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Cotham School

Principles of Teaching and Learning

At Cotham School, we are passionate about instilling a love of lifelong learning in all our students and staff. Our mantra is that we strive to achieve and improve, not because we are not good enough, but because we can always be better. All lessons are structured around the Cotham Principles of Teaching, formulated using robust research in the fields of cognitive science and evidence rich action research from a range of educational settings. Using retrieval practice, sequencing, modelling, scaffolding, questioning, guided practice and independent practice, teachers skillfully deliver our knowledge rich, diverse curriculum, ensuring that all students can access their learning and are challenged. Teachers have a deep knowledge and understanding of the subjects they teach and provide students with personalised support to embed knowledge, understanding and skills.

We use a wide range of formative and summative assessment strategies to systematically check students’ understanding, address misconceptions and build knowledge. This incisive, contextualised feedback helps students to improve their work, build their knowledge and develop their skills. Students are explicitly taught metacognitive strategies so that they are able to take ownership of their learning and develop their love of lifelong learning, always eager to improve, showing passion and curiosity as they seek out new information and learning opportunities. 

Our curriculum, resources and teaching practice reflect and value the diversity of our students and students are encouraged to bring their lived experiences and culture to the classroom. Cotham classrooms prioritise achievement, celebrate diversity and nurture respect throughout our school community and we are extremely proud of the well-rounded, articulate and confident learners who bring such passion and excitement to their learning.