Teaching and Learning
‘Teaching is excellent in Years 7 to 11. It is interesting, inspiring and imaginative.’ - OFSTED
High quality Teaching and Learning is at the heart of what makes Didcot Girls’ School an Outstanding school. Our teachers take enormous pride in crafting interesting and challenging lessons, tailored to help every student make progress. They teach with flair, creativity and enthusiasm for their subjects, helping students see the relevance of their subject in and beyond the classroom.
At DGS, we create learning opportunities that help students develop a lifelong curiosity about the world around them, helping them be successful in their examinations and beyond.
The information below outlines just how much we think about teaching and learning, for the benefit of all of our students.
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Mrs Frances Ashton
SLE (English and CPD)
The DGS Way
‘The school has clear and very carefully considered policies about teaching which guide teachers in their work. Teachers put these policies into practice consistently, with imagination, across the school.’ – OFSTED
Our teachers work hard to ensure that every lesson they plan and deliver supports and challenges students. Over the years we have refined a framework for high quality teaching and learning, which allows our teachers to tailor their teaching to their students, whilst using tried and tested approaches.
The ‘DGS way’ describes an approach to Teaching and Learning which helps create well structured, engaging and challenging lessons that enable students to take risks, be ambitious and reflect on their progress in a meaningful way.
More information about ‘The DGS way’ can be found here.
At Didcot Girls’ School, we understand that our students are partners in their learning and that they want to be successful in lessons. To help us communicate with students, we use ‘Pedagogy Symbols.’ There are a collection of images that help signal to students what a task is about, what skill they should be using, or how to challenge themselves further. These symbols are used across the curriculum and help students make choices, find support when necessary and recognise similar skills and links between subjects.
For more information about the symbols and what they are used for, click here.
Teaching and Learning Priorities 2019-20
‘Teachers engage in high-quality debate together about how to keep improving their teaching. They challenge each other, supportively, to do better still.’ – OFSTED
Our teachers are reflective and enthusiastic practitioners who enjoy talking about and developing their own teaching. As such, all teachers take the time to work on their own practice as part of our Continued Professional Development (CPD) provision.
This year, teachers are continuing to work on aspects of responsive teaching: making sure that all of our students are set challenging work; supported in their study and taught using refined pedagogical techniques which help them learn. This includes:
- Modelling- how we give examples to students, including how we show them ‘the working’ behind a process.
- Retrieval- how we help students to move knowledge into their long term memory and revise effectively.
- Feed-forward assessment- how we help students make progress through focused and informative targets that they can act on to improve their work.
- Explanation- how we use language to help students explain and remember key ideas.
At Didcot Girls’ School we value the importance of Independent Study as a chance to consolidate and extend knowledge beyond the classroom.
This year, we have created Extended Student Guidance time as space for students to complete homework, extend their knowledge and revise prior learning. All homework can be accessed via Show My Homework.
More information about our homework policies can be found here.
In light of curriculum changes and the increased need for students to retain large amounts of content over time, this year sees the launch of ‘The Revision Revolution’ which focuses on helping students revise in a structured and effective way. Click here to read more about the recent changes to the curriculum.
All students in Years 7-13 will receive assemblies on the ‘Science of Learning’ and revision strategies across the year, supported by a range of resources available to help students revise. These will be added to throughout the year. To see the structure of the ‘Revision Revolution’ please click here.
The Revision Revolution booklet has been created to support students with their independent revision. It contains information and resources to support students during student guidance time and at home, and has been designed to help students hone their revision skills and ensure that learning is being moved into their long term memory.
Please click the links below to view and download the first set of Revision Revolution resources:
This year we are building on the ‘Revision Revolution’ by teaching students independent learning and revision skills through a curriculum of Student Guidance Time sessions. The sessions are underpinned by research on effective learning and will equip students with the knowledge and skills that they need to be successful learners. Students will develop an understanding of the science behind learning so that they can harness the power of their long-term memory. They will receive instruction on how to use learning resources such as knowledge organisers and checklists and how to recognise and respond to feedback. They will develop a repertoire of strategies corresponding to the revision revolution stages (condense, memorise, retrieve, apply, review). Students from Year 7 upwards will be equipped with independent learning and revision skills that will enable them to make productive use of time spent revising and help to make learning stick better. We hope to empower students to become effective and confident learners ready to embrace learning both in school and beyond.
Reading for Pleasure
The single most powerful thing someone can do to increase their abilities is to read. With this in mind, we are dedicating specific Extended Student Guidance sessions for reading time, as well as providing reading lists to help students make sensible and ambitious choices about their reading material. This time will help students build their vocabulary, improve their written accuracy and develop a rich understanding of the world around them.