Teaching and Learning

T and LTeaching and Learning at Wilmslow High

The promotion of learning is, naturally, at the heart of the school’s ethos; pride and enjoyment in learning is promoted not just as part of schooling but as a lifelong pursuit.

The cultivation of excellent teaching and learning is a fundamental part of the way the school is led at all levels of the organisation.  No single teaching theory or approach dominates but the following things are seen as important:

  • High expectations of all students both in terms of the effort and engagement expected of them and the ambition to achieve the best possible outcomes
  • The belief that intelligence and academic and other abilities are not fixed but can be cultivated with the right input and determined, well focused, practice. (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiiEeMN7vbQ)
  • The pursuit of Personal Bests; seeking always to better the best that we have already achieved and not judging our own achievements exclusively by how we compare to others.  For more information see https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=b–ROKUAAAAJ&hl=th 
  • The belief that learning is fundamentally composed of meaning and skills stored in our long term memory, and that these memories can only be created by thinking carefully about the subject matter to be learned. For more information see http://www.danielwillingham.com/articles.html.  The vital consequence of this is that all of our students are expected to be intellectually engaged in their learning and should not expect to be spoon-fed by their teachers or anyone else.
  • The accumulation in our brains of easily accessed factual knowledge is vital in developing mastery of any academic area: thinking without factual knowledge or evidence is a barren pursuit.

The process of developing and enhancing highly effective teaching and learning is conducted in many different ways in school through:

  • a programme of workshops run by colleagues for colleagues during INSET days, staff meetings, team meetings and at other times;
  • research projects undertaken by Professional Learning Groups of colleagues in response to needs identified by them or by the school’s Leadership Group or middle leaders;
  • policies and procedures embedded in the way we operate as a team of staff, often following the sort of projects mentioned above;
  • engagement with primary research, facilitating visits by academic researchers to increase the quality and relevance of the research evidence available to schools
  • through our Self Evaluation Process which uses a range of team-led self-review, leadership-group-led internal review and commissioned external review to focus honestly and in detail on the way we are teaching and learning;
  • through effective use of staff appraisal to ensure there is a continuing conversation about how staff are working to improve in order to deliver better teaching and learning for all students;
  • through our Iterative Observation and Feedback process which provides constructive feedback to teachers on an ongoing basis
  • through informal learning walks undertaken by members of the leadership group to check that students are responding well to the high expectations placed upon them by a committed and ambitious team of colleagues.

If you are interested in finding out more please contact:

Mr D Haigh – Assistant Headteacher, Director of Learning and Assessment – dhaigh@wilmslowhigh.cheshire.sch.uk