Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

Learning to Learn

We spend a lot of time thinking about learning – how do students learn best?  We do this in partnership with our students and our thinking over recent years has led to the development of a set of Federation-wide ‘entitlements’ about learning.  We commit to every member of our academy community having these ‘learning rights’.

Resilience in learning

We recognise that for many students, the teenage years are not easy. There are many pressures and hormonal changes which make these years sometimes challenging for young people and which can provide further barriers to being an expert learner.

There are some people who have a ‘growth mindset’; that is, they believe that learning does not need to be limited and see each experience as an opportunity to learn. There are others who have a ‘fixed mindset’; that is, they believe that they have a level of intelligence which cannot be exceeded and fear failure if they should get something wrong, rather than seeing the experience as a chance to learn. This work by Carol Dweck on ‘Mindset’ is central to our thinking about building resilience in learning.

Error is normal

We seek to normalise error; to see that making mistakes and overcoming things we find difficult is central to becoming an expert learner. We do this through:

  • Mistakes Lab – group work done with all of year 7 in rotation
  • Expeditionary learning opportunity – outward bounds residential trip for all of year 7
  • Teaching students the pedagogy of the brain, how it works and developing a growth mindset
  • Use of the Brainology programme
  • Using a common language of ‘growth mindset’ talk and thinking with students consistently