Head of School's Blog
March 4th 2019
Falmouth School has been using the Falmouth Way framework for 6 months now and we’d like to give you an update on how it is going. The Falmouth Way sets out what we believe to be the foundations for academic achievement and enabling our students to grow into happy, healthy, confident young people.
A Culture of Excellence
Having high expectations of our students and teachers is the bedrock of any successful school. This, by definition, means expecting the best from everybody, every day and having a real sense of purpose and an aspirational plan. In extended assemblies, students have been encouraged to have both short and long term goals to work towards. Importantly, a culture of excellence does not mean that failure is unacceptable. Students are encouraged to see failure as an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and build their resilience, sometimes referred to as a growth mind-set.
Ready to Learn
Before learning can take place, students must come to school with the appropriate attitude and equipment. As you are aware, we have replaced effort grades with our Ready to Learn scores. Teachers give students a mark of 1-4, with 4 being the highest score, on their independence, behaviour, respect and equipment. Students are also centrally given a mark out of 4 for their attendance. A Ready to Learn grade average is then produced. Because Ready to Learn takes in all aspects of a student’s life at school, students with the highest Ready to Learn scores in their year group are rewarded and celebrated during assemblies and our commendation evenings.
A Great Teaching Model
Teaching and Learning are the core business and lifeblood of any school. At Falmouth School we have 3 pillars which we base our teaching model on: Bloom’s taxonomy, cooperative learning and metacognition. These pillars allow teachers to help students progress through their learning, be resilient and work collaboratively in groups.
Building your Learning
Finally, we have reorganised our reporting cycle into 4 learning cycles of 9 weeks each. This involves 7 weeks of teaching, an ‘assessment week’ where students are tested on their learning for that cycle and a ‘mastery week’ where students review how they did on their assessments. During mastery week, teachers help students correct any misconceptions or mistakes and push their learning further.
A key component of our teaching and learning model is the use of knowledge organisers. Knowledge organisers contain the basic content your child will need to know for each subject. The central principle here is ensuring that our curriculum is challenging in depth and breadth – providing strong foundations needed for success in every subject. To help teachers, students and parents have a clear understanding of what is being taught in each learning cycle, every student is given a knowledge organiser at the beginning of each learning cycle. Teachers regularly set quizzes and homework from the knowledge organisers, so it is imperative that they have them with them every day and in every lesson.
We believe the focus on these areas has made students aim higher, be ready to ‘give it a go’ and come to school prepared for a challenging but positive day of learning, which will give them every opportunity to succeed in the future.
Posted at 15:50 on 4th Mar 2019 Back