Teaching and Learning is the core business of our academy. We are trying to prepare students to be successful in a rapidly changing world that has many challenges, some of which are unseen. Therefore, it is our aim to have students involved fully in the learning process to promote an active culture of learning that equips students with the skills to be life-long learners.


We endeavour to support our staff in delivering outstanding teaching and learning opportunities that meet the needs of our students, enabling all to achieve their full potential.


At Thomas Hepburn Community Academy, every member of the academy plays an integral part in monitoring the quality of teaching and learning. This policy is reviewed and best practice is shared through our Continuing Professional Development (CPD), our Quality Assurance practices and our Appraisal Process. Teaching and learning is central to raising academic standards across our academy and this policy is supported by our current Rapid Improvement Plan.

1. Main Policy

1.1 At Thomas Hepburn Community Academy we shall:

  • Encourage resourcefulness, curiosity and an open attitude towards learning, in our students.
  • Stretch and challenge our students according to their specific capabilities.
  • Reflect upon and share best practice via our whole staff CPD program.
  • Focus wider academy activities around the purpose of learning and progress.
  • Enable our students to take ownership of, and lead, their own learning.

1.2 Outcomes - We will ensure:

  • That we will enable students to make demonstrable progress in lessons and over time, in line with their potential.
  • Students are actively challenged and engaged with a range of differentiated teaching and learning strategies.
  • Staff are empowered to successfully utilise a broad range of strategies and techniques to improve learning.

2. Key Principles

These key principles of teaching and learning drive our work at Thomas Hepburn Community Academy. We believe in:

  • Fostering in staff and students a culture of high expectations where every student has the right to be successful and the potential to achieve.
  • The use of accurate assessment for learning so that all students are aware of their specific targets and what they need to do to reach them.
  • Cementing the importance of literacy and numeracy across the curriculum.
  • Modelling learning skills and embedding a passion for learning in both staff and students.
  • Expanding the teacher's range of effective learning strategies to be employed in the classroom.
  • To provide a consistent learning experience for our students.

3. Practice

3.1 Outstanding teaching and learning

Outstanding teaching fosters outstanding learning. Outstanding teaching results when teachers:

  • Actively engage students in their learning and enable them to shape their own learning experience.
  • Have high expectations of their students and facilitate their progress towards their goals.
  • Motivate students via well paced, stimulating activities which are matched to the learning styles of the students.
  • Use assessment for learning effectively as a tool to monitor and motivate students so that students are clear about what they have learned and how their current learning fits in with their previous knowledge.
  • Reinforce learning with effective feedback and use this feedback to set clear targets for the future which are supported by appropriate assessments.
  • Make effective use of resources, including Learning Support Assistants.

3.2 Expectations of Teachers at Thomas Hepburn Community Academy

At Thomas Hepburn Community Academy, we expect that all teachers:

  • Plan lessons that allow for progress over time of all groups of students.
  • Assess students' work and provide formative and summative feedback regularly (see marking policy for additional information).
  • Should be helpful and approachable, always positive about their students and enthusiastic about their learning.
  • Are role models and should model the behaviour that is expected from students. For example, teachers should treat students with respect.
  • Should be assertive and demonstrate good classroom control by applying school policies consistently.
  • Are fully prepared and always on time to lessons
  • Engage continually with improvements in their practice via reflection, self evaluation and by welcoming feedback from others.
  • Be accountable for the achievement and progress of all classes that they teach, or contribute to the teaching of.

4. Responsibilities

Academy Leaders - The Leadership Team, Curriculum Leaders and any member of staff with a TLR are expected to be outstanding teachers and contribute to the continuous development of outstanding practice in the academy.

Curriculum Leaders - The ambition of Curriculum Leaders should be to drive the quality of teaching and learning in their faculty areas to outstanding.

Teachers - All teachers should be well informed practitioners with a passion for their subject. All teachers must play an active part in the academy CPD programme and embed ideas from the programme into their practice.