Teaching and Learning

The aim of QE teaching and learning is to ensure that teaching, learning and outcomes for our students are excellent.

What We Do



In line with the Hill Standard ‘To be the best that I can with the gifts that I have’ and our Collegiate LEARN policy, the teaching and learning taking place at Queen Ethelburga’s sets high expectations for all and encourages an aspirational approach.

Through the LEARN statements we aim:

  • To ensure all staff make a clear link between the LEARN statements and the elements of teaching and learning which underpin each one.

  • To provide a framework and support for staff to plan and implement excellent teaching in order to secure excellent learning and achievement

  • To support the planning and execution of excellent lessons

  • To encourage staff to experiment with a variety of teaching tools and resources and to engage in current research in education

  • To provide reference to excellent resources

  • To encourage opportunities for sharing cross-curricular links, SMSC and the Collegiate Community Values

  • To ensure that the content of lessons reflects excellent teacher knowledge of the subject and the context of the curriculum e.g. public examinations

LEARN can be found in student planners and within each classroom and boarding house across our school site. Your child’s teacher, boarding and support staff will refer to these and give praise, rewards and/or sanctions related to them.

The image below illustrates how teaching and learning are embedded within LEARN.




At Queen Ethelburga’s, teaching staff are committed to ensuring that all our students receive frequent, detailed feedback to promote effective progress towards their targets. This feedback can take a variety of forms, some of which are not evident as “traditional” teacher comments in books/folders.


Verbal Feedback 

Instant and face to face, verbal feedback is the most regular form of feedback and is ongoing throughout each lesson. It will be seen through student voice, lesson observations and the quality of students’ work. For some practical subjects, this is the main source of feedback.


Peer and Self-assessment

Peer assessment involves students taking responsibility for assessing the work of their peers (other students in the class) against the success criteria given. Self-assessment involves them taking responsibility for their own feedback.

Both methods are powerful ways for your child to act as the ‘assessor’. Peer and self-assessment methods transfer some ownership of the feedback process to the student themselves, increasing their motivation and engagement with the feedback process. Research shows that peer and self-assessment encourage learners to learn more “deeply”, improving self-awareness, judgement and giving more insight into their own approach to a task in comparison to their peers.

Students should use a purple pen for all written peer and self-assessment so that it is clearly distinguishable from other work and feedback.


Written Feedback

Written feedback can be a powerful tool for helping students to move forward in their learning and has the advantage that the student can refer to it over and over again.

Literacy Code


Super Sevens


Teachers use the whole school literacy code and the “Super Sevens” to highlight where improvements are needed.

Where the student has failed to achieve the Super Sevens in their exercise books, this is indicated using a circled S7. Students should then correct/improve this.

Within a marked piece of writing, a maximum of 3 literacy improvements will be identified in addition to subject-specific marking.

The students are all aware of what these symbols/annotations mean and they are contained in planners and clearly visible as posters and on displays in classrooms.

Super Sevens in Action Poster


Super 7s Board




Teaching staff will mark student’s work in green pen and where appropriate pupils will act on this feedback in a purple pen. The purple pen is clearly distinguishable from other work and this opportunity allows students to reflect and show further progress.





Marking Example



Progress Points

In addition to the feedback above, students will receive “Progress Points”. Where and when a progress point is placed is at the discretion of the subject and teacher, but they are usually found on larger pieces of work, for example, when students have to write an essay, complete an exam question or a final project.

Within the progress point, the teacher will give praise, highlighting the strengths of the work, before explaining how they could improve/develop the work or offering a challenge which will stretch their learning further.

The student is then required to respond to their target, again using a purple pen.

Your child should be well aware of this feedback strategy and explanations are contained within the student planner and on display in classrooms.


Progress Points in Action









Progress Conversations

All students from Year 6 to Year 13 use the ‘Progress Conversations’ model as a means to help them identify areas to improve, set targets and decide on a plan of how they can work towards achieving these targets in their academic subjects.

The students decide their own targets, giving them ownership and ensuring they are meaningful and personal, giving students the very best chance of success. It is the students’ responsibility to collect evidence of their progress and evaluate their success at the next assessment point.

Form tutors support their 'tutees' through this process and all students will have a form time booklet containing this information and other useful pages to showcase their achievements over the course of the year – click on the images below to see some example pages.

