Pedagogy at SJB is underpinned by the principles of Teaching for Mastery that originated from Shanghai and is based on the fundamentals of Bloom’s taxonomy. In its simplest terms, teaching for mastery ensures that all children develop a deep understanding of an educational concept before moving on. It builds solid foundations, in small steps, so that learning is really secure. Challenge is provided through depth, not acceleration into new content.
Mastery is a continuum that might not ever be achieved but students should always keep working towards it. Underpinned by the belief that all students can achieve, given the right conditions: good teaching, enough support, the right materials and resources, lots of effort and a positive ‘can do’ attitude. Mastery learning is based on a ‘keep up, not catch up’ philosophy and assumes the very highest expectations are set for all students; no learner should ever be ‘capped’.
Mastery learning encourages students to take responsibility for reflecting on their learning of both knowledge and skills. Additionally, it encourages learners to think deeply about concepts, as well as explore links between topics in order to really secure understanding.
At SJB we believe in 5 aspects of Mastery Learning:
- Small Steps: Learning is developed in small steps.
- Modelling: Information is presented in a variety of ways to enhance understanding.
- Mistakes: Are celebrated and used to drive learning; misconceptions are exposed.
- Precise Language: Retention is aided by use of consistent and accurate subject specific language (Tier 3 vocabulary).
- Questioning: Is skilful and draws out knowledge as well as promotes links so students understand the interconnectedness of learning.
We endeavour to ensure our teaching always reflects the principles of mastery learning, by following the Mastery Delivery Model: