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Teaching & Learning

Teaching and Learning at Bradford Forster Academy

At BFA we support our students to improve and progress as much as possible during their time. We believe it is really important to know our students’ strengths and areas to develop so that we can support them on their journey to being successful adults.

The classroom is where we can really help our students to make the most progress. Below are a few (not all) examples of the techniques we employ in school to help our young people achieve.

We focus our teaching work around the ‘Principles’ of Barack Rosenshine and interpret these with our own ‘BFA Practicals’:

The 10 Principles of T and L (Barack Rosenshine)

The evidence-based principles

1.     Begin a lesson with a short review of previous learning.

2.     Present new material in small steps with student practice after each step.

3.     Ask a large number of questions and check the responses of all the students.

4.     Provide models.

5.     Guide student practice.

6.     Check for student understanding.

7.     Obtain a high success

8.     Provide scaffolds for difficult tasks.

9.     Require and monitor independent practice.

10.    Engage students in weekly and monthly reviews.

The BFA T and L Practicals

1.     Do Nows, quizzing, flashbacks.

2.     Clear explanations, chunked.

3.     Questioning, no hands-up, feedback and purple pen, oracy, adaptive teaching.

4.     Modelling, framing, walking-talking mocks.

5.     Differentiation, models, live writing/live working, clear explanations.

6.     Questioning, feedback and purple pen, live marking.

7.     Appropriate challenge and support.

8.     Models, differentiation, verbal feedback.

9.     Independent work, homework, feedback and purple pen, live marking, GCSEpod.

10.   Quizzing, flashbacks, mini-assessments, full assessments, homework, GCSEpod, flashcards.


1. No Hands-Up Rule; Ask lots of questions

At BFA we hand a ‘no hands-up’ policy. We use this so that we can use questioning effectively in our lessons. As the teacher we need to direct questions to particular students at particular times to;

  • - Check their understanding.
  • - Close any gaps in knowledge/ identify gaps in knowledge.
  • - Stretch and support our students individually.

Good quality effective questioning is a key feature of successful lessons at BFA.

A wealth of research and experience has shown this to be true. Our students need to be challenged by highly effective questioning.


  •   - Do not put your hand up to answer questions; your teacher will decide who answers them.
  •   - Be prepared to answer a question at any time!
  •   - Of course, you can still put your hand up if your teacher says so, if there’s a problem, or you have a question.


2. Do Nows: Retrieval and Flashbacks


  •  - The first academic task of a lesson                                                                                   
  •  - Students enter a class and begin working right away
  •  - Short in length, but long on value.
  •  - A powerful tool ensuring that students engage and learn right from the start.
  •  - It is often:                                                                                              

        - Same place/ routine each time. 

        - Self-managed.

        - Short and sweet.

        - Review or preview of learning.



  • - Consistency of expectations for starts of lessons.
  • - Every lesson starting off with a high expectation of learning/ progress.
  • - Written work early in the lesson – rigour.
  • - A proven method in Bradford.
  • - An early opportunity for teachers to check and intervene in the lesson.


Retrieval/ Flashbacks/ Quick Quizzes


  • - At sequenced intervals we quiz/ mini-test students with low stakes quizzes. The Do Now is a good time (but not the only time!) to do this.
  • - We need to ensure we support students to retrieve prior knowledge on a regular basis; this improves long-term memory and their ability to apply it.


 3. 15 Minutes Independent Work in lessons

 What is it?

  • - 15 minutes in the lesson when the students all have an independent task to complete.
  • - During this time, they work in silence and cannot ask for help.
  • - Designed to encourage independence, resilience, problem solving and extended writing.


What does it look like?

  • - Give out sheets/ work, give students time to read it through and ask any questions.
  • - Go through the rules of the ‘15 minutes Independent Work in Lessons’.



 4. BFA Feedback and Marking Principles

Our marking of students’ works like this:

Feedback at BFA, a combination of:

1.    Whole Class Feedback

Teacher gives feedback to the whole class on areas to improve

2.    Verbal feedback

Spoken feedback given during lesson time to support improvement work

3.    Written personalised feedback

Teacher gives individual written feedback on work; a marking grid could be used here

4.    Live feedback/ marking

Written notes/ feedback during lesson time

5.    Peer/self-feedback

Other students/ student gives feedback using teacher-set criteria

6.    Assessment/ exam feedback

Assessment/ exam feedback with areas to improve (could use marking grid)

ALL FEEDBACK should result in students completing a good amount of ‘purple pen’ improvement work (where this feedback is about book/ written work). The amount (depth and physical amount – students’ demonstration their improvement) of purple pen is the most important aspect of the feedback.

Purple pen lessons should be planned for; this may be a part or whole of a lesson.

Some elements of purple pen must be independent work.

A form of teacher feedback (types 1,3,4,5) should occur approx. every 8-10 lessons. A variety of the types of feedback should be given.

Teachers should collaborate to reduce unnecessary workload (e.g. shared planning of purple pen lesson resources).

Teachers write in green, students improve in purple.


Example of year 8 English book with marking/ student response



  • - An example of deep feedback and student’s response from an English book:
    • - Green feedback from the teacher (WWW, EBI).
    • - Student improves their work (purple pen work in top left).
    • - Neat work: ruler and pen have been used.



  • - An example of deep feedback from an English book:
  • - Green feedback from the teacher (WWW, EBI).
  • - Student improves their work (purple pen work in top left).
  • - Neat work: ruler and pen have been used.




 5. Learn Sheet Folders

All students at BFA carry with them a ‘Learn Sheet Folder’ to every lesson in school.

This contains;

  • - Homework sheets.
  • - Revision sheets for every subject/ assessment.
  • - Any letters/ other work or documents which students may need that day.
  • - This is a compulsory item of school equipment.



6. Staff Development at BFA

We value staff development highly at BFA.

 "Every teacher can improve, not because they’re not good enough but because they can be even better.” (Dylan Wiliam)

  •  - New Staff Induction (Thursdays, your first term at BFA)
  • - Teacher Coaching
  • - New BFA Middle Leaders Programme
  • - CPD sessions – Wednesdays (key themes, pro-active to themes and re-active to QA)
  • - Departmental Meetings; a time to develop T and L methods as a subject team
  • - Access to NPQML/ NPQSL if appropriate
  • - NQT and Teach First mentoring (bespoke) and NQT/ Teach First (group) training sessions throughout the academic year.
  • - RQT CPD sessions.
  • - 3 INSET days (disaggregated time).
  • - Line management; your line manager should challenge and support you to develop
  • - Taking part in QA processes
  • - Visiting your colleagues (speak to your Curriculum Leader about doing this)
  • - Lesson observation/ Learning Walk training (all new staff receive this)
  • - Personal research (Twitter, Chartered College of Teaching, Professional Associations; speak to the Senior Leader i/c of staff development about BFA paying for membership of these)
  • - Working with colleagues through our BDAT work –streams.
  • - Shadowing colleagues (at BFA, across the Trust)
  • - Access to the ‘Annual Career Discussion’ programme


ASK if there is something you’re interested in/ have a need for