Maritime Academy Trust

Maritime is a charitable education trust with schools across London and the South East.

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How We Teach At Hook Lane 


Oracy and Language

We believe that children are confident learners when they are given the opportunity to be expressive and coherent in their talk.  So we take speaking and listening seriously. 

We have identified that:

  • Children are more successful when they are active and talk about their learning;
  • We have rising numbers of EAL children with many coming into school with little or no English;
  • We have a significant number of children with speech and language needs, including ASD;
  • Our children do not use Standard English structures well and this can hold them back in their writing.

Therefore, we address this through:

  • Structuring speaking in order to ensure that all children develop confidence in expressing their ideas and sharing their learning in every lesson;
  • Providing high quality opportunities for exploratory and presentational talk for all children;
  • Encouraging children to commit to a position or opinion so that they learn to justify and reason;
  • Using the four strands of the Oracy Framework (Voice 21 and Cambridge University);
  • Scaffolding and modelling talk using sentence stems and exemplars;
  • Providing opportunities for talk beyond the classroom (in Oracy assemblies and Big Outcomes for example).
  • Consistent use of visual strategies throughout the school.
  • Targeted speech and language interventions across the school including within the ASD Provision.













 Vocabulary is Vital

At Hook Lane we take a very specific approach to introducing new tier two vocabulary. 

Tier two consists of high frequency words that occur across a variety of domains. These words occur often in mature language situations such as adult conversations and literature, and therefore strongly influence speaking and reading. 

Teachers carefully plan and select ambitious, mature tier two vocabulary (around 5 words) from the children’s reading repertoire (either their whole class text or exemplar texts) that relate specifically to the genre and purpose of the writing outcome that they are working towards producing.  This vocabulary is examined by the children through oracy games, dictionary and thesaurus work, exploration of context and trialling in spoken sentences. Children are then expected to use their newly learnt vocabulary in their writing outcomes.


Questions, questions, questions

Teachers actively use questioning approaches that will lift children’s thinking, reasoning and ability to express themselves. ‘Say It Again, Better’ gives children a chance to offer half-formed answers as they think aloud before getting them to finesse their response. When a child answers a question verbally, and before they write anything down, teachers ask them to re-form their response with greater depth and sophistication, or using more technical vocabulary. This helps to improve the quality of children’s initial responses, and sets high expectations for the quality of their talk and writing.


Adaptive Teaching Approach

Inclusion is a real forte at Hook Lane because children’s needs are understood at the level of the individual and are met through wide-ranging strategies and through excellent team-work between teachers, support staff, our ASD resourced provision, with parents and with multi-agency professionals. Strategies for ensuring that children with SEN access a broad and balanced curriculum and enjoy their learning include but are not limited to:

  • pre-teaching
  • extra reading time 
  • guided practice
  • texts enlarged/on different coloured paper/given out in advance
  • fidget toys to increase concentration, pencil grips
  • movement/sensory breaks e.g. sensory circuits and use of the sensory rooms
  • allowing a child to work standing up
  • different spellings according to need
  • reduction of or tailored homework
  • scaffolded tasks/writing frames/ cut and paste sentences/adapted activities
  • use of manipulatives and visual supports
  • direct emotional regulation support e.g. zones of regulation
  • tailored approached using high motivation reward time balanced with work tasks.


Live Feedback

Feedback is most effective when it is given in the moment, during lessons, either one-to-one or whole class. 

This allows the children to practise improvements immediately, allows the teacher to address misconceptions swiftly and enables discussion between the teacher and the learners. Feedback should be personalised and should enable challenge. When marking books, teachers should only provide feedback that is useful in building confidence, developing or improving a skill or addressing a misconception.


How We Teach Each Subject