T & L at Paddington Academy

At Paddington Academy we have an established model of Teaching and Learning.

Our model is based on Alistair Smith’s  ‘Accelerated Learning Cycle’. We have built on this over the last seven years through what we know about effective teaching and learning for our students at PA. Click on the graphic below for an overview:

PA model 2

At the heart of our model (the orange zone) are the four stages of the Accelerated Learning Cycle, around which every lesson at Paddington is planned.

  • Connect: all new learning is built upon what the learner already knows or understands, and therefore it is important to connect our learning – whether this means starting your lesson with an inspiring and thought-provoking activity, re-capping and embedding learning from a previous lesson or just giving your learners a sense of the ‘big picture’ so they know where today’s lesson fits in with the grand scheme of things;
  • Activate: students are introduced to new knowledge, information, and ideas during the activate phase of a lesson. It’s important that students explore these ideas to develop a deep understanding;
  • Demonstrate: this stage gives students the opportunity to ‘show what they know’ and use the knowledge and ideas they have gained in new ways, from answering an exam question or writing an essay, to conducting a debate, performing a drama or inventing and building something completely new; and
  • Consolidate: ensuring all new ideas and skills are embedded and secured with opportunities to consolidate, re-cap, and enhance the learning that has taken place.

Paddington Academy lessons are 100 minutes long, so this cycle could be completed two or three times in one lesson.

The Accelerated Learning Cycle is underpinned by continuous assessment for learning (green zone). Students’ understanding is checked before, during and after every activity. This enables teachers and teaching assistants to pick up on any misunderstandings or misconceptions as the lesson progresses, and re-shape the lesson accordingly.

The Blue zone is about planning the activities taking place throughout the lesson. When planning activities, we try to ensure that each of these aspects is included, from independent learning time and literacy and numeracy practice, to planned questioning and the use of new technologies.

Finally, the outer yellow zone reflects on setting the right conditions and behaviours for learning to take place – both from the perspective of the teacher and the learners. This includes behaviour management and personalising learning through differentiation from the teacher, but, just as important, making sure we encourage all students to adopt the right habits of mind for learning to take place – becoming reflective, resilient, responsible, and resourceful members of their class.

Our teaching and learning model is encapsulated in ‘the Paddington 10’, a check-list for planning lessons that tries to capture all these elements. Over the years, we’ve tweaked, improved and added to the 10, especially to embed assessment for learning throughout every lesson. So its now more accurately described as ‘the Paddington 10+3’. Click below to enlarge the graphic:

P10 for staff

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