Teaching and Learning

Student experience:

At DCHS we aim to uphold our core values of relationships, respect, and success in the classroom as part of the student experience. Our aim for the learning experience, matched with our continued teacher development, is based in a research-informed approach to instruction.

Students therefore benefit from a consistent set of routines in every subject to start and finish each lesson, that set them up with a successful and purposeful learning environment. At DCHS we call this the ‘5 to Start’ and ‘5 to Finish’ - and they bookend every lesson. The students will then experience Quality First Teaching from their teachers by way of instruction, subject specific knowledge, and positive behaviour management strategies.

Regarding positive relationships with students as highly important to helping them feel success in lessons, staff help to develop student attitudes towards healthy and purposeful mastery-goals that can foster a classroom culture where all students are keen to do their best and can recognise and celebrate the best in others.


Education has seen a fantastic improvement in the quality of evidence based research and - more importantly - how that research translates to classroom practice and our students’ learning. At DCHS our pedagogical approaches are underpinned by an understanding of relevant cognitive science research that explains how people learn. By understanding this - our staff are able to better instruct students in our lessons so that students feel high levels of success, develop their layers of knowledge, and build intrinsic motivation to succeed further.

Staff experience:

It is our expectation that staff stay up to date with current educational research and put it into practice. Therefore all staff have access to high quality training resources such as the National College, Great Teaching Toolkit, and Teaching WalkThrus for their professional development.

Staff also have opportunities to gain qualifications such as the newly reformed suite of National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) which have been developed in collaboration with the education sector and are informed by the best available research and evidence. NPQs are designed to provide training and support for teachers and school leaders at all levels and deliver improved outcomes for young people and many staff have completed or are currently undertaking this excellent training.

Early Career Teachers:

DCHS is proud to have taken part in the early rollout of the DfE’s Early Career Framework (ECF) and supported early career teachers continuously since then. The (ECF) sets out what early career teachers are entitled to learn about and learn how to do when they start their careers. It underpins a new entitlement for 2 years of professional development designed to help early career teachers develop their practice, knowledge and working habits.

Through working closely with our Teaching School Hub partners, DCHS has an ever growing team of highly trained coaches that work on a daily basis to develop our early career teachers (ECTs). Our ECTs are already exceptional teachers and they have a fantastic impact on both their colleagues and their students.