Richard Challoner School

Learning & Teaching

Learning and Teaching at Richard Challoner School is underpinned by our '7 things'. These 7 things are an evolution of our previous 'Challoner 10' and a direct product of the last few years of staff working with individual inquiry questions within Learning Communities.

In a very real sense therefore, the 7 things represents a collective vision – developed collaboratively by staff – which provides a shared language to shape discussion and dialogue about the learning of our students and the teaching approaches that enable this.

More information about our aspirational framework for classroom craft, including support materials and signposting to further reading, can be found on our Learning and Teaching website, HERE.


Developing Learning & Teaching 

At the heart of the Learning & Teaching programme is a desire to empower all staff at all levels of the school to take responsibility for driving their own development and refining their own practice:

“If we create a culture where every teacher believes they need to improve – not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better – there is no limit to what we can achieve” (Dylan Wiliam)

Furthermore, we feel passionately that if we want students at Richard Challoner to have learning experiences that rival the best in the country, we must ensure that we are able to offer our staff a learning and development experience that is equally ambitious.

As such, we are proud of our comprehensive programme for staff development. This includes:

  • Teacher Learning Communities. These collaborative subject-based groups focus on iterative cycles of development, where evidence-informed practice, peer-coaching and structured reflection support staff to embed effective strategies and routines into their repertoire. Time is carved out across the academic year to enable these Learning Communities to meet in a dedicated professional learning period. On these days, school opens slightly later for students (9.30am registration), giving staff 50 minutes of professional learning time at the start of the day (8.40-9.30am).
  • Instructional Coaching (working with a Learning Coach). All teachers will work with a Learning Coach for cycles of instructional coaching. Typically lasting around 6 weeks, a cycle starts with the learning coach helping the teacher to identify a specific focus, then a period of implementation and evaluation. During this period, teacher and learning coach work together to gather ‘data’ that allows the learning coach to help the teacher evaluate the impact of their selected practice(s) and plan refinements/ progression.
  • Subject Planning & Development Days (INSET). These days provide opportunity to secure alignment on a number of whole-school key priorities (for example literacy and oracy development), as well as collaborative planning and development activities directed by the needs of individual subject teams.
  • Catholic Ethos and Pastoral Development (INSET). These days bring staff together, as a whole-staff community and in specialist pastoral teams, to develop the pastoral and spiritual life of the school.
  • 15 Minute Forums. These weekly optional training sessions cover a range of themes, allowing us to continue developing broader strategic priorities as well as responding to development needs as they arise.
  • Learning Walks and Lesson Visits. Observations of partial or full lessons are typically conducted by Subject Leaders and members of the Leadership Team. These are low-stakes and developmental, focussed on identifying themes for individual and team development.
  • SLT Tours. Although not specifically focussed on developing Learning and Teaching, the leadership team tour the school every day. This provides a lovely opportunity to see what the students are up to, while also allowing us to monitor the 'climate' of the classrooms.
  • Leadership Development. As well as developing leadership through line-management systems and supporting staff with the completion of professional qualifications, we strive to develop leadership at all levels of the school through programmes such as our own bespoke Growing Leaders programme.
  • Coaching. All teachers are assigned a coach to provide support and challenge with regard to a range of professional and personal development priorities.


Additional information relating to Learning and Teaching can also be found in the policies and documents section, HERE.