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General Information

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All about us - Braunton Academy


Our  philosophy for learning is clear: for all to "Aspire & Achieve"

Whilst we fully recognise “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted” (Albert Einstein), we do recognise the importance of maintaining a balance in all we do, particularly our focus on supporting and caring for our students is kept perfectly in balance with ensuring they are always working to the very best of their academic ability. We know and understand the maxim: “The harder I work, the more I practise, the luckier I seem to get.”












Following a ‘Mastery Curriculum’ that is…. taught through the three elements of the trivium as…. students learn to become self-regulating and independent learners. 


The mastery curriculum – approaches and benefits

Mastery learning is the belief that students should master a skill before moving on to learn a new one. In contrast to the classic spiral curriculum, where students can race between topics without properly learning any of them, a mastery curriculum gives students the space to learn a skill, understand it conceptually, and practise until it’s automatic.

The ‘skill/concept’ has been mastered if:

  • The student can demonstrate or explain the skill/concept orally, concretely, visually and abstractly.

  • The student can apply the skill/concept automatically so that it is not dominating their working memory.


The mastery curriculum approach is designed to address:

  • A more challenging and rigorous curriculum

  • New GCSEs with a larger amount of content

  • The need for us to be more skilled in reasoning, problem-solving and the application of knowledge

  • The need for ‘depth’ in all we learn so we are able to achieve more in our lives. 

Mastery comprises:

  • Practise and consolidation

  • Proof before progression.

Classroom strategies involve:

  • Identifying key constructs/skills from GCSE specifications for a Y7 - Y11 all through curriculum

  • Mastery tests - designed to help students learn the key facts and skills at home

  • Assessments - regular assessments to check knowledge and progress

  • DTT - Diagnose, Therapy and re-Test - designed to address gaps and misconceptions before moving on.


The Trivium:     
A framework within which we construct our curriculum and pedagogy

The Trivium is a method of teaching that incorporates three skills combined to produce, arguably, a good education.

Grammar teaches the knowledge and mechanics of a subject to students based on what has been discovered in the past. All subjects have grammar, it is their knowledge base, their structure, the concepts, rules, facts and fundamentals of the subject.

Dialectic is the thought, analysis, reasoning and discussion, and sometimes argument, which develops understanding. It is through dialectic that we take the best of what has gone before and bring it forward to create the future. Dialectic develops students as thinkers and philosophers who shape the future. Rhetoric is the application or the way thoughts and ideas are communicated; this can be in the form of essays, performances, presentations, exams, etc.

In short, Trivium is the knowledge (grammar) now understood (dialectic) being transmitted outwards as wisdom (rhetoric).

Grammar = Knowledge (facts and concepts; memory and testing; Cultural capital)
•    The direct transmission of knowledge and explicit teacher instruction.
•    Retention and recall: teaching for memory; learning by heart; low stakes testing; knowledge for its own sake; repetition and practice.
•    Explicit teaching to build cultural capital; explicit teaching of subject-specific terminology and the skill of reading different texts.
Dialectic = Exploration (questions and debate; authentic experiences; collaboration)
•    Opportunities to debate, question and challenge
•    Opportunities for hands-on authentic experiences and experimentation
•    Opportunities for enquiry, analysis, critical evaluation and problem solving

Rhetoric = Communication (structured speech events; performances and showcases; sharing values)
•    A strong emphasis on structured speech events to share and debate ideas with others.
•    Opportunities to perform, to make things and to showcase the products of learning
•    Opportunities to contribute to the discourse about the values shared in the school and the wider community.

Metacognition and self-regulation

Metacognition is vital for students to thrive in school, college, in work and in life-long learning. It helps to promote autonomy and resilience. When students improve their metacognitive skills, they are more likely to embrace a positive mindset and learn from mistakes. If we want our children to grow into problem solvers and critical thinkers, we need to help them develop metacognition.

Metacognition and self-regulation approaches aim to help students think about their own learning more explicitly, often by teaching them specific strategies for planning, monitoring and evaluating their learning. 
Specific lessons are designed to give students a repertoire of strategies to choose from and the skills to select the most suitable strategy for a given learning task.

Self-regulated learning can be broken into three essential components:

  • cognition - the mental process involved in knowing, understanding, and learning;

  • metacognition - often defined as ‘learning to learn’; and

  • motivation - willingness to engage our metacognitive and cognitive skills 

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