Lessons and lesson structures

Infant School

Key Stage One

In Year 1 and Year 2, the morning takes exactly the same structure every day: it is split into three equal parts of 55 mins concentrating on mastering the basics of phonics (using the Read Write Inc Programme), English (focussing on developing speaking and listening, reading and writing through core texts) and maths (using the maths mastery programme).

Pupils have a 15 minute maths meeting every day to review and consolidate key maths concepts.

Immediately after lunch, pupils have 10 minutes of reading their own reading book and then 30 minutes of our 'reading habits' programme where pupils are explicitly taught to master the habits of great readers.

There are two further lessons in the afternoon (broken up by a playtime): two science; 1 humanities; 2 art; 1 music; 2 PE. One session does not exist on a Monday afternoon because of the early finish and the final session on a Friday afternoon is assembly.

All lessons begin with a Do Now activity. Pupils are expected to think hard in every lesson and produce an independent outcome in every lesson.

Junior School

We continue to prioritise consistency in Year 3 and Year 4 by having English and maths as the two morning lessons lasting 1hr35 mins each with a 15 mins focus on handwriting mid-morning. The afternoon lesson in lower KS2 is shorter at 1hr20mins and this is where pupils learn music, art, PE, humanities and science. In Year 5 and Year 6, the two morning sessions are slightly shorter at 1hr20mins and the afternoon session is longer (1hr40mins) to allow for more in-depth exploration in music, art, PE, humanities and science.

All lessons begin with a Do Now activity. Pupils are expected to think hard in every lesson and produce an independent outcome in every lesson.

The middle of the day is a carousel of French, lunch, activity and DEAR.

DEAR is an acronym for Drop Everything And Read. This is dedicated time in the school day for pupils to pursue their own reading interests and develop their love of reading. It is structured differently from Year 3 through to Year 6 so that by Year 6, pupils can independently sustain reading for 25 minutes and then write a short reflection or engage in discussion of their reading, recommending books to others and sharing books they've loved.

Activity is a structured play time. The staff allocated to the activity slot will choose which activities they would like to run that term depending on their own preferences, the spaces available and requests from pupils e.g. football, basketball, dance, board games, art, music, debating, crafts, computer coding... Pupils then choose which activity they would like to join for the term. 

Middle School

Throughout Middle School pupils are taught in two mixed attainment classes.


Sixth Form

Sixth Form lessons are driven by the following principles:

  • Inspire students to develop an interest in the subject
  • Give students an opportunity to demonstrate they can apply the knowledge and skills required to be successful in assessments
  • Facilitate student-led learning and allow students to develop their own opinions on topics
  • Leverage student independent study time so that lessons make the best use of teacher time and allow students to study effectively to pre-learn and consolidate their learning

While subjects will take individual approaches depending on the lesson content, there are key features that should be consistently present in sixth form lessons:

  • Students arrive to lessons and are ready with pre-work, subject folder and to take lesson notes
  • Do now that ensures a purposeful start to the lesson and reflects the urgency of learning. Effective do nows may utilise pre-work, develop exam skills, present a big picture question to get initial opinions and hook students into the lesson
  • Lessons aim to inspire and develop subject interest in students
  • Students are shown their route to learning through an agenda, lesson objectives, clear and explicit links to the syllabus and MTPs
  • The 'big picture' of the learning is articulated to students – why does the lesson topic matter in terms of the subject, the wider world and the students' lives?
  • Lesson activities build on the pre-work completed by students before lesson (if pre-work has been set to prepare rather than consolidate from last lesson)
  • Lesson activities include modelling best practice and how to succeed to students
  • Lesson activities allow students to develop knowledge and skills necessary for exam success
  • Lesson activities allow students to apply the knowledge and skills developed and this is assessed by the subject teacher. It should be clear to the teacher and students:
    • Have students made progress?
    • Have students made enough progress?
    • How do I know?
  • Students are consistently asked for their thoughts and opinions and student voice and articulation of their thought processes are prominent in lessons
  • Over time lessons show that students are developing independence and control over their learning
  • Lesson activities make the best use of the subject-specialist's time in the lesson. Tasks that can be done independently are kept for independent study.
  • Lessons finish with a task that reviews learning and returns to the big picture/lesson context.
  • Students leave the lesson with pre-work and homework and a clear understanding of how to consolidate their learning and prepare for next lesson.

To ensure students make the most of the time with their subject-specialist teacher, sixth form students must consistently meet the following minimum expectations:

  • Ensure that where possible teachers are notified of any absence for trips and external opportunities before the lesson. When a lesson is missed it is the student’s responsibility to collect the missed work and complete it before the next lesson.
  • Arrive on time
  • Arrive fully equipped: necessary stationary, required textbooks, diary, course and day folder
  • Arrive with pre-work and homework ready to submit or use in lesson
  • Actively participate in the lesson, taking responsibility for their own learning
  • Organise notes from lesson in the way directed by the subject teacher
  • Record all independent tasks set in the lesson in the KSA Sixth Form diary