Progress Conversations







How Can You Support Your Child?

  • By this point, your child will have already set their first target using the Progress Conversation model. They will know what their target is, what they are going to do in order to achieve this target, and when they want to achieve this by.
  • Any encouragement and support over the October half term holiday would be brilliant; asking your child about their target, what they are doing, and any success or challenges they have had will help to focus them and highlight the importance of working for improvements.

Why is it Important?

This process is important as it gives students a framework to work around to make realistic and achievable targets, in order to make improvements in their academic subjects. The Progress Conversations equip students with the skills to identify areas that require improvement and to formulate a plan of how exactly they are going to achieve this target, skills that will be useful long after our students leave school. The students are responsible for carrying out their plan and are accountable for collecting evidence of what they have done, then all targets are evaluated and followed up.



Examinations can be stressful for both students and parents.

Our 2017/18 teaching and learning consultation with parents and guardians highlighted that sometimes you feel ill-equipped when it comes to your child’s revision strategies and assisting them with the lead up to examination periods.

All children are different and there is no single approach or solution to how a parent or guardian can assist with revision, but here are a few considerations:

  • Provide a suitable environment for revision. Students need a place to revise which is quiet, calm and comfortable, with the least distractions. Mobiles are the number one distractor, did you know that you can get apps to lock phones for short bursts which can be timed with revision sessions? You can also get a range of mobile apps to use as revision tools and for some, this might be the most effective way for them to engage in the process.

  • Ask if you can help with buying any supplies or revision resources e.g. revision cards, highlighters, post-it notes. This can make revision more interesting, but also more hands on for those learners who prefer kinesthetic techniques.

  • Discuss with your child what will be involved in the revision period, when their examinations are timetabled and what your role could be, discuss their revision timetable with them, if it helps them, work on it together. Click on the image below to open a blank editable template that you might find useful when helping your child plan revision.

Exam Revision Timetable


  • Relaxation is important and taking time out will have a positive effect on their learning. We can all feel under pressure during examination times. Discuss this with your child, agree the balance between work and social life, if a social event comes up, allow them to have the night off, but agree a catch-up time later. It is all about balance. A good nights sleep and plenty of healthy food and water can improve mood and energy levels. The Personal Development department will be working with your child on mindfulness and relaxation techniques during stressful periods. Encourage them to use these techniques.

  • Respond positively when they ask for help and be prepared to listen when they want to talk. Ask exactly how you can help and if you can’t help immediately, plan some time in for the future or ask another family member or friend to help out.

  • You may have a few highs and lows! Try to give plenty of praise and encouragement every day. Be prepared to listen when they want to talk about problems, everything becomes more emotional and heightened during the exam period. Short term goals are a great way to reward hard work and help your child feel they are making progress.

  • On weekends and during holiday periods, encourage your child to undertake morning revision when the brain is more receptive and discourage studying right up to bedtime.

  • Try not to compare them with yourself, brothers/sisters or friend’s children. Education and techniques change very quickly, just because their technique seems a bit unusual or different, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Your child will have had a lot of advice and support from our teaching and boarding staff.

Don’t hesitate to contact the relevant school team for help and advice on examinations and revision. We are here to support both you and your child throughout your QE teaching and learning journey.

There are subject resources to help you and your child understand and plan for revision which are now available for King's Magna, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5.

Interested in How the Teenage Brain Works?

Then we recommend you watch this TEDtalk on understanding the neuroscience behind adolescent minds. The subtitles for this talk are available in 27 different languages. Simply press play and click on the speech bubble in the right-hand corner to select your preferred language.

Teaching and Learning Groups

Chapter House (KS1-2)

Our aim is to provide a supportive learning environment with opportunities for each student to develop the skills and knowledge to enable them to become independent, responsible and successful citizens.

Chapter House provides an environment where pupils can achieve their full potential, whether their talents are academic, creative or in the field of sport and we pride ourselves on encouraging our children to become confident and enthusiastic members of the school community.

