How We Teach
In its most recent educational report, Ofsted rated David Game College’s teaching as “Outstanding”, reflecting the professionalism that the College has developed in this fundamental area. The College combines traditional tutorial techniques with modern progressive forms of learning, backed up with e-learning support. All students are provided with a copy of their subject specifications, details of recommended text books and an outline of how their course will be taught.
From an early stage of the course, emphasis is placed on examination technique with students being given past paper questions for homework and tests, once key topics have been covered. Teaching is carried out in small groups and designed to achieve rapid learning. All teachers have a first degree in their subject and many have relevant professional teaching qualifications. Classes are closely monitored by members of the Leadership Team and teachers are regularly inspected and assessed using National Standards. Homework is set in all subjects and the College places particular importance on regular testing.
Students are provided with course notes, but encouraged to make their own notes to augment those provided by teachers. Lessons are highly structured, with learning objectives being made clear and learning achieved using a combination of techniques appropriate to the lesson. Most lessons are augmented with pre-selected and approved educational ICT support material, such as YouTube clips, and e-learning educational applications. The College has developed its own e-learning Moodle platform, which it encourages students to access outside of class time.
Teachers take care to correct student mistakes by carefully annotating written work in a supportive manner that encourages students to make progress. Lessons are designed to ensure that students receive three key elements of learning: context and purpose; key conceptual understanding; and factual recall. The College also helps students with their memory and revision skills through seminars, but all teachers assimilate examination technique into their lessons. Learning is facilitated through demonstrations, practical work (Science), visits (Economics, Art) and field trips (Geography & Biology).
With the onset of a national lockdown in March, the College was quick to switch to online Zoom learning, which proved extremely successful as a medium for student engagement and continuing on the education of our students. In anticipation of continuing issues and bumps in the road, the College’s COVID Risk Committee recognised the importance of ensuring that students who may not be able to visit the UK for some time, for a variety of reasons, would need to keep up-to-date with their classes. Live streaming of classes was a strategy developed by the College to ensure continuity of learning in real-time. The College invested heavily in state-of-art high quality cameras and microphone headsets for each teacher. Training was also intensified to help each teacher understand the process and make sure that they were able to teach the students in front of them, while at the same time be aware of the needs of a remote audience. Although this could be quite challenging, the teachers were remarkably willing to adjust and learn how to live stream their classes. To date, most classes can now be live streamed to anywhere in the world, and very few technical issues have occurred. The College has a dedicated team to ensure the smooth operation of live streaming and the feedback from students has been overwhelmingly supportive. All homework, additional notes and supporting documents are either directly emailed to the students or held on Google Classroom or via Microsoft Teams.
Indeed, it can be argued that the use and advent of live streaming may have enhanced and enriched students’ learning experience, as teachers are using detailed Power Points and embedding videos and other educational relevant materials, within them. Our experience with technology thus far has been positive, and while live streaming is not the same as actually been in the class in terms of overall experience, it provides a practical and high quality solution to the disruption caused by the virus. We all hope in the coming months to further review and constantly improve what we do as part of our commitment to excellence in education.