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St Alban's Catholic High School

Teaching & Learning

We believe that one of our key priorities at St. Alban’s is to prepare our young people to enter the ever changing world and marketplaces of work armed with the skills and attitude to excel.  An essential part of this is the growing of qualities for life long learning; creativity, resilience, independence, determination, calculated risk-taking and perseverance in the face of challenges.

During their time at our school, we endeavour to equip students with the following type of skills:

  1. Independent enquiry
    students have a thirst for knowledge and seek to learn independently.  They investigate and evaluate to make well-reasoned and informed decisions, still recognising that others may have different perspectives on the same issues.  They can examine a variety of information and form conclusions based on evidence.

  2. Creativity
    students embrace opportunities to be creative, explore ideas and come up with unique solutions.  They share ideas and collaborate to work in different ways, making use of the opportunity to connect learning.  They are open to alternative solutions to problems and can adapt to changing circumstances with flexibility.

  3. Collaboration
    students see the value of working in partnership with others.  They co-operate and work responsibly yet considerately with others, supporting and challenging team members as needed.  They form excellent working relationships with others, able to work with a variety of peers in different situations.  students can give constructive feedback to each other and play a part in collective progress.

  4. Self-management and responsibility
    students recognise their responsibility for their own progress and achievement.  They are able to set aspiration goals, recognising their strengths and limitations, and are able to monitor their own progress towards these targets.  students are reflective and embrace challenge, accepting the developmental potential of learning from calculated risk taking that sometimes brings mistakes.  They seek feedback from teachers and peers, and are skilled at applying this in order to progress.

These skills are the principles which underpin all of our work driving Teaching and Learning in school.

SAIL (St. Alban’s Independent Learning)

Local schools all approach homework in different ways, but what works the best is when the learning is flexible and engaging for students, giving opportunities for creativity.

With these things in mind, students in key stage 3 complete SAIL work outside of the classroom.  This means that teaching staff have freedom to set the tasks they feel are appropriate to maximise the enjoyment and achievement of their students at a timely point during their teaching of units of work, rather than sticking to a timetable.  In order to foster the culture of independent learning, SAIL work is also published on the VLE so that students can access these opportunities outside of school.

Staff set work with realistic deadlines to avoid over-burdening students with too much work in a short space of time.  Interim reports contain an “independent learning” column will also encompass SAIL work done outside of school.  

A copy of the departmental expectations can be found here - SAIL expectations