Houghton School, Main Street, Houghton on the Hill, LE7 9GD

0116 2412 465


Houghton on the Hill C of E Primary School

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." John 15:12

The Houghton Approach To Pedagogy

At Houghton School, we have engaged with evidence-based enquiry over a number of years to develop and refine our approach to teaching and learning. Our experiences with mastery teaching that began in Mathematics, and more recently working with The Core Collaborative in developing metacognition and pupil efficacy, have all fed into our Houghton pedagogical style. This journey is by no means complete, and we continue to read, research, enquire and adapt. Our education staff are learners, just like our children.

On the page you will find some of the key ideas behind our teaching. Please do talk to us about these if you are interested to know more.

Mastery Principles

Our school applies the principles of mastery pedagogy to almost all teaching contexts.

"Mastery learning means a deep, long-term secure and adaptable understanding of a subject or concept."

In practice this means:


  • An expectation that almost all pupils can achieve age-related learning expectations;
  • Confident children who are able to take risks – a growth mindset culture;
  • Emphasis on depth rather than acceleration.


  • Whole class teaching, with differentiation built in through questioning and scaffolding;
  • Learning that is broken down into small, logical steps;
  • Continual assessment, integral to every lesson;
  • Rapid intervention to address gaps;
  • Skillful questioning to develop deeper understanding;
  • An emphasis on acquiring and fluently applying skills and vocabulary;
  • Flexibility in long-term planning – teachers only move on in learning when the large majority have mastered the previous step;
  • High quality feedback to pupils;
  • Daily opportunities for purposeful practice;
  • Mixed-ability, flexible groupings.


Lesson Design

To complement our mastery approach, sequences of learning often take on the following structure, either within a single lesson, or across a series of lessons.

Let's warm up our brains....

Let's learning something new....

Let's talk.....

Let's develop our learning...

Let's work independently...

Let's recap...

Let's reflect....


Challenge is included throughout the lesson, for all pupils. Pupils are also taught to self-scaffold their learning, supported by resources and working walls.


Feedback at Houghton School

Teachers will select the most effective and appropriate feedback strategy for a task or context. At Houghton School, feedback is provided in the following ways: