Routines for Learning
It has been a great pleasure to welcome back our students after the summer break. As we return to a more settled learning experience for students and leave the disruption of the past 18 months behind, we have been working with teachers across the school to look at how we maximise each and every lesson and how we can adapt and develop our practice to mean even higher impact teaching and learning.
From this week we will be introducing our new Routines for Learning. This strategy is intended to create meaningful learning environments in every classroom, everyday by dispensing with some of the time wasted on organisational things that can take up valuable time at the starts and ends of lessons. They are also intended to make it clear for students about what to expect in every lesson so that they find it easier to be successful and meet their teacher’s expectations.
I have met students in special assemblies to explain our routines and how we will work together. The plan was well received and we are looking forward to seeing the impact. Students really understood that clearly established routines for learning will ensure that every student engages with quality first teaching to experience success.
The seven stages are as follows:
- Preparation - ‘Do Now’ activity is displayed/set out and materials for the lesson are on students’ desks.
- Meet and Greet - The teacher meets students at the door to the classroom so the entry and space immediately outside the classroom can be managed to support a swift entry into the classroom. . As students enter, their uniform is checked and those wearing it will be praised.
- Entry to the Classroom - Students should enter quietly and calmly to allow them to hear and follow instructions . As they enter they are welcomed with a positive greeting and reminded to start the ‘Do Now’ activity and get out their writing equipment and any subject specific equipment for the lesson
- ‘Do Now’ Activity - This should be completed in silence while the teacher takes the register/deals with any matters that have arisen. The ‘Do Now’ will be a short written activity which reinforces prior learning/ introduces lesson topics or has a literacy focus.
- Lesson Delivery - In order to focus student and aid their memory and understand, lessons will include:
- Retrieval – planning regular activities in lessons that require students to recall and use their prior learning in order to strengthen their understanding and commit it more readily to long term memory in a meaningful way. Retrieval also helps us to identify gaps in students' knowledge so we can plan our re-teaching in a bespoke way.
- Modelling – so that students know how to apply the knowledge and skills they are taught and have success clearly demonstrated to them.
- Questioning – we use a variety of questioning strategies in lessons to build rigour and challenge as well as to provide scaffolding for progress during the lesson. We also use questioning to ensure students are made to think hard with breadth, depth and accuracy.
- Deliberate Practice – giving students plenty of time and opportunities to practice new knowledge allowing an element of “over-learning” so that recall and application of new knowledge becomes second nature.
- Feedback and Review – through written and verbal feedback along with regular chances for students to review their work we help students identify misconceptions and improve on their previous understanding.
Not all of these activities will be appropriate for every lesson. The lesson should be structured in an order which best suits the lesson and the learning environment.
6. Lesson Closure - Students are instructed when to begin to pack away and then stand behind their chairs. At this point the teacher will use the opportunity to do any of the following:
- Publicly celebrate any key achievements made by the class/ individuals.
- Do a high speed Q and A to reinforce learning or to address anything that has arisen.
- Model and re-explain homework tasks.
- Check any misunderstandings have been rectified.
7. Exit - The teacher will stand at the doorway and invite students to leave in rows/groups. The dismissal should include a positive comment to students as they leave and uniform should be checked on exit. This will support a calm start to the following lesson.
We know that students do not acquire new knowledge in one lesson. Our curriculum is sequenced in such a way that we interleave the teaching of knowledge and skills over time in order that students can learn and practice their understanding. This approach also links to the way we assess our students' progress in the medium and longer term. We have also been developing the way we teach to best serve the way our students learn and we will continue to do this across the year. We have developed our curriculum pedagogy (detailed in stage 5 of the routines above) and introduced regular twilight professional development sessions where staff meet together, share their successful practice and receive input in developing the range of classroom strategies we use to maximise progress in every lesson.
Developing relationships and supporting students to regulate are key to embedding our routines to learning. If students fail to comply with positive requests and instructions during the entry and meet and greet stages they will be given an opportunity to get it right i.e instructions repeated and/or asked to come in again with appropriate warnings. Our focus is on developing students holistically to ensure they are able to meet or exceed expectations and are prepared for their next phase of education or life.
Our routines for learning were launched in all Key Stage 3 lessons the week commencing Monday 20 September
If you would like to discuss any of these initiatives with us then please do not hesitate to get in touch: email@example.com.