At The Midland Academies Trust, we have a clearly articulated but flexible model for teaching, based upon three key principles.
Expert subject knowledge
We value and invest in growing our teachers to become experts in their chosen field.
- Our five-year, knowledge rich curriculum was built almost entirely by our staff, pooling their expertise to create a curriculum which drew upon the deepest subject knowledge.
- Our Trust wide professional development programme prioritises providing opportunity for subject-level CPD. Staff routinely build their knowledge in new areas then present to colleagues from across the Trust at one of our joint INSET days or half-termly subject network meetings.
- Our links with external providers of subject-level training and support are strong and growing stronger. We sponsor our staff to attend subject enrichment residentials, provide access to subject-specific journals and centrally fund subject level training from exam boards, local university partners and practising teachers.
Techniques for effective instruction
We use a common set of techniques and structures with a strong evidence base of efficacy.
- Our teaching techniques are drawn from Doug Lemov's research, published in the book Teach Like a Champion. Lemov and his team visited schools which achieve the highest outcomes whilst serving disadvantaged communities. They watched the most effective teachers within these schools and over time, distilled what they saw teachers doing into 49 high-value techniques.
- Our staff all receive training in the Teach Like A Champion techniques when they start work at any of The Midland Academies Trust academies. In-school CPD for teaching and learning is based upon specific sets of techniques all staff are working on collaboration. Using the IRIS Connect platform, we are building an online 'toolkit' to support our staff in developing their use of the techniques, including videos, advice and resources taken from across the Trust.
- Our lessons build upon Barak Rosensine's Principles of Instruction, with ' Do Now' recall activities which interleave prior learning, a strong focus on questioning to identify misconceptions and application of new learning with independent practice.
The correct conditions for learning
We believe that establishing the correct conditions for learning is a fundamental pre-requisite for effective teaching.
- Our students understand that we set high expectations for their conduct and attitude to learning in and out of lessons, so that they can realise their potential and achieve their goals.
- Our senior leaders understand that their job is to manage any lapses in student conduct on behalf of their teachers, so that our staff can teach without interruption or lack of focus.
- Our teaching staff understand that each hour of learning is precious and that they must expect, and demand, the highest standards from all students in their lessons.