Teaching and Learning

Our vision for outstanding Teaching and Learning at Shire Oak Academy is characterised by engaging lessons that challenge and inspire all students;  innovative use of technology to enhance and transform learning opportunities; active learning that provides opportunities for deeper learning experiences.

Our lessons provide an effective framework for delivering this.  To support our goal of delivering consistently great lessons, we have created the SOA Teaching and Learning Framework for Excellence (FfE). This articulates the ingredients of great lessons.

Our programme of staff training and development is built around the SOA FfE.  We firmly believe in further developing the skills of our teachers as the best route to raising outcomes amongst our students. Training for our teachers consists of inset days, together with a new development which we call Workshop Wednesdays. Workshop Wednesdays is a really exciting opportunity for the academy that enables us to deliver 70 hours of training across an academic year. We aim to combine essential all-staff training, with an individualised approach which develops a colleague, whatever their experience or starting point.

Students finish early each Wednesday (but still have 5 lessons) to enable training to start at 2:15 pm. Workshop Wednesday’s are split into three pillars –

  • Whole Academy – this is our core provision focusing on whole academy priorities.

  • Faculty/Department – focusing on faculty priorities.

  • Personal Pathways – this enables staff members to have dedicated time on their own professional development, this is broken into facilitated and self-directed sessions.

Every Wednesday afternoon we dedicate 2 hours of directed time for staff to engage in one of the three key areas of development on a rolling cycle.

Our system of classroom observation is designed to be supportive and developmental.  As well as the Performance Management observations, members of the SLT undertake drop-ins,  learning walks and work scrutiny exercises.  These have a specific focus (e.g. questioning) and allow us as a school to identify examples of good practice and areas to focus our CPD on in the future.