We use direct instruction as our pedagogical approach. Direct instruction has a clear, strong evidence base for effective teaching. It takes into account the limits of working memory and the process of moving learning to long term memory and keeping it there. This process is essential pupils are to make good progress.
There are ten evidence-based Principles of Direct Instruction (Rosenshine, 2010) that were collated through decades of research.
The Principles of Direct Instruction are:
- Begin lessons with a short review of relevant prior learning (retrieval practice)
- Present new material in small steps with pupil practice after each step
- Ask a large number of questions to all pupils
- Check for understanding from all pupils
- The teacher directly models the full process, including showing worked examples
- Guide pupil practice under close supervision of the teacher with immediate feedback
- Obtain a high success rate
- Provide scaffolds for difficult tasks
- Give time for lots of further independent practice
- Regularly review and revisit previous learning through retrieval practice
Encouraging a Growth Mindset
We also believe in a ‘growth mindset’ and follow the groundbreaking work of Professor Carol Dweck of Stanford University in believing that effort is a key determinant of a child’s success.
We emphasise to children the importance of the 4 Ps (Perseverance, Practice, Being Positive and Pushing Yourself), all of which characterise a growth mindset. Pupils are regularly rewarded for demonstrating these characteristics.