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Teaching & Learning

Our ‘Key Drivers’ are to develop our teaching and learning through a culture of high performance and reducing in-school variation.  This means that students experience a learning environment which is as even as possible and continually strives for improvement.  These features of teaching and learning should be common to all teachers, in all subjects, and forms the pedagogical signature for The Trafalgar School.

Sharp Starts and Effective Endings means that lessons begin briskly and end efficiently (reducing variation).

Routines for All Lessons:

  • clear routines are consistently applied – utilising students where possible
  • a starter activity will usually be on the board/desks to engage students as soon as possible
  • #learning, title and date (underlined) on the board and copied into books by all students, so that they know what they will be learning and the purpose of the lesson is clear
  • students should be ready to learn; coats off, equipment out (pen, pencil, ruler …) and the register taken
  • phones away P1 only, Yondr cases checked/locked/unlocked (P5 only)
  • lessons 1 and 2 notices read aloud to students
  • #reflection, link back to #learning ‘What have you learnt?  How have you learnt it?  Why have you learnt it?’
  • Prepare the environment for the next group before an organised dismissal on time

Routines for All Lessons

  • students actively engaged in thinking, questioning or producing work
  • positively reinforced through praise and reward (TRICKS)
  • no minute lost to  low level disruption through engagement of students
  • The strength of the behaviour at Trafalgar is based on good student-teacher relationships.  All teachers are expected to develop good relationships based on their knowledge and understanding of students and their specific abilities or needs.  All teachers use seating plans to ensure all students engage equally in lessons.
  • Student behaviour should not interrupt the learning of other students and should allow the lesson to progress without interruption.  Behaviour which disrupts the lesson, or slows learning, should be sanctioned by:  1) a warning, 2) a D10, 3) a second D10 to a D20 and removal to Behaviour Support or Displacement – this is rare!
  • Teacher knowledge and expertise is a highly valued strength at Trafalgar which is shared through precise, targeted questioning and delivery of knowledge or information to students.  This is also a chance for teachers to assess student skills/knowledge/learning
  • Teachers will model examples so that students know what success looks like and ensure that an appropriate level of challenge is set for all students.  Most lessons will include time for students to independently practice and embed skills, knowledge and understanding and also time where teachers can support individual students
  • Purposeful, clearly defined, time limited group work may be planned where this is considered to be more effective than working independently
  • Teachers’ planning includes ensuring that Learning is set at an appropriate level/pace/depth that promotes rapid progress for all students.  At Trafalgar classes are organised in predominantly mixed-ability groups where students of all abilities are fully engaged and involved in lessons and have access to the full range of levels and opportunities


  • Subject areas will have their own specific M&F policy but STARs is a consistent model for providing written feedback.  Not all work is marked but all assessed work is marked thoroughly and followed by feedback and DIRT lessons where students fill gaps in their knowledge and understanding.  Student response to feedback is the most important element of this process
  • Although not all work needs to be marked, planning should be informed by student understanding and students should be encouraged to be proud of all the work they produce – students should be working harder than teachers.  If work is not up to ‘Gold Standard’ then teachers will refuse to accept or mark it until it is.


  • ‘Regular Homework’ is set via SIMs with reminders given in class for deadlines and expectations.  All homework is focused on preparation for assessment and revision.  Increasingly, Google Classrooms are being utilised in setting homeworks.  ‘Takeaway Homework’ adds an additional layer for those who want it.


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