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.