Since DESC opened in 2005, developing high-quality Teaching and Learning has been central to the core aims of the Leadership Team. There have been several impressive initiatives over the years to provide teachers with information and support to teach consistently excellent lessons. The vision of the school is central to Teaching and Learning at DESC: it appears at the heart of our Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) and provides the structure for the key components necessary for excellence.
Teachers carefully plan student-centred, interactive lessons that are appropriately challenging for all learners. In order for students to be fully prepared for life after their time at DESC, they must develop their learning and thinking skills as well as a deep understanding of the curriculum. The development of Four to Grow, based around our key concepts of Dare, Excel, Share, Create has been specifically designed to equip students with these skills.
There is a dedicated team led by Mr Fallon, Assistant Head Teacher, responsible for Teaching and Learning at DESC. The Teaching and Learning team has grown since its conception in 2013 from three to eight members of staff led by Miss Hendey, Director of Learning. The team work alongside individual teachers, supporting them to create even better learning experiences for our students. By engaging in research and attending international conferences, the team can introduce the very latest technology to teachers and into DESC classrooms, where staff will then evaluate its impact on learning.
In addition, they lead whole school staff training and have helped DESC move towards becoming a Professional Learning Community (PLC). With a 'growth mindset', teachers at DESC firmly believe that all learners can make progress from whatever their starting point, and this is a concept that pervades their own Professional Development. Staff at DESC are determined to continually improve their practice and do so through sharing good practice, trying out new teaching strategies and discussing their impact, both at organised forums and informally.
The Teaching and Learning Team have driven forward exciting initiatives, such as forming a group of Lead Learner students, some of whom are even trained to observe lessons and offer insightful feedback to staff. In addition, Heads of Department benefit from coaching to ensure further development in their ability to lead learning within their subject teams.
DESC continues to prioritise the development of teachers which we believe will undoubtedly improve the classroom experience of our students.