Learning at Camp Hill
We want students to enjoy learning and the opportunities it presents. We encourage all students to develop a deep understanding of their subjects by providing quality teaching and resources, and by encouraging them to contribute fully to all activities, to ask questions and to embrace challenge. By taking responsibility for their own learning, reflecting on their strengths and weaknesses, and supporting their peers, students will be able to realise their full potential. Our aim is to develop students who are intellectually curious, increasingly independent, reflective and resilient.
A Camp Hill Learner
We seek to instil and develop in students the skills which will allow them to be successful learners not only during their school years but in whatever academic or vocational path they choose beyond that.
These skills include what might often be called ‘study skills’, but also encompass other learning behaviours, for example the ability to deal with challenges and setbacks. We believe that it is by combining these various learning skills and behaviours that students will be able to maximise their progress.
By encouraging students to take responsibility for their own learning, they are reminded that the outcomes are within their control. A student who takes responsibility will:
- Set their own short term goals and, with guidance from their teacher, determine and work towards the steps to achieve them;
- Arrive at lessons having completed any necessary preparation and be ready to engage fully in all tasks;
- Plan their time and work effectively so that they can meet deadlines and complete tasks to the best of their ability;
- Put their best effort into all learning tasks including homework, group work and class discussions.
Students make most progress when they reflect on their learning and feedback, using it as a means to plan future learning. Students are encouraged to develop these meta-cognitive skills: using specific strategies for planning, monitoring and evaluating their learning. A reflective student will:
- Carefully review feedback provided. This may take the form of written comments, verbal feedback, exemplar answers, whole class feedback amongst other things. They will then apply this feedback to their own learning to identify areas to improve next time;
- Develop a range of learning strategies, evaluate their effectiveness for a given task and adapt their approach as necessary;
- Ask questions and seek further guidance to clarify their understanding where necessary;
- Seek clarity on the steps to take to improve their work in similar future tasks.
Learning journeys will inevitably include setbacks and uncertainties, and we reassure students that this is often where the best learning happens. We encourage students to recognise that hard work has a direct impact on ability and learning from mistakes is a key part of this. A resilient learner will:
- See critical feedback or a mark they may initially perceive as disappointing to be an opportunity to learn rather than a setback;
- Ask questions if they do not understand something and seek further guidance as needed;
- Be confident in offering comments, responses and questions, even if unsure if they are correct, as they provide an opportunity to further their understanding or clarify a misconception;
- Undertake independent practice to improve skills or understanding where they have identified they have the potential to improve;
- Take advantage of support opportunities offered where appropriate e.g. revision and intervention sessions.
These skills are developed throughout students' school career through PSHE lessons, form time activities, assemblies and interactions with pastoral and teaching staff. In doing so, we aim to give students the tools they need to ensure their own success.
Feedback to move learning forward
What you can expect and why it works
While students and parents may be keen to know the mark or grade for a particular piece of work, much of the most valuable feedback - in terms of aiding student learning - will be formative. This means it will be focused on identifying gaps in student understanding and determining next steps to allow students to address those gaps and to continue to make progress and develop their skills.
As well as teacher written or verbal comments, feedback may take many forms including (but not limited to):
- Self and peer assessment
Staff will model what constructive feedback looks like and students will be trained in how to assess their own work and that of their peers. This allows students to learn from each other and also encourages them to reflect on their own work and the ways in which they can improve it.
- Whole class feedback
This is an effective way to highlight areas of strength or weakness, and to address common misconceptions. As part of this process, teachers will often provide exemplar work and suggest targets for students to apply to their own work.
Teachers use questioning in lessons to gauge students’ understanding, stretch their thinking and avoid misconceptions. It is therefore important that students contribute as fully as possible to class discussions.
To be effective, it is essential that - whatever the form of feedback - students reflect and act upon it. Please encourage your child to read carefully written comments when work is returned to them and before starting another similar piece of work, to ensure they address any issues identified. Teachers may also ask students to complete follow up work, make corrections or review their work in the light of feedback.
Student experience of feedback
The requirements of each subject and lesson will be different, but the Feedback toolkit sets out a number of ways in which students may receive feedback in lessons or on written tasks, as well as the benefits of doing so.
For more information, please see our Marking and Feedback Policy in the School Policies section of the website.
Our Homework Policy can also be found there.
Guidance on exam preparation for parents and carers
Students will receive both the academic and pastoral support they need to ensure that they prepare as effectively as possible for examinations. We know that parents and carers will also want to support their child at home during this period and we have produced a guide to revision and exam preparation.
You may also like this webinar on effective study strategies aimed at parents and carers. It includes practical advice, based on the latest research, to help students' learning outside the classroom.
Elevate education also run regular webinars for parents/carers. You can register for them here.
A culture of curiosity
High achieving students are often those who are keen to explore their subject, understand it on a deeper level and investigate topics beyond the curriculum. We strongly encourage them to pursue these ‘super-curricular’ opportunities. While this intellectually curious approach is prized by the most prestigious universities, we also believe in instilling a love of learning for its own sake. Subject staff will regularly provide enrichment opportunities such as educational visits, competitions and projects, and there is a wealth of resources available online for students to pursue their own academic interests. We recognise that students have many pressures on their time, particularly with the challenges of a broad and demanding curriculum at GCSE and A Level. These super-curricular opportunities are far from additional homework - they are exciting, interesting opportunities for the curious student to enjoy as they please.