Teaching and Learning
A happy and successful learning experience
At Ashby School we want our students to have a happy and successful learning experience. Exploring and developing learners is at the core of all we do and conversations about Teaching and Learning are at the heart of the school.
We recognise that students learn best in a positive, supportive and consistent environment. Well prepared and stimulating lessons encourage good attendance, positive behaviour and enable students to make progress and strive to achieve their potential. A teacher must plan, facilitate learning and be a good classroom manager.
Our teachers are committed to continue learning to ensure the best classroom practice. We are proud to lead the way. Our aim is for all students to achieve their full potential and that they leave genuinely empowered to learn.
Monitoring and Evaluation
We are interested in each other’s classrooms and have an open door policy where we share experience, practice and support. Our Senior Leadership Team is present and involved within the classrooms. Lesson visits and learning walks are often themed in order to focus areas.
All staff have three unannounced observations per year where learners and teaching are monitored and evaluated. No teacher is judged to fall into the 'requires improvement’ bracket. The Lead Practitioner Team provides constant support to explore and develop practice.
It is important that all teachers at Ashby make progress at whatever level they are at. We provide comprehensive support for our newly qualified staff and also continue to explore and develop practice through our Lead Practitioner Team. This can involve observing, planning and team teaching.
We have also established a group of lead teachers to challenge practice in order to access the highest level of teaching and learning and achieve their potential.
Initial Teacher Training
At Ashby school we are committed to helping train the next generation of teachers. Each year, we mentor between 10 and 20 trainees during their journey to become education professionals. We are justifiably proud of the provision we deliver. During a placement at Ashby School, trainees undergo an induction where they meet the headteacher, have training sessions led by all members of SLT on their specialist areas, and are guided on the professional standards they are expected to follow.
In addition to receiving expert mentoring in their subject areas, trainees also have after school training on such diverse topics as teaching students with English as an additional language, special educational needs and pastoral care, delivered by expert teachers from Ashby School. As a result, Ashby School has established a reputation as an excellent place for student teachers to train and we have no shortage of partners wishing to work with us. Currently, we are working with Forest Way Teaching School Alliance School Direct, Leicester University, Loughborough University, Birmingham City University and the University of Derby.
Newly Qualified Teachers
Newly qualified teachers experience a comprehensive induction, monitoring and support programme when they join Ashby School. In their first few days, they meet the subject team they will be working with, are made aware of the daily procedures and take part in an overnight residential with other new staff.
Each NQT is assigned a mentor and a tutor within their subject area. They meet as a group regularly throughout the year and attend Monday night sessions during the autumn term with a variety of school staff. This provides them with an insight into how the school operates.
Ali Jackson and Simon McCarron are responsible for the NQTs and meet them regularly to help with the evaluation of their teaching and to offer advice on how to evidence the Teaching Standards. This results in a portfolio which the NQTs make available to the awarding body.
The NQTs are involved in a rigorous observation and feedback schedule to monitor progress, explore and develop good practice.
The presence of NQTs introduces exciting new opportunities for teaching and learning, and brings the latest educational and research ideas to Ashby School.
Simon McCarron said: "We are delighted that the school has continued to recruit the next generation of highly qualified classroom practitioners. We continue to support them in their quest to fulfil their potential as they embark on their careers in the classroom."
Exploration and Development
Teaching and Learning has become a significant part of our continued professional development programme. Every member of staff belongs to a Professional Learning Community which has at its core the desire to improve teaching and learning outcomes for all students.
We believe, and our work has shown, that securing success for every child is best achieved through professionals working together on real issues of teaching and learning that matter and ultimately make a difference to the students they teach. Through meaningful, focused and sustained collaboration and enquiry, professionals can learn from each other, generate new knowledge and change practice in the classroom, where it matters most.
The most powerful form of professional learning we have is where teachers work together, share ideas about practice and challenge each other to push the boundaries of their thinking. This is not about best practice but rather effective practice.
At the heart of the professional learning community is the word ‘learning’; the learning of young people but ultimately the learning of those within the PLC and beyond it.
Each learning community is facilitated by a lead teacher who explores action research and plans and develops sessions. PLCs are a powerful form of professional learning if they have a clear and transparent way of working.
We have focussed on assessment, learning to learn and technology within teaching. As a staff, we have embedded and sustained good teaching to ensure our Pupil Premium students make the desired progress. We are also exploring and developing classroom practice in Sixth Form lessons.
The realisation of the Learning Hub has allowed the teachers of Ashby School to have a place to explore and develop teaching and learning: to be professionals.
The environment has empowered teachers to undertake creative and purposeful planning. It is a place where teachers can take considered risks, explore potential and develop their theory and practice.
All subject areas are involved and the hub is booked continually for lessons and training. We are extremely proud that our research into learning spaces and embedded use of technology within teaching and learning has provoked interest and involvement from other schools across the country.