Click image to view our learning cycle in detail.
West Hove Infants Learning Model
At West Hove Infants most lessons follow our ‘Learning Model’. Our model has been developed over a number of years and is underpinned by extensive educational research. Based on what is considered to be best practice, our model incorporates elements of ‘Assessment for Learning’ and ‘Accelerated Learning’ techniques. These concepts are explained briefly below.
Assessment for Learning
“Assessment for learning is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.” Assessment Reform Group, 2002
Assessment for Learning (AfL) is based on the principle that pupils will learn and improve most if they understand the aim of their learning, where they are in relation to this aim and how they can achieve the aim (or close the gap in their knowledge). AfL ensures that pupils know what to do next to improve and move their learning on.
AfL is a collaborative process between teacher and pupils, and pupils and pupils, where learning is the key topic of conversation.
Pupils will also know how they can apply their knowledge and skills in other curriculum areas and contexts and are encouraged to ask questions of themselves and others.
Effective feedback is a key part of AfL alongside peer and self- assessment. Assessing their own work or that of others can help pupils develop their understanding of learning objectives and success criteria. Research has shown that pupils make more progress when they are actively involved in their own learning and assessment.
In these ways, AfL is viewed as a powerful way of raising pupils’ achievement and is viewed as central to effective teaching and learning.
‘Accelerated learning’ is based upon research about how the human brain works, namely the idea of ‘learning styles’. Researchers have discovered that we each have a preferred learning style, that is a way of learning that suits us best.
It is also thought that if something is natural, it becomes easier and if it becomes easier it generally becomes quicker hence the term: Accelerated Learning.
The thinking behind this is that if learning can be tailored and use the techniques that match a preferred way of learning, learning happens more naturally and easily. Our learning model taps into the children’s differing learning styles by presenting learning in a multi – sensory way (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic).
West Hove Infants Learning Model
Our learning model incorporates all aspects of AfL and many aspects Accelerated Learning and has been developed and refined over time and practise. You will see posters of our model all around the school.
Most lessons follow the following format using our interactive whiteboards to support the structure of the lesson. Teachers also use brain breaks/brain gym proactively to re-energise and re-focus children during the lesson. Brain breaks also used to give the children’s brains a little rest by children becoming active and/or thinking about something completely different. Here is our model in brief….
|The Lesson structure
||Examples of interactive whiteboard flipcharts
|Our lessons begin with the children being ready to learn
We use lots of visual stimulus and prompts to support all learners
|Most classes using the same visual prompt so that children know what to expect in every lesson
|What do I already know?
In this part of the lesson teachers:
*Find out what the children already know, understand and can do. (Through questioning concept/ mind mapping and discussion with learning partners)
*Give the children the opportunity to demonstrate what they already know
*Use that knowledge to move the children forward in their thinking
*Connect what the children have learnt to future learning
*Provide children with activities that spark memories of their previous learning
*Use visual cues to generate thinking
*Give the children the ‘Big Picture’
*Connect content by letting children know where they are going and how they are going to get there
Why do this?
By giving the children the overview of their learning we create curiosity and excitement. This also helps children make connections with previous learning.
This could be a slide of the ‘Big Picture’ or a Mind Map to connect learning to previous learning. For example:
The children will also be given a question to stimulate discussion with their learning partners. For example:
|What am I learning and how will I succeed?
In this part of the lesson teachers:
*Tell the children at the beginning of the lesson what they are going to learn and why they are going to learn it
*Check that children understand what the learning objective is
*Introduce children to the key vocabulary for the lesson and how it will be used
*Describe the outcomes of the lesson: what they will be able to do
*Communicate to the children what the expectations in order to achieve the learning objective
*Share the success criteria
*Reinforce the learning objective throughout the lesson
At this point in the lesson the teacher will:
*Let the children know what the success criteria are for the lesson
*Be explicit by saying “What I’m looking to see is”
*Write the success criteria up for the children (children will often be involved in writing the success criteria themselves) to read and discuss
*Use visuals so that all children can access it
*Keep referring to the success criteria throughout the lesson so children are constantly assessing their work against it
|This is a slide of the learning intentions, success criteria and key vocabulary. These are explained near the beginning of the lesson and referred to throughout. For example:
|What am I learning and thinking?
This is the teacher input for the lesson describing the tasks. The teacher will often model what the children are expected to do and achieve and how their learning should be should be presented.
|What have I learnt? Plenary
At the end of the lesson the teacher will:
*Allow time before the plenary for children to look at their work and think about how far they have achieved the learning objective, checking their work against the success criteria
*Ask “What have you learnt?”, referring back to the learning objective and success criteria
*Give the children opportunities to exemplify their learning through the work produced
*Use examples of children’s work to demonstrate specific points related to the learning objective (visualizers are often used at this point)
*Use the plenary to reinforce the learning objective, to highlight a key teaching point and also to discuss any challenges/misconceptions children have encountered
*Use the plenary to celebrate the children’s learning
*Preview new learning coming up and discuss how the children can apply what they have learnt