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Teaching and Learning

Our goal is to ensure that the Teaching and Learning experience at Beacon Hill Academy stands out as among the best in Dudley. We aim to be recognised for the excellent academic provision we offer our learners.

Teaching and Learning here has undergone a significant transformation. We've developed a unique teaching and learning identity, along with a shared language among staff, fostering a supportive environment for improving practices.

At Beacon Hill Academy, every lesson begins with a ‘Do Now Activity’. Learners are greeted at the door and seamlessly transition into the lesson, starting with a brief recall task completed in silence. Teachers then proceed to the ‘Exposition’ phase, where they share Focus Knowledge/Progress Indicators and explain how learners will apply their newfound knowledge through specific tasks. Emphasis is placed on linking current learning with prior knowledge to build a cohesive understanding of the curriculum and address key misconceptions up front.


The ‘I do, We do, You do’ instructional technique is consistently applied across learning, to work towards the alleviation of cognitive overload. This approach involves the teacher modelling first, followed by guided practice, and eventually independent work. During independent practice, learners may enter the ‘Zone’, working silently on extended pieces for typically 10 to 30 minutes.

Questioning plays a central role in our instructional approach to gauge learner understanding. Cold Calling is employed, eliminating reliance on raised hands and providing learners with adequate wait time to formulate responses. Challenging questions are posed to stretch learners' thinking and maintain engagement. Various techniques, such as ‘think, pair, share’, mini-whiteboards and note-taking support learners in developing responses. Some lessons incorporate Hinge Questions to assess understanding.

Our team of Learning Support Assistants plays a crucial role in supporting a diverse range of learner needs. They work closely with teachers to deliver lessons effectively. Our Special Educational Needs Department ensures that Individual Education Plans are integrated into lesson planning, ensuring that every learner can achieve their potential.

To support all learners, we have a proactive approach to teaching disciplinary literacy at Beacon Hill Academy. Key word lists with definitions are front loaded into glossaries, which learners are given before embarking on a new topic of learning.  Learners will often ‘tick these off’ when they meet these new words during the module.  Frayer Models introduce learners to highest leverage words – ones which might underpin learning over a number of lessons or be critical to supporting the development of knowledge within the module.  Typically, learners would apply understanding of this word in a sentence (examples) and develop non-examples. The etymology of a word is often taught; however, each subject has developed their own approach and layout to Frayer Models to suit the nuances of that subject and the needs of a particular topic or module. Reciprocal reading is also something which is utilised to support learners in developing an understanding of a new text with a greater degree of collaboration and, somewhat paradoxically, independence too. 

Lastly, we offer a wide range of intervention sessions and booster opportunities, spanning from Year 7 to Year 11. Our GCSE upgrade sessions, held three times a week after school, target high-leverage subjects. Additionally, our commitment to teaching and learning extends beyond regular school hours, with support sessions and residentials offered during holiday periods. We prioritise supporting not only learners but their families during challenging examination periods, receiving appreciation for going the extra mile.

Our vision for Teaching and Learning is simple: to provide the very best because our learners deserve nothing less.