The UTC course has been designed to create successful learners in KS3 and beyond. The structure and sequencing are based on four simple ideas that support and guide students in their studies. Ideas, skills and concepts are taught through a diverse range of storytelling including global mythology, fables and biographies of inspiring people. Students are equipped with a block of study cards and a rough book to complete lesson activities. Both pieces of equipment are useful when employing various study skills but also as a low-stakes space to explore ideas and take risks.
Through ‘growth mindset’ strategies, confidence is being built and coping mechanisms are being put in place to become more resilient learners. Storytelling, ‘real life’ examples and modelling are used to reinforce ideas. Students are taught to recognise barriers to learning and how they might overcome them.
Students are taught to decode and find connections in language using etymology as well as becoming effective communicators. Vocabulary is introduced again through storytelling to create interest and engagement. They will use the Frayer model for building their tier 2 vocabulary and other strategies such as dual coding. Teaching will use familiar examples for context as well as activities that involve using the iPads such as creating short video clips to explain word definitions.
A variety of time management, organisational, iPad and study skills are taught and explored. Storytelling is used for engagement, inspiration for debate and opportunities to build confidence around oracy. Memory techniques, knowledge retrieval and knowledge organisers are introduced and practised.
Students are taught to have an awareness of thought processes when learning and how metacognitive regulation can enhance their progress. Storytelling and familiar examples are used for context as well as practical applications that may come across in their studies such as exam wrappers for example.