Teaching and Learning

At The Halley Academy, student learning is at the heart of everything we do. We use the strongest possible evidence of how students learn best, work hard and remember more to ensure that all students enjoy meaningful, challenging and successful learning experiences. 

We have 6 core teaching and learning principles which drive forward the learning that takes place in lessons at the Academy. 

Number 1: High Expectations of Learning Behaviour


So that students…

Promote active participation

Engage in thinking hard about their learning

Reward effort and recognise effort

Understand the connection between effort and achievement

Ensure consistent application of our behaviour policy

Can think hard about their learning free from distraction

Have clear routines and effective classroom management

Do not waste valuable lesson time due to distractions from others

Number 2: Quality of Instruction

Every lesson has…

So that students…

Clearly defined outcomes

Know what they are learning and how to do it during the lesson

Highly effective explanations

Can understand new ideas and tasks quickly

Activities where new knowledge is founded upon previous knowledge

Learn new knowledge by referencing the knowledge they already know

Independent practice

Apply their knowledge to different questions, make mistakes and learn from them

Key vocabulary highlighted

Develop their subject specific literacy

Number 3: Subject Mastery

Every lesson has…

So that students…

Substantive knowledge

Develop a deep and critical engagement with the substantive knowledge being taught

Excellence modelled and how to achieve it

Know what excellence looks like and how they can do the same in their own work

The promotion of the highest standards of literacy

Read, write and speak with fluency and accuracy

Opportunities to apply new knowledge to a range of questions

Perform to the best of their abilities in their examinations

Number 4: Making it stick

Every lesson…

So that students…

Features low stakes testing

Make progress by knowing what they are doing well, and what they can do to improve

Models excellence and how to achieve it

Know what excellence looks like and how they can do the same in their own work

Addresses misconceptions

Avoid mistakes and misunderstandings

Builds upon previous learning

Cover the full curriculum so that they can get the best grades possible

Number 5: Adaptive teaching

In every lesson we…

So everybody…

Pitch high

Is challenged to exceed expectations

Break new knowledge into manageable pieces

Retains new knowledge in their long term memory

Provide support and scaffold for all

Can access and enjoy their learning

Ensure teaching understands and meets the learning needs of students

Makes exceptional progress

Number 6: Effective feedback

We provide…


Timely feedback to maximise learning

Students can swiftly unlock further learning

Formative assessment throughout a lesson

Teachers know which topics to re-teach so that students can make excellent progress

Specific, accurate and clear comments

Students know how to improve their work and perform at their best

Time to reflect and act upon feedback

Students develop their critical self-reflection skills