Six Principles

As a follow up to discussion around ‘Great’ teachers all staff considered effective approaches to lessons and lesson planning. Out of this, and supported by ‘Making Every Lesson Count’ (by Shaun Allison and Andy Tharby) six key principles were established.

What are the features of a ‘Great’ lesson?…

…Shortly after discussing what makes an effective teacher at MACS the focus and attention shifted to the features of ‘great’ lessons and effective teaching practice. This was an important piece of work undertaken by staff, working collaboratively during INSET and Twilight sessions, and the culmination of which resulted in six key principles being identified that have gone on to form the foundation of teaching and learning activity (and indeed CPD) at MACS. It is not to say that these are the only six key features of effective practice, and neither are they going to be present in every lesson all of the time (of course they are not!), but the 50 or so items that were generated by staff during discussion were distilled to these key six.

Fundamentally we wish to achieve a shared idea about what is really important and needs to embedded within our practice over time, but affording the freedom to do this in a way that suits a range of styles and approaches depending on the practitioner. The six principles apply to all subjects, at all stages and therefore can hold meaning and purpose across MACS. Though they may be implemented differently, they contribute to a shared vision for improvement (for example: across the school all pupils are given time to engaged in deliberate practice, or all pupils experience probing questions).

Six Principles of Great Teaching and Lessons at MACS, adapted from ‘Making Every Lesson Count’ – Through appropriate challenge and engagement, with clear explanation and helpful modelling from teachers, pupils are able to engage in deliberate practice. In turn they will be questioned and assessed and receive feedback so their practice can improve further.

It is envisioned that the six key principles focus the professional learning of teachers on the things that contribute to great teaching. In support of this at MACS each of the six principles have their own dedicated area on this website with resources, ideas and prompts for discussion.

Therefore teachers would have opportunities to discuss which of the principles they wish to focus on and develop. Aligning this with the MACS model for CPD the overarching aims are to afford time and space to:

  • Talk about teaching
  • Watch teaching
  • Plan, organise and reflect together
  • Teach others about teaching

Associated further reading and references:

  • Allison, S. and Tharby, A., 2017. Making Every Lesson Count. Carmarthen: Crown House.

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