At DMP, 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 Music will show evidence of the following core features:
- Intelligent sequencing
- Highly tailored learning activities
- 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.
As one of our key drivers is Autonomy, 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 and engineer more tailored practice during one-to-one coaching sessions.
Our Top 3 literacy strategies are: reading book accessible at all times (reading); speak in full sentences and no slang (speaking); track the speaker/s (listening).
We begin every morning with breakfast and students attend morning meetings and complete knowledge quizzes to aid their knowledge retention.
We harness the power of feedback to increase student learning, by ensuring that feedback causes cognitive rather than an emotional reaction.
Our whole culture is built on feedback. At every Morning Meeting, after every lunch and at every line-up we reflect back on how the day has gone and the key highlights in learning. Everything we do is rooted in our three core values. Our teachers are fair and have real respect for their learners as people with ideas of their own. Their expertise earns the trust of learners; they are extremely hard-working, flexible and take every opportunity to maximise learning.
The school library is open daily, after the school day, for students to access.