We have worked together to identify five key elements in our teaching framework. The CLEAR model is based on research, the context of our schools and our knowledge and experience of what works for our pupils.
It is our intention that each school in our trust uses this common language around teaching and implements the elements in the way that best fits with their unique aims, goals and community.
Climate for Learning
Ensuring a positive climate for learning and an enabling environment for every pupil.
- Know your pupils – establish a classroom climate based on positive relationships i.e meet and greet, positive language and expectations.
- Make systems visible – rewards and consequences with the emphasis on positive reframing, classroom rules.
- Show unconditional positive regard - principle of fresh starts – every lesson a new beginning.
- Model school values in interactions and behaviours.
- Celebrate each pupil’s achievement.
Routines & procedures
- Use seating plans and groupings according to requirements of the learning in the lesson.
- Strong starts e.g. Do Now, review and practice, sensory starts.
- Strong finishes e.g. final review, plenary, exit tickets.
- Ensure well-defined transitions and routines e.g. entry and exit, movement within room, transition between learning tasks.
- Ensure efficient timetabling and use of tie to deliver the curriculum.
Planning for learning
- Use short, medium and long-term planning systems to deliver the planned curriculum.
- Develop pupil independence through task and structure learning.
- Provide curriculum and opportunities for character development.
Teacher behaviour techniques
- Use least invasive approach.
- Use positivity, praise and modelling to show what students should be doing.
- Respond appropriately when pupils are off task, for example using least invasive and positive framing techniques.
- Use voice to support learning, for example, instructional, praise, story-telling, talk over, chivvying.
- Provide a framework for enabling both pupil accountability and equal participation such as cooperative learning strategies where every pupil has a role.
- Develop pupil independence through task and structure of learning and use of additional adults.
- Use effective strategies to create pace and challenge.
- Ensure a clean, tidy and well-organised learning environment encouraging pupil responsibilities in maintaining this.
- Create a purposeful classroom environment that supports learning e.g. working walls (where appropriate), accessible resources.
- Follow the school’s display policy and ensure displays are current and reflect the planned curriculum.
- Celebrate pupil’s achievements through explicit praise and reward about effort, learning behaviours and pupils’ work.
Creating and delivering an ambitious curriculum through consistent teaching approaches.
- Establish what the pupils should know.
- Consider what pupils should be able to do (skills).
- Make it knowledge-rich and aligned with Oak curriculum principles.
- Identify knowledge to be remembered.
- Sequence concepts in small steps.
- Define end points.
Define elements for stage and age.
- Include experiential learning.
- Adapt to needs and of primary, secondary, special or alternative provision.
- Take into account the context of societal and cultural influence in the location of the school.
Use of lesson structure
- Ensure learning objectives are shared with pupils in lessons.
- Links learning to the bigger picture or long-term learning including end points.
- Plan tasks to ensure learning objectives are met by all pupils.
- Build in time to review and check for understanding against the lesson objectives.
- Adapt teaching as appropriate.
Planning and sequencing of a series of lessons
- Clearly define an ambitious end point in planning.
- Identify prior knowledge needed for the area of learning including concepts, vocabulary and knowledge - check pupil knowledge and address gaps where they exist.
- Consider cognitive load when planning lesson content and communication.
- Teach basic first steps and mental models.
- Break down concepts and skills and map them out in logical steps, that build on the basic first steps and models.
- Plan how to introduce each step to pupils.
- Design practice tasks.
- Decide on the learning objectives for a series of lessons which include:
- specific facts, concepts and procedures pupils need to know and understand.
- skills pupils need to be able to perform independently.
- skills pupils need to be able to perform with increased fluency or independence.
Planning for key knowledge, skills and vocabulary
- Plan elements of learning that have value for pupils’ confidence, creativity and collaborative development including:
- cooperative and collaborative learning
- self-directed learning
- reading, including phonics
Presenting learning through explicit and expect instruction
Present and explain using small steps and practice
- Pitch it right – know pupils prior learning; be clear about the learning you want to teach.
- Keep it simple – succinct and clear explanations/instructions; limit the amount of material received all at one time; break explanations down into smaller steps; pay attention to cognitive overload; use dual-coding.
- Address common misconceptions:
- anticipate common misconceptions in planning and build this into to your explanation
- provide opportunities to identify misconceptions from examples
- take time to address the misconception
- Double check pupils understanding
- Make it concrete and real:
- provide hooks for engagement
- provide context of new learning or models of worked-out problems
- use visuals, pictures, video clips, objects and models
- guide students as they begin to practice
- compare learning to what they already know/real life experiences.
- be up close (circulate) to initial efforts to ensure confidence and initial errors are addressed
- ensure guided practice, close supervision and feedback to encourage increased success rate for pupils
- make time for independent practice to allow pupils to do the things taught by themselves and to develop automaticity
- use a range of metacognition techniques to check pupils have learnt material you need them to learn
- use regular quizzes, mini plenaries, tests to drill knowledge and build fluency.
Modelling and metacognition
- Think aloud and model steps using the metacognition cycle – teach this explicitly to pupils.
- Model carefully chosen metacognition strategies that could support pupils’ organisation of thought, planning, problem solving and/or evaluative techniques.
- Facilitate pupil/group/class discussions, so that pupils can reflect and refine their thought processes about their new learning – unpicking misconceptions as they present or quickly accelerating challenge where concepts are secure.
- Facilitate evaluation of the metacognition techniques used.