For specific curriculum information, use the links below:

Kindergarten Curriculum

Foundation Curriculum

KS1 (Y1-2) Curriculum

KS2 (Y3-5) Curriculum

King's Magna (KS2-3)

Teaching and Learning in King’s Magna

“For young people beginning their journey through teenage years, King’s Magna offers the very best of everything. As they progress through the school, students are encouraged to become more independent, academically and socially, making sure that, by the time they move on, they are fully equipped for GCSEs and beyond. As a new school, King’s Magna has been able to forge its own ethos, and students have seized this opportunity with great enthusiasm.”

Acting Head of King’s Magna, Steven Turner


Stars of the Week

Keep up-to-date with our Stars of the Week on the QE Facebook Page and in the monthly King's Magna Roundups within our QE News Blog.


Summer Reading (Y6-8)

Years 6, 7 and 8 Summer Reading


Revision (all years)

Revision at King's Magna

College and Faculty (KS4)

Key Stage 4 (Y10-11)

At Queen Ethelburga’s we constantly strive to improve the opportunities that we offer our students.

Our College curriculum provides students with a fast-paced curriculum that includes a compulsory modern foreign language and humanity subject, with the opportunity to fast track where appropriate.

The Faculty offers a full range of academic subjects, delivered at a more traditional pace; these can be combined with a range of vocational BTEC qualifications and this complements the College by offering an alternative route for students.

KS4 Courses

Revision Materials

For revision materials, visit our KS4 Subject Revision page for Faculty and College students:

KS4 Subject Revision 

Revision and Memory Workshop

On Tuesday the 5th December, all Year 11 students took part in a memory and revision session, where they learnt some key strategies to make revision more effective. They applied the strategies to content that they must learn for GCSE Maths, English and Science. All students also received a pack with some materials to support them with getting organised and try out some of the techniques (a handout with a reminder of the key strategies, post-it notes, index cards, dividers, A3 paper etc). When pupils are revising, they should be trying out different ways of memorising for their exams to see which techniques they prefer or work best for them. More importantly, it is the frequency of testing themselves / retrieving the information with time left in between, which is essential in transferring it to long-term memory.

View the material used in the session and to assist you in supporting your child by downloading the link below:

Memory Techniques

College and Faculty (KS5)

Key Stage 5 (Y12-13)

At Queen Ethelburga’s we constantly strive to improve the opportunities that we offer our students.

Students in the College choose from a range of traditional A Level subjects in Year 12.

The Faculty also offers these subjects but they can be combined with a range of vocational BTEC qualifications where this suits ambitions, learning styles and preferences.

Both schools offer a comprehensive General Studies programme which provides careers advice, support with university applications, super-curricular opportunities and challenging enrichment choices. This programme also involves talks delivered by guest speakers who cover a wide range of interesting subjects, which are all important to the personal development of students.

The Faculty has an innovative mentoring system which has proved to be of great value to students. This has been invaluable in helping individuals work independently, manage workload and achieve their full potential. The Faculty pathway allows students to improve their GCSE grades in English and Mathematics if required.

Both schools also provide EAL support to international students.

KS5 Courses

Revision Materials

Useful information for both parents, guardians and students can be found on our KS5 Revision page. Use the page to link to find relevant subject and examination information:

KS5 Subject Revision 

Revision and Memory

When pupils are revising, they should be trying out different ways of memorising for their exams to see which techniques they prefer or which techniques work best for them. What is even more important however, is the amount of times they test their ability to retrieve the information after set amounts of time such as hours, days or weeks. This 'memory testing' is essential in transferring any new information into long-term memory.

View the material used in a recent Year 11 session to assist you in supporting your child. Download the link below to get started:

Memory Techniques

How Can You Support Your Child?

  • Ask your child questions about “LEARN”. What does it mean to them and the Collegiate Community?
  • If your child receives a reward related to their learning, praise and encourage their achievement.

  • If your child receives a sanction during learning activities, discuss the event with them and relate it to  “LEARN”. Ask them what they have learnt from the incident and how they can prevent it from happening again, moving on to progress their learning further.

Our Teaching and Learning Team

Victoria Allen at QE
Zoe Baldry

Ms Victoria Allen

Ms Zoe Baldry

Ms Katie Lund

Communication and
Parental Engagement


Peer Observation and
Learning to Learn


Communication and



Ms Sarah Durston

Mr Kris Horton

Ms Faye Hardcastle

Chapter House Link


King's Magna Link







Jo Walton






Helpful Resources