Teaching & Learning
At BFA we support our students to improve and progress as much as possible during their time. We believe it is really important to know our students’ strengths and areas to develop so that we can support them on their journey to being successful adults.
The classroom is where we can really help our students to make the most progress. Below are a few (not all) examples of the techniques we employ in school to help our young people achieve.
1. No Hands-Up Rule
At BFA we hand a ‘no hands-up’ policy. We use these so that we can use questioning effectively in our lessons. As the teacher we need to direct questions to particular students at particular times to;
- Check their understanding.
- Close any gaps in knowledge/ identify gaps in knowledge.
- Stretch and support our students individually.
Good quality effective questioning is a key feature of successful lessons at BFA.
- Do not put your hand up to answer questions; your teacher will decide who answers them.
- Be prepared to answer a question at any time!
- Of course, you can still put your hand up if your teacher says so, if there’s a problem, or you have a question.
2. Mini Whiteboard Routines – ‘Do Nows’
The start of every lesson starts with ‘Do Now’ activity.
- The first academic task of a lesson.
- Students enter a class and begin working right away.
- Short in length, but long on value.
- A powerful tool ensuring that students engage and learn right from the start.
- It is often:
- Same place/ routine each time.
- Short and sweet.
- Review or preview of learning.
Mini Whiteboard Rules:
- Get students to make corrections (if needed) and then show you they have improved/ made the correction.
- Get students to take responsibility.
- Consistency of expectations for starts of lessons.
- Every lesson starting off with a high expectation of learning/ progress.
- Written work early in the lesson – rigour.
- A proven method in Bradford.
- An early opportunity for teachers to check and intervene in the lesson.
3. 15 Minutes Independent Work in lessons
What is it?
- 15 minutes in the lesson when the students all have an independent task to complete.
- During this time, they work in silence and cannot ask for help.
- Designed to encourage independence, resilience, problem solving and extended writing.
What does it look like?
- Give out sheets/ work, give students time to read it through and ask any questions.
- Go through the rules of the ‘15 minutes Independent Work in Lessons’.
4. Marking and Feedback
- Our marking of students’ works like this:
- A ‘deep mark’ of students’ work includes;
- WWW: (praise the process, give clear statement of what has been done well, skills/ knowledge). It must be
- EBI: (appropriate, clear, an instruction on what to do to improve). This should include an activity or task that a student completes to demonstrate they know how to improve their work.
- Student Response: (student responds to EBI - perhaps re-writes something, improves something, or writes a full-sentence reply).
- Teachers mark in green pen.
- Students respond in purple pen.
An example of deep feedback and student’s response from an English book :
- Green feedback from the teacher (WWW, EBI).
- Student improves their work (purple pen work in top left).
- Neat work: ruler and pen have been used.
5. Literacy – Presentation of Work
The sheet below is displayed on the inside front cover of students’ exercise book for every subject. Students’ presentation at BFA is of the highest importance and is challenged when it falls below standard.
6. Literacy – Presentation of Work
All students at BFA carry with them a ‘Learn Sheet Folder’ to every lesson in school.
- Homework sheets.
- Revision sheets for every subject/ assessment.
- Any letters/ other work or documents which students may need that day.
- This is a compulsory item of school equipment.
An example of a student Learn Sheet Folder: