Sandringham School Learning and Teaching newsletter Autumn 2019


Our Teaching and Learning focus for the autumn term has been upon Oracy: the specific teaching and practice of speaking and listening skills. To successfully develop this skill, we have focussed upon:

  • Cross-curricular development: presenting opportunities for students to develop their skills, such as our elective debating module in year 9, through to inter-house debates on current topics through to entering the Rotary Youth Speaks competition
  • Oracy in subject teaching: we have developed a range of strategies to promote effective use of oracy in learning, building learner confidence and usually only requiring small adjustments in pedagogy to have a significant impact

Dialogic Teaching

Dialogic teaching harnesses the power of talk to stimulate and extend students’ thinking, and advance their learning and understanding (Alexander 2017)

Linked to the focus upon Oracy, we looked at the research of Alexander and Phillipson in how the approach of dialogic teaching can support ongoing talk and discussion as a framework for teaching and learning. The deliberate creation of time and space for student contribution, both talking and listening, enables the co-construction of learning that moves beyond teacher presentation. The EEF research into this methodology in Key Stage 2 showed consistent positive effects of about 2 months additional progress in science, English and maths, further suggesting that overall thinking and learning skills had improved rather than just topic knowledge.


With the publication of the EEF's Secondary Literacy guidance report, we have started the process of developing a literacy plan for each subject in the school. These will take the seven recommendations from the guidance report and translate them into direct action in the classroom.

As these plans are being developed, we visited again the structures for improving whole-school literacy at Sandringham: literacy marking symbols and the literacy ladders.


App of the term, Classkick, was introduced by Hannah Fryer from our Maths faculty. If you have one-to-one devices in your lessons, this easy-to-use tool allows instant whiteboarding and annotation, with monitoring and feedback via a teacher dashboard. There are also features to allow for real-time responses during lessons, from differentiated work, stickers for feedback and students asking for teacher or peer support. The free version of the tool is still powerful and can be found at https://classkick.com/

Computing Hub

The Alban Teaching School alliance was appointed to be one of the first wave of national Computing hubs, working with the National Center for Computing Education to train the next generation of Computing teachers and to act as advocates and experts for the subject across primary and secondary phases. The hub, based at Sandringham, launches formally in January 2020 and more information can be found by clicking the button below or find us on Twitter on @ComputingHubSAC

The NCCE wesbite containing news, resources and details of courses that we will be delivering in Herts and London can be found here: https://teachcomputing.org/

Sandringham Research School - Autumn Highlights

Sandringham is a national Research School, working closely with the EEF to promote the use of evidence in teaching.

As well as hosting a range of training events, the Research School team have written evidence-informed blogs on a wide range of topics, from feedback and metacognition to rewards, parental engagement, digital technology and curriculum. See below for the link to these articles and more!