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Teaching and Learning

Quality-first Teaching and Learning is at the centre of our school’s ethos, and is the key priority for all staff.

Our aim is for teachers to deliver high-quality lessons to all year groups, whilst also being supported to develop through pertinent and purposeful internal and external CPD that is bespoke.


At RFSS, we believe 

our students are entitled 

to consistently good 



Learning is integral to everything we do at RFSS. We ensure that all of our students, regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability, receive the best possible learning experiences, to enable them to achieve and maximise their potential. Our forward-thinking curriculum, designed to meet the needs of all learners, is delivered by subject specialists, who embrace the latest innovations in teaching and learning.


At RFSS, we continually support students to develop a love of learning to help them become learners for life, in order to equip them with the knowledge and skills that they will need in the real world. This is also the case with our teaching staff, who continuously develop and update their own pedagogical practices, through Action Research projects and other bespoke professional development sessions.


At RFSS, we expect our staff to adopt a set of Teaching and Learning principles that are both research-based and pedagogy-led, ensuring all students are seen as individuals who are not limited by their ability or expertise. This framework allows for the systematic growth of minds, and the development of the cognitive skills, values, attitudes and attributes needed to reach success. In addition to this, we believe that staff are the experts in their areas, and we aim to work collaboratively to share good practice and ideas.


Our students are encouraged to use their thinking skills to build on existing knowledge, generate their own ideas and opinion, and to solve problems effectively, both individually and in collaboration with their peers. This philosophy also extends itself to the personal aspect of Teaching and Learning, as we strive to develop well rounded individuals who are respectful, curious and resilient.

Our Teaching and Learning Philosophy

Our Key Principles – An Explanation

SET For Learning: ‘SET’ stands for ‘Silence, Equipment, Task’ and puts the onus on to the student to be ready and prepared for their lesson. Students should begin the lesson in silence, and should begin work on a task displayed by their teacher. Memory: Linked to SET For Learning, students should be given the opportunity to develop their memory recall and retrieval skills, at the start of each lesson. This could take the form of a Do Now Activity, or an Image-Based task. Students should work on this individually and in silence, unless directed otherwise. This task should be linked to previous sequential learning, or where appropriate, should be linked to previous units (interleaving). Making Links: Students need to be able to recognise how the learning in one lesson relates to learning in previous lessons, in order to create sequences of learning and to build schemata. As a result, lessons should refer to previous learning and should also be contextualised as to their purpose, and to their place in the real world. Talking Points: Students should be given the opportunity to discuss their ideas in pairs and in groups, in order to shape perspectives and form appropriate opinions. Students should be encouraged to add to, build on, or challenge the ideas of their counterparts. Talking Points can also be the stimulus for a piece of extended writing or written work. Assessment: At RFSS, we believe that assessment marks the start of a journey, and should not just be seen as a numerical end-point. Assessment should be both formative and summative, and crucially, should involve a ‘next step’ in order to enable progress. Students should also have the opportunity to see and understand what ‘good’ looks like. With regards to Marking and Feedback, RFSS adopts the FAR approach, which has further details below. Differentiation: Students, irrespective of their starting point, should be able to access the learning episodes in lessons. Differentiation should be explicit in lessons, and should be explicitly evident within sequences of lessons. As a result of this, there should be clear levels of challenge for all students, with expert questioning also a key feature of this. Ultimately, the teacher should adapt the learning to suit the needs of the students.