Learning First

At Dixons Cottingley Academy, we build a partnership between parents, students and teachers that puts learning first. We help our students to value learning by activating them as owners of their own learning.

Our teachers are passionate about teaching and learning; they are able to present challenging learning tasks. Their expertise allows them to 'read' their classrooms and to be more responsive to learners. They are extremely flexible and take every opportunity to maximise learning. They are great seekers and users of feedback.

We firmly believe that assessment is the bridge between teaching and learning. Therefore, every lesson at Dixons Cottingley will show evidence of the following core features:

  1. Intelligent sequencing
  2. Highly tailored learning activities
  3. Effective formative assessment

These are compulsory features of all our lessons that shape how students learn and how teachers teach.

In our classrooms and in our schemes of work and lessons plans, we value knowledge, skills and understanding.

Teachers are free to teach as they want as long as students learn and make progress. However, we do expect a few core strategies to be embraced by every teacher in every lesson – for example, a No Hands Up rule to ensure all questions are targeted and all students are engaged.

We have also adapted ‘the cycle of highly effective teaching’ developed by Achievement First and introduced Data Days to ensure that evidence about learning is used to adjust instruction to better meet student needs. We have taken ideas from Uncommon Schools and Doug Lemov’s work, particularly around questioning. We have also developed teacher talent through disciplined, deliberate and intelligent practice and coaching. For example, we practise key techniques collectively as a staff.

The LRC is open to students before, during and after the normal academy day for homework support and independent study / reading.

Please see the links to key documentation given below for further information about curriculum, assessment and teaching.

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RT @Year10_11DCO: Sports day was fantastic yesterday! Year 10 loved it! Thank you @dco_pe for all your efforts! https://t.co/I6GofhJR9p
7:30pm 18.07.2021

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RT @Year10_11DCO: And the winners are.... 10B!! So proud of you all!!! https://t.co/e7ZOdD4PTc
7:30pm 18.07.2021

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RT @Year10_11DCO: We had our final Thrive League Party yesterday, and in the words of 10C - 'We had a blast!' https://t.co/9GbEIGu8kq
7:30pm 18.07.2021