Lessons at Queen Elizabeth’s Academy follow our document known as the QEA way, which is based on the principles of a knowledge-based curriculum. Lessons follow the ‘knowledge retrieval’, ‘I do’, ‘we do’ and ‘you do’ model:

  • Knowledge retrieval – students retrieve key information, from memory, they will need to be successful in the lesson
  • I do – teachers deliver content to the group through explicit instruction
  • We do – the teacher and students work together to apply their new knowledge to an activity
  • You do – students complete independent work

The explicit emphasis on knowledge provides challenge and rigour for all students including the most able. We believe this model, teamed with the knowledge-based curriculum, is also the correct teaching model for our students.

The knowledge-based curriculum explicitly teaches students the knowledge they need to be successful. Subsequently, they are able to demonstrate gains in their knowledge, and with knowledge, develop their skills and understanding. Acquisition of knowledge is given the upmost importance in lesson times and through retrieval practice, knowledge organisers and the homework students are encouraged to store it to their long-term memory and be able to retrieve and use it effectively.

Teachers regularly ascertain student understanding in lessons. Subsequently, a key feature of lessons at the academy is regular questioning. If the teacher does not gain a high enough success rate to progress onto the next part of the lesson they adapt their teaching accordingly.

A further feature of lessons at Queen Elizabeth’s is live marking. Teachers monitor independent practice allowing them to deliver real time feedback to students. This ensures students do not practice errors in their work and these misconceptions are addressed early.

Key stage 3 assessment

Teachers use formative assessment methods every lesson including quizzing, questioning, hinge questions or exit tickets. Work is also regularly assessed under visualises during lessons or in the ‘you do’ (independent) section of the lesson.

Summative assessments are designed by faculties in advance of testing and checked by the senior leadership team before students sit them. They are aligned to the curriculum areas core concepts and are cumulative assessments.

To ensure assessments are reliable students sit these in agreed time parameters and with agreed levels of support. Department areas have created clear mark schemes to minimise bias. Tests are marked out of the agreed number of marks and students are given a percentage score. These are only done 3 times a year. The percentage that is knowledge and skills is distinct to the curriculum area (e.g. in physical education this is 30% knowledge 70% practical skill, whereas history is a 50/50 split).

An example of the KS3 assessment report that parents receive is available to view below:

QEA – KS3 Progress report template 2018-19