Teaching, Learning & CPD

We are committed to fostering a culture of continuous improvement in teaching and learning, a commitment that directly translates into better outcomes for our students.

We acknowledge that the pursuit of educational excellence is a continuous journey, demanding the unwavering dedication and collaborative endeavours of our entire school community. Consequently, it is imperative to articulate a robust, transparent, and collectively embraced vision that encompasses both our aspirations and the practical execution of our goals.

Our vision for teaching and learning is centred on fostering a culture of expert and systematic instruction, designed to uphold a standard of unwavering excellence in both teaching and learning practices. This vision revolves around the concept of depth:

  • Depth in teaching means that we see our teachers as experts, who are empowered to focus on communicating their subject expertise and knowledge to our students.
  • Depth in learning means that we believe in the building of schemata, and expect all of our students to be challenged and equipped to ensure they achieve a deep understanding.

We focus on promoting and embedding Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction. The main aim is to support teachers seeking to engage with cognitive science and the wider world of education research.

We must start with what students know and draw links to the new material or ask questions that help students make these connections

(Rosenshine, 2012).

When people learn they develop their mental models. By 'mental model' we mean what is sometimes known as 'schema' or 'schemata' (Education Endowment Foundation, 2021), which is the way information is organised in long-term memory (Sweller et al., 1998). Therefore, by supporting students to learn material, teachers are supporting the development of their mental models in that area. Once their mental models are more developed in an area, students will need less support applying what they know.

Continuous Professional Development

Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better. - Dylan Wiliam

At Finchley Catholic High School, we prioritise staff development as a cornerstone in delivering the best possible education and ensuring an equitable classroom experience for our students. All staff members undergo comprehensive training to cultivate excellence and uphold high standards.

Aligned with the Teachers’ Standards, our teachers prioritise the education of students as their primary concern, holding themselves accountable for achieving the utmost standards in both work and conduct. The Teachers’ Standards articulate clear expectations regarding professional development, emphasising that teachers should:

  • keep their knowledge and skills as teachers up-to-date and be self-critical;
  • take responsibility for improving teaching through appropriate professional development, responding to advice and feedback from colleagues;
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how pupils learn and how this has an impact on teaching;
  • have a secure knowledge of the relevant subject(s) and curriculum areas;
  • reflect systematically on the effectiveness of lessons and approaches to teaching; and know and understand how to assess the relevant subject and curriculum areas.

Effective professional development is integral to ensuring quality teaching and cannot exist in isolation. It necessitates a shared commitment among teachers to support one another's development, fostering an environment where students benefit from the highest quality teaching. Such professional development serves as a key driver not only for staff growth but also for recruitment, retention, well-being, and overall school improvement.

We provide a comprehensive CPD package that encompasses various avenues for skill enhancement. This includes assistance through our in-house FCHS CPD Toolkit, twilight program, INSET program, subject networks, our proprietary leadership development initiative, elective CPD sessions, and support for colleagues participating in the National Professional Qualification (NPQ) programmes, or through the ECT framework.

Review Cam:

A cornerstone of our CPD program is 'Review Cam,' an innovative in-house system that empowers our teachers to take ownership of their professional development journey. Review Cam is not just a tool; it's a catalyst for growth, self-confidence, and effective collaboration among our teaching staff.

With Review Cam's user-friendly mobile video cameras, our educators gain a unique opportunity to record, reflect upon, and refine their teaching practice. The platform is equipped with specialised tools that facilitate highly effective professional learning activities. Through video-based self-assessment, teachers can witness their classroom strategies in action, identify areas of strength, and pinpoint opportunities for growth.

Prioritising Privacy and Safety:

We understand that while video is a potent tool for accelerating teaching and learning, the privacy and security of our students are paramount. Rest assured, we have developed a system that places data protection, privacy, and safety at the forefront of our priorities.

Our stringent protocols ensure that all recorded video footage remains strictly confidential and never enters the public domain. These recordings are securely stored on our private servers, with access granted only to authorised personnel involved in professional development activities. We have implemented robust safeguards to guarantee that the use of Review Cam aligns seamlessly with our commitment to keeping young people safe and secure within our educational environment.