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The Thomas A Becket Way

Values in Action at TAB




At Thomas A Becket Junior School our school motto – ‘Together Achieving Better’ (Be the best you can be) - is underpinned by four key values’ statements:

  • Respect for All

  • Be Responsible

  • Community Spirit

  • Embrace Challenge


These aim to summarise our ethos as a school – a school where every unique individual is well known, cared for and supported to do their best – and underpin everything that we do.

Memory and Metacognition


'The knowledge organisers are like having a brain outside your body because they help you to remember the learning and it gives you something to look at so you can be more independent and not rely on the teacher so much' (Year 5)


'The talk phrases have helped me to be able to politely disagree with people in class when having a discussion but I have also been able to use them in the playground to support my friends when they look like they are about to get into an argument and help it to calm down!' (Year 6)


At Thomas A Becket Junior, our curriculum is designed so that children build and understand their knowledge of different subjects, applying this as skills within different topics and specialist environments. Teaching staff regularly formatively assess the children's understanding to adapt their teaching where necessary ensuring that concepts are remembered. 


As a school, we have used evidence based research to examine how our curriculum is presented so that the children are able to remember key concepts by transferring it to their long term memory; creating schemas that the children can use and apply to different subject areas.


We have created our own bespoke knowledge organisers, making them explicit in the planning so that they are used to inform the children of the core elements of a unit of work, build their knowledge and use them for retrieval practice and spaced practice to allow the knowledge of that topic to become learnt. They are now an intrinsic part of History, Geography, Science, Art and DT learning. 


SLT, year leaders and subject leaders continue to drive the use of memory and metacognitive strategies within planning including retrieval practice, spaced practice, use of concrete examples and prior knowledge, dual coding and quality questioning or elaboration. We are considerate of cognitive load in the classroom for the children, using visual cues on interactive whiteboards and discursive, active learning opportunities. 

As a school we have embraced learning through talk, to build on the success of the common language of the TAB Way, using talk phrases to empower the children to be able to articulate their ideas in an assertive manner and discuss their learning, making connections within the subject they are learning about and across other aspects of the curriculum. Through talk becoming an integral part of learning at TAB Junior we are giving the children the skills to be able to talk their learning so that they understand what they know about themselves as a learner and what they need to work on to improve this so that they can successfully develop academic independence and resilience, thus beginning the metacognitive process of each individual knowing how they learn best. This is all part of our development of curriculum planning to allow time for the children to edit their work and be able to reflect on what they've done. 


Such personalisation of the planning with regular retrieval and reflection opportunities allow teachers to adapt the planning to the needs of all children so that learning is remembered, and the children themselves to have a voice so that they become the driver of their own learning knowing what success looks like for them.


'When pupils spoke about a piece of prior learning that they were particularly proud of, they could use the 'talk phrases' to support them to explain the progression of learning that had taken place in order to attain the final outcome.' Ian Rogers LA adviser


'When speaking to pupils about their learning, pupils independently referred to the knowledge organisers when articulating the learning journey they had been on and showed how the examples of work on the organisers had supported them...'   Ian Rogers LA adviser


'The impact of the focus on talk was clearly seen when talking to the children...phrases such as 'I agree because' and 'To add to what Harry said', were clearly used by the children in a very natural way' Memory and metacognition governor visit report - Autumn term 2023


'A year 4 child explained how they (knowledge organisers) were really helpful in recalling information and making links from previous topics as well as helping them remember facts from current ones'  Memory and metacognition governor visit report - Autumn term 2023