low-levels of challenge.
We work together and with our students to create a professional learning community where we strive for self-improvement. We reflect on our teaching and the progress of all our students and seek ways to help each of them make even better progress.
We recognise that teachers who consistently deliver high quality lessons, resulting in good progress, are outstanding. Leaders at all levels will support colleagues to be outstanding practitioners.
We use the Sir Thomas Wharton Blueprint for Learning to plan effectively and deliver consistently good and outstanding lessons. The quality of teaching is measured against the Teacher Standards and professional development is focused on areas of improvement relating to them.
The National Teacher Standards relating to daily classroom practice are:
- Set high expectations which inspire, motivate and challenge pupils.
- Promote good progress and outcomes by pupils.
- Demonstrate good subject and curriculum knowledge.
- Plan and teach well structured lessons.
- Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils.
- Make accurate and productive use of assessment.
- Manage behaviour effectively to ensure a good and safe learning environment.
All of our teachers have access to examples of good and outstanding practice across the Maltby Learning Trust as well as a range of shared resources that can be used in our planning.
The Learning Experience
At Sir Thomas Wharton Academy we have a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
We ensure our curriculum:
- Caters for a range of starting points, learning styles and preferences.
- Gives our students the balance of qualifications that will give them access to the widest opportunities in their next step in education and beyond.
- Secures access to independent careers advice for all students.
- Includes ‘Life Skills’ - a curriculum designed to incorporate personal, social, health and relationships education including morals and ethics.
- Includes our tutor time PRIDE curriculum designed to give our students a daily opportunity to reflect on their progress against a range of skills and habits that lead to success and well-being and support one another in setting short and long-term goals.
For further information, please consult the curriculum policy below which includes details of all courses offered by the Academy.
How are Teaching Groups Constructed?
Sir Thomas Wharton Academy has changed the way it constructs teaching groups to better provide support, stretch and challenge for students of all abilities. This is in response to a new reformed curriculum in all key stages and a new assessment system. This is a collaborative approach with the same principles applied across each secondary school in the Trust, with personalisation based on differences in the prior attainment of our students.
Whilst we still recognise key stages, the curriculum is constructed as a progressive continuum building on the skills students arrive with from their primary schools right through to GCSE examinations and beyond. The core curriculum subjects of English, Mathematics and Science are central to the construction of the timetable. Options are now undertaken during Year 8 so that subjects have sufficient time to deliver both reformed GCSEs and vocational qualifications that are more challenging and include greater content.
Outcomes from English and Mathematics standardised attainment scores from key stage two are the base for construction of teaching groups in Year 7. Subsequent and regular assessment at learning cycles throughout the year determines changes to groupings in the core subjects. Students can move up or down groups within a band as a result of accelerated progress or regression, for example a student may graduate from the literacy support programme to the broader, mainstream provision.
In order to construct the complex jigsaw of a school timetable subjects are aligned in blocks or bands, often as half year group populations for the core subjects.
The half year group populations are now called either 'L' band or 'T' band. In Year 10 and Year 11 we introduce an 'M' band for students on an alternative Progress 8 provision at our Hilltop vocational base.
Year 7 and Year 8
The 'L' and 'T' bands in Year 7 and Year 8 are balanced bands where the average attainment in each band is the same. The bands will have the best achievable mix of feeder schools and Engagement in Learning.
Year 9 and Year 10 have an upper and lower band. The decision on the students in each band will be determined by English and Maths scores. The leaders in English and Maths will decide the band that the student will be in. The exception to this is that students taking triple science in Year 9 & Year 10 have to be in L band.
The new reformed GCSE English is a single tier of entry so students in all groups will sit examination courses in which they can achieve the full range of grades from 1-9. The new reformed maths GCSE has two tiers of entry - higher for grades 5-9 and foundation for grades 1-5. Students in groups T2 and T3 will study a foundation tier curriculum.
Students in option subjects are mixed ability; where there is more than one group for a subject, the students that are in that group is dictated by which block they opted to study it in. It is not possible to switch from one group to another in the same subject as a student would have a timetable clash with the subject option they chose in that block.
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