- Gather information from the class discussions by constantly checking for understanding and sampling pupil responses.
- Introduce live modelling to share thought processes when demonstrating new learning or new problems. Make thought process explicit - running commentary.
- Use images to support conceptual understanding (dual coding).
- Use end point modelling to show what a good one looks like i.e. WAGOLL.
- Use an ‘I, we, you’ approach.
- Use many worked examples – never too few.
- Ask questions to check for understanding and determine how well the material has been learned in order to be informed about their next step of instruction.
- Use a range of questioning techniques including cold calling, reinforcing questions, no opt out, probe, think-pair-share, show me, call and response, why and how.
Adaptive & Responsive
Ensuring an ambitious curriculum for all through skilled inclusive practices
- Develop knowledge of individual pupil need in order to match the range of access/resource scaffolds correctly and use the following, where necessary, for individuals or groups of pupils:
- whiteboards, work sheet, word banks, keywords, word map, dictionaries, thesauruses, enlarged text/font size, writing frames, graphic organisers, sentence stems, colourful semantics; number lines, dienes, hundred square, numicon, place value markers, charts; a range of visual supports, overlays, objects of reference, objects on stands, switches/pointers; pencil grips, sloping boards, specific seating, foot stools, laptops/IPAD, adaptive equipment; symbols, PECS, communication books, communication aids/devices, eye-gaze; wellbeing support resources, behaviour support resources, sensory support resources, sensory support resources; support of an additional adult.
- Use questioning to interject at the optimum time to shape thinking for all pupils at different stages of achieving the learning intentions and utilise blank level questioning:
- Level 1 – Naming Level 2 – Describing Level 3 – Retelling Level 4 – Justifying
- Review data to decide which pupils to group together and consider which flexible grouping model will execute the learning intention most effectively.
- Consider both mixed ability groups and ability groups to give more able learners the opportunity to share their ideas and lower ability learners a way of collaborating and learning from their peers.
- Set guidelines of how groups will interact through allocating roles e.g. time keeper, resource manager, volume controller, recorder, leader, presenter, designer and researcher.
- Utilise other flexible grouping strategies such as snowball technique, rainbow groups, Kagan.
Scaffolding use of additional adults
- Ensure the adult is clear about what they need to do - prompt/instruction cards can be a useful tool.
- Provide the optimum level of support with questioning or interjections - no over reliance on adult support to undertake the activity.
- Focus on developing learning and independence rather than task completion – use of ‘wait’ time to observe pupil’s independent attempt at the learning task.
- Share adult support between teacher and additional adult over the course of the lesson.
- Teacher to monitor additional adult input to ensure it is focused on addressing misconceptions, gaps, and errors – including reviewing the ‘wait’ time strategy undertaken by additional adults.
- Differentiation of learning and personalising of provision may be required when the above scaffolding strategies are not working for a pupil. Strategic school decisions about the curriculum content and/or how the curriculum is executed throughout a pupil’s school career may involve:
- curriculum pathway/flightpaths – clear intents, curriculum implementation and impact for pupils at different starting points within their learning
- various option pathways at EYFS, KS1 to 5 – clear intents, curriculum implementation and impact for pupils at different starting points within their learning
- ‘Hidden Curriculum’ – clear value intents, implementation, and impact for pupils at different starting points within their resilience and mental wellbeing
- alternative provision – clear intents, curriculum implementation and impact for pupils who need a curriculum alternative to the formal school curriculum and may access the schools’ resource provision, SENCO base, nurture base and/or receive external input.
Enabling pupils to know more and remember more through assessment for learning techniques
- Use to inform the teacher about their pupils’ performance, knowledge and skills, then use to plan lessons or remediation to improve pupils’ learning.
- Give pupils advice on how to improve, particularly verbal ‘in the moment’.
- Ensure pupils act on that advice by using materials provided by the teacher, going to the teacher for help, or working with other people.
- Use purposeful verbal feedback and time-efficient written feedback in line with a school feedback policy that prioritises principles of effective feedback.
- Teachers and additional adults use formative assessment to:
- plan lessons
- adapt lessons to fill gaps in knowledge or skills
- check for understanding
- Ensure general quality control and provide a picture of how well a pupil (or group of pupils) has performed over a time period on a set of learning goals in a particular subject by:
- low-stakes quizzing
- baseline, midpoint and endpoint testing
- using past papers/mocks to prepare for statutory assessment.
Checking for understanding
- Use both formative and summative assessment approaches to check for understanding including:
- Retrieval practice – recalling something learnt in the past and bringing it back to mind; ‘do nothing new, just review’; retrieval rather than re-exposure; do now, daily, weekly, monthly reviews; use of home learning to recap and review; skills that have been identified that need more practice.
- Use peer-support retrieval learning.
- Spaced or distributed practice – spacing retrieval practice both within and between lessons; interleaving – mixing the practice of different bodies of knowledge.
- Use of hinge points – natural pauses or slight change of topic to check understanding.
- Elaboration - describing and explaining something learned to others in some detail.
- Using misconceptions or contrasting range of examples or non-examples.
- Use effective questioning techniques that demonstrate that questions have been pre-planned to meet the needs of all pupils. For example, challenge and stretch questions, scaffolded questions or tailored cold-call.
Use of data or prior attainment
- Use of data and tracking to define next steps for individuals, groups or whole classes.
- Baseline or pre-tests to check for pupils’ understanding of the curriculum.