The Marlborough CofE School
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Teaching and Learning Framework

The Marlborough School Teaching and Learning Framework.

Our core principles for Teaching and Learning are set out within our Teaching and Learning Framework (TLF) shown below.

The TLF has been informed by the most recent evidence from the fields of Education and Cognitive Science, adapting these based on our context and experience. It includes the essential elements of effective practice but is not exhaustive. 

The TLF supports consistency of experience for students while encouraging professional autonomy. As such, it is a set of guiding principles and not a checklist. In most contexts we seek to adhere to these principles, but we may choose to do things differently when there is a strong rationale for doing so.

Commitment to Excellence

What this looks like

Lessons begin with Silent Reading.

Students give their Full Attention to explanation and modelling with their equipment down and eyes on the teacher/board. They sit upright with their legs under the desk, bags away, equipment out and hoods/hats off.

Students tidy up, Pack Away and wait silently to be dismissed at the end of lessons.

Behaviour systems are applied clearly and consistently.

Teachers ‘make the majority famous’; we notice and reward excellent behaviour.

Why it is important

Reading moves students from a social mindset to a learning mindset, and develops vocabulary and empathy.

Thinking and learning requires focus: distractions prevent learning.

A calm, organised environment supports our learning.

What we should try to avoid

Students writing; fiddling; drawing; chatting; or continuing with their work during explanation and instruction. 

Explanation and Instruction

What this looks like

Teachers aim for clarity about their chosen mode of talking: explaining; instructing; modelling; checking understanding; discussion.

New material is presented in small steps and revisited regularly.

Explanations are clear and concise.  

Explicit links are made to the ‘big picture’ and to existing knowledge.

Examples, analogies, visual representations, and/or demonstrations are used. 

New vocabulary and examples are pre-taught or explained and revisited.

Why it is important

Students can only think / answer questions when they know enough about a topic

We are able to communicate information more clearly, concisely and accurately than students.

Cognitive overload leads to students being unable to process information.

What we should try to avoid

When introducing new content or addressing misconceptions, we avoid...

  • Asking questions to ‘draw out’ knowledge from the students.
  • Using information gathering activities. 
  • Deviating from the key content in ways that may impede clarity. 

Task Design and Delivery

What this looks like

Silent DNAs are used for low stakes retrieval of key knowledge/skills.

Tasks have a clear purpose; make all learners think about/practise the right things; are easy to deliver; enable a high success rate.

Students Work Individually, in silence, unless they are doing structured paired or group work.

Scaffolds are used to ensure all learners can access the tasks.

Structured paired discussion e.g. ‘think/pair/share’ is used to allow students to articulate their thoughts before completing written activities.

Why it is important

We remember the things we think about/practise.

Retrieval ticks the things learned last lesson, week, month and year into long term memory.

Setting a small number of tasks promotes quality thinking and work.

Silent working provides the conditions for all students - particularly MSS, SEN and LPA pupils - to think/practise.

Articulating their thoughts helps students to organise new knowledge; increases the number of practice opportunities and improves written work.

What we should try to avoid

Packing lessons with tasks. 

Paired work where individual work is more appropriate; students spending extended periods of time copying down information or models.

Asking students to maintain ‘a quiet working atmosphere’ or using individual work as a punitive measure.


What this looks like

Students are shown how to do tasks, even small tasks and verbal tasks: teachers make both the thinking and doing steps explicit. 

When an activity can be completed to various levels of quality, teachers model for access and excellence, bringing attention to 2 or 3 features of the work which represent quality.

Why it is important

Articulating our thinking helps students understand important processes.

Students need support to identify the features that represent quality.

Students should access an ambitious and challenging curriculum.

What we should try to avoid

Modelling the steps you would take to complete a task without articulating your thinking as you do this.

Providing models without exploring the quality in them. Providing written models that are not ambitious enough.

Checking Understanding

What this looks like

Hands Down questioning is used to check understanding.

Monitoring, initially from the front of the room, is used to decide whether additional explanation, modelling or scaffolding is required.

Students Check and Correct their work in purple pen.

Why it is important

HDQs encourage all pupils to think.

Asking a small number of questions to selected individuals allows us to assess understanding of the group - without slowing the pace or impeding clarity - and adapt our teaching.

Feedback accelerates learning.

What we should try to avoid

Selecting students with their hands up, or repeatedly asking the same students. 

Using questioning to check students' responses to every question within a task.

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