Our Philosophy

Our philosophy

At King Harold Academy we believe that the best teaching occurs when students are challenged to think hard, to struggle and grapple with new content and are supported and inspired in this process via passionate, caring teachers, who are skilled at pedagogy.

Students are given a range of opportunities in lessons to work individually as well as in pairs and in groups. Lessons are designed to engage and inspire fusing fun and rigour together so that students learn as well as they can; deepening their understanding and developing their skills.

Lessons are characterised by purpose and focus. A rigorous behaviour management system and incredibly high expectations of student conduct ensures that all students’ progress. We expect students to demonstrate kindness and politeness inside and outside of the classroom at all times. We are very proud of the King Harold uniform and insist that it is worn correctly and with pride at all times.

Homework is provided to consolidate and extend the learning that has happened in class. Students are expertly guided by their teachers on not just what to learn but how to learn.

Research informed Teaching

There is more research and evidence into “what works” in the classroom than ever before and at King Harold we use this to constantly develop how we teach. Teaching and Learning is everything. The most important aspect of the day to day life at King Harold is what happens in the classroom, science Lab, gym and sports field. We know that for children the most important part of their schooling is the teaching they receive. Central to everything we do is the belief that:


Learning happens when you think hard

Professor Robert Coe

Teachers plan using an adapted form of the “Accelerated Learning cycle” which is often shared with students. We use this a way of thinking about Teaching and Learning. Below is a picture of the Accelerated Learning Cycle we use

Throughout each lesson we endeavour to make learning as “visible” as possible. The work of Professor John Hattie and his Visible learning inspires us to make sure that we concentrate on “what works” in the classroom and to constantly evaluate how our teaching is having an impact on our students learning.

We know that we have to teach so that students can think and think hard, independently as well as together. It is our belief that students have to become good at studying, so that when they leave us in year 11 not only do they leave with great examination results they also leave being able to learn and study whatever they have to in order to lead fulfilling lives.

In addition to our lessons being challenging and inspiring we also incorporate a range of “thinking devices” in lessons in order to develop students’ abilities to learn, a sample of which are below:

Where students have to convert pieces of information and understanding into something else. So for example a flow diagram into a clear speech, or a piece of text into a flow diagram. This process of “transforming” forces students into really consider what they are learning.

Where students have to reduce large pieces of information into much smaller precise salient points. Students have to select and consider how they are “reducing” and make decisions on what they leave out and what they leave in.

Where students have to discuss their learning, either in pairs, groups or as a whole class. Talk is the foundation of learning so our lessons are characterised by discussion and debate.

Student have to evaluate and analyse via well-structured criticisms. They have to consider two or more points of views either verbally or via written exposition. In order to criticise effectively students must have mastered the key details of a topic.

Practice doesn’t always make perfect but perfect practice does. Deliberate practice enhances students’ abilities to use new gained knowledge appropriately and with fluidity. It helps with retention and recall and allows students to explain what they know. 

Prioritising is a skill that is crucial to “thinking hard”. Students, once they have mastered the key ideas and basics are then challenged to order and prioritise based on a deep analysis.


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Head's Welcome

Head's Welcome

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Values & Ethos

Values & Ethos

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