Teaching & Learning

Teaching and Learning Newsletters

Click on the newletters below to view:

Teaching and Learning Newsletter - June/Julie issue

Teaching and Learning Newsletter - April/May issue

Literacy Trust Vocabulary Building April May

Teaching and Learning Newsletter - February/March issue

Teaching and Learning Newsletter - January issue

Teaching and Learning Newsletter - December issue



All About our Teaching and Learning

At BSCA we believe that the key to improving outcomes for students and therefore enhancing life chances for students is a challenging, yet inclusive, knowledge rich curriculum delivered with a relentless focus on high quality teaching, deep learning and effective assessment that identifies what students know and have learned, and what they need to know next to meet appropriate end points.

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Our curriculum vision states that we want to create:

  • Successful learners who enjoy learning; are literate, make good progress & thrive in further education or the workplace.

  • Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.

  • Responsible, moral and sociable citizens who can make a positive contribution to society in the eyes of God.


    The role of teaching, learning and assessment is the effective implementation of the curriculum.

    Key elements of our teaching and learning strategy are:

  • A belief that our teachers are the most valuable resource in fulfilling our curriculum vision. We aim to grow our teachers to be the best to ensure that our students make the best possible progress

  • End point planning both for schemes of work, units and individual lessons

  • Regular retrieval practice

  • A relentless focus on developing reading as part of our overall literacy strategy. We are committed to improving reading through a variety of strategies including DEAR and AR.

  • A focus on the explicit teaching of Academic Vocabulary. This includes ensuring that our own spoken language as teachers supports students in developing their vocabulary through ‘speak like a Geographer’ etc.

  • A relentless focus on building an effective learning climate and culture through high quality relationships

  • A relentless focus on core routines both at the start and at the end of lessons

  • Lesson by lesson use of Steps to Success to link classroom learning behaviours to pastoral praise and support systems, see our expectations and values                                

  • A planned and coherent CPD strategy that is highly personalised both for leaders and teachers at various career stages alongside a universal offer of CPD through micro-teaching.

  • A deliberately outward facing attitude to research and learning to ensure that staff remain experts in their field and are well placed to maximise progress for students. We are active members of Bolton Learning Alliance and Bolton Learning Partnership https://youtu.be/sBl3Eo0-vsE

Our BSCA 12 Theories of Learning model underpins our teaching and learning. The BSCA 12 are based on wider educational research and are the basis for all of our teaching. These theories form the basis of our CPD programme and are intended to ensure that students make at least expected progress. As an organisation, we strongly believe that great teachers are those that share best practice and open it up to professional scrutiny. Indeed, any observations offer an opportunity to skill share, and a major part of our annual CPD offer is our ‘Learn Together’ programme which is based on small groups of teachers planning and ‘micro – teaching’ lessons to each other to practice the development of pedagogy.


What is a theory of learning?

A theory of learning is a link between cause and effect – and connects the actions of teachers with the consequences of their behaviours – the learning and achievement of their students. In short: when a teacher does X, the impact on learning is Y.

The overarching ‘theory of learning’ for BSCA is that when teachers explicitly and consistently incorporate the BSCA 12 theories of learning in their own teaching then the learning skills and the achievement of our students will be greatly enhanced.

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How did we create our BSCA 12?

During the Spring and Summer terms of 2018-19 BSCA TLT built on our previous learning model ‘jigsaw’ and decided to add detail by describing teacher actions and the impact on the learner. These were shared with Learning and Curriculum Leaders before sharing with the whole academy.


How are the BSCA 12 used?

At the end of 2018-19 every teacher was asked to reflect on their own practice and to identify whether they were EMERGING, DEVELOPING or EMBEDDING. This information was collated and shared back with Learning and Curriculum Leaders to baseline conversations about pedagogy, and to enable us to plan and target CPD as far as possible. We also then used the BSCA 12 theories to update our academy lesson observation documentation- thus generating a more accurate picture of the skills and areas for development for the organisation. We also began writing ‘rubrics’ to enable us to use the theories and move from EMERGING to DEVELOPING to EMBEDDING using the guidance provided alongside other CPD.


What is micro teaching?

Many of the top performing education systems around the world have an element of micro-teaching which is at the heart of their planning, preparation and CPD.

We use micro – teaching as a delivery model to enable teachers to rehearse teaching strategies with their peers, taking feedback and then adapting these strategies for the real lesson to students. In 2019-20 our focus has been explicitly teaching Academic vocabulary to our students in every subject area.


How does it work?

  • You select a class to focus on. This should be a class that will enable you to have the greatest impact on your pedagogy long term.

  • Plan a great lesson based on your current curriculum or scheme of work.

  • Focus on teaching the T3 subject specific language explicitly as part of your 15 minute lesson to your peers

  • Then:

    • Micro - teach the lesson for 15 minutes (This means teach it as if the class are sat in front of you. In micro teaching this is to a small group of peers - no more than 4 in a group)

    • Interact with your ‘class’ as if they were your real class

    • Reflect on how the ‘lesson’ went with your ‘students’. This includes how you interacted. Do this with your peers, and describe how you would develop the sequence of lessons based on that lesson to help students reach target grades.

    • Your peers will also give you some ‘coaching’ feedback on the lesson in order to improve your actual lesson to your real class

  • Adapt your lesson before teaching it to your real class

  • Teach it to your real class

  • Feedback to your group in the next micro teach session.