In The Stour Federation we aim to produce the kinds of citizens who are equipped to take on the challenges of the rest of the 21st century, improving humankind as they learn. Combining learning and humanity is deep learning at its best. The four elements: Pedagogical Practices, Learning Partnerships, Leveraging Digital and Learning Environments are considered and integrated where possible during the planning stage to design sequences of lessons to amplify learning.
The provision of the highest quality teaching is of paramount importance. Children experience a wide range of motivating and challenging, well-pitched learning opportunities. Teacher expertise identifies barriers to learning and plans approaches to overcome these. There is a belief that all pupils can succeed whatever their individual circumstance. Our Rosenshine model for teaching and learning through direct instruction (focusing on both disciplinary knowledge and substantive knowledge) provides a clear framework for practice across the Trust and our WalkThrus instructional coaching programme provides essential teaching techniques.
Our innovative and pioneering teaching and learning approaches, rooted in research, ensures a sustained improvement in learner attainment and progress. Our Core Leaders School Improvement Team, Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE), Evidence Leaders of Education (ELE) and Local Authority Moderators work across our Trust schools, supporting all of our teachers.
Our teachers make best use of the latest teaching and learning technologies. Professional development is provided face to face and remotely.
A Writing Process, Reading Process and Maths Process have been developed with staff using evidence from research (e.g. Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction) and sharing practice that has been most effective in our schools. A central bank of high quality teaching resources selected by teachers helps the alignment immensely. Teachers have welcomed this approach but have also been trusted to make sure that the sequence of lessons is taught within the framework but in the best way for their class - earned autonomy. This way of working supports staff workload, effectiveness of the Core Leaders School Improvement Team and the central Leadership Team strategically for future school improvement planning/innovation and operationally for understanding outcomes.
Working in partnership, sharing practice and showcasing outstanding teaching and learning helps us raise our expectations and continually look for ways we can improve.
All of our children have a fully rounded, enriched education. We strive for attainment and progress outcomes for children to be consistently significantly above national averages in all of the academies in the Trust. We recalibrated our focus for school improvement so that our children’s futures are determined less by what is tested and more by what we intrinsically value for the long-term benefit of our communities by focusing on the affective domain (focusing on awareness of the world, motivation and willingness to learn, beliefs and attitudes, organisation and characterisation) in addition to the cognitive domain (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation).
Our focus on behaviour for learning through Thrive and other research-led approaches focus on teaching children to become confident independent learners who can self-regulate and show metacognition.
All children are educated in a safe environment where their well being and personal development are of the highest regard and safeguarding is effective.
There is solid evidence that ‘collective efficacy’ (the group willingness to translate thoughts and feelings into meaningful actions in order to make a difference) has a positive impact on pupil achievement.