The Teaching and Learning Group, Differentiation and Improving Cathays High School

We are exceptionally proud of our multi-ethnic, multi-faith, multi-language school. We believe that we offer the young people of Cardiff a fantastic education, regardless of their first language, faith or ability. For us, our motto of ‘Opportunities For All’ is no idle statement. It is a statement that represents our promise to ensure that every student that arrives to study at Cathays is given every opportunity to make their most of their potential and achieve their goals.

To help us maximise the potential of our students, our staff are committed to making sure that all lessons are suitably differentiated. Differentiation is a strategy that means that the work that is set for students during a lesson is set at an appropriate level. That does not mean that the work is ‘dumbed-down’ or simplified. It means that the needs of the individual are considered to ensure that the level of challenge is appropriate and allows them to make progress.

With this in mind, at the beginning of September the Teaching and Learning Group decided that we would like to identify all the fantastic strategies that are used by our inspiring staff and ensure practice that helps students progress and reach their potential is shared. Cathays High School is passionate about developing a culture of learning amongst our staff. We pride ourselves on our relentless focus on effective practice in the classroom. In November we organised a ‘Differentiation Learning Walk’ that allowed staff to demonstrate and share their effective practice. It was a hugely successful day that resulted in us identifying numerous strategies that we then shared on our whole school INSET day in January. INSET (training days) provide us with valuable opportunities to celebrate and share all the fantastic skills that our staff demonstrate consistently across the school year.

The Teaching and Learning Group is a group that has been set up to discuss and share teaching and learning strategies that are beneficial to our students. Currently, there are 15 members of the group and it is fantastic to have regular conversations about pedagogy with such a knowledgeable and committed team. The other purpose of the Teaching and Learning Group is to discuss potential changes to the school structure or systems. At Cathays, we feel it is important to take on board the opinions of a wide range of staff to ensure that we always have a rounded view of the feelings of staff and students before decisions are taken.

Ymlaen

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