Morning Meetings

 What are Morning Meetings?

 The Morning Meeting is time at the start of each day for us to communicate the key aspects of our culture, vision and values with your child. Alongside this, we will be delivering key information to our students, focusing on our curriculum, their pastoral support and their aspirational drive for their future.


Why do we do Morning Meetings?

At Benton Park School, hosting Morning Meetings ensures a timely and consistent approach to delivering essential updates, changes or information that the students need to be made aware of. It proves the perfect opportunity for key leaders to convey these important messages and enables them to follow up any queries students might have.

At Benton Park School, we believe in harnessing the power of cognitive science to support students in being able to know and remember more. Our curriculum is designed specifically to ensure that knowledge is remembered in detail, so that it can be stored in students’ long-term memories and be built upon, forming ever wider and deeper schema. The Morning Meeting is the first of many opportunities for retrieval practice in the school day.

This builds on an evidenced-informed approach, especially guidance from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), which shows that an approach which incorporates some of the highest impact strategies such as metacognition, feedback and mastery learning will enable all students to achieve and succeed.

Fundamentally, the Morning Meeting ensures a positive start every day and puts students in the right frame of mind for their day ahead. It also provides students with the time to reflect on how they can be that little bit better today than they were yesterday, so self-reflection and intrinsic motivation are the key to success in the Morning Meeting.

What is the purpose of Morning Meetings?

There are three main purposes of the Morning Meeting at Benton Park School.

The first purpose of the Morning Meeting is an extremely important one and that is to promote and instil our culture, vision and values. Our students are reminded of the vision and values of our school. Our vision and values permeate through all that we do and every choice a student makes can always be brought back to the vision and values. This helps instil the expectations of what being a student at Benton Park School entails. We believe that the constant and consistent reference to our school’s vision and values in everything we do helps to create a positive culture in which learning takes priority and our students can reach their potential.

We believe this approach instils strong learning habits, constructs a positive culture and ultimately helps students to create a climate for great learning, success and opportunity. By clearly communicating, it is always clear to the students what is expected of them and allows them to reflect at the end of the session what they need to do to be able to continue to reach their potential.

The second purpose is to promote retrieval practice. Teachers will create content and tasks to be delivered to the students in accordance with where they are on their progression maps in their various subjects. The order of content delivery remains the same each week, so students know exactly what to expect each day. This means that targeted quizzes and recall practice are tailored for the content that they have already been taught.

At Benton Park School, we see retrieval practice as a powerful tool in supporting knowledge acquisition. It is a strategy which brings information to the front of students’ minds and enhances and boosts learning. Deliberately recalling information supports the students in retrieving their knowledge and examining what they know. This will help them to understand if the content has shifted from their working memory to their long-term memory. In this way, students will have a better idea of how well they are doing, which will motivate them to study more and help them allocate their study time effectively by focusing on the information that still needs more practice.

The knowledge which is focused on in our Knowledge Organisers is identified by subject leaders as being the most important knowledge in that subject area and the knowledge that we want students’ recall of to be most automatic. Our students should cover the most important knowledge four times as a minimum; first when they are taught it in lessons, then revisited in a Quick 6 activity at the start of a lesson, then revisited for home learning and finally recapped in a retrieval quiz. Additionally, knowledge is recapped, revisited and built upon in subsequent lessons, reflecting a deliberately interleaved curriculum

The final purpose of the Morning Meeting is for whole school or individualised debriefing of information to different year groups.

How do Morning Meetings work?

At Benton Park School, our Morning Meeting has four main parts; culture reset and reminders, retrieval practice through quizzing, Maths practice and also whole group reading.

The culture reset and reminders form the start of the Morning Meeting session at Benton Park School. Some of this work is specific to year groups and some is for the whole school. Each session is led by a leader within school with other staff in the session to support the students. In this part of the session, students are given vital information to support them in their daily life at Benton Park School as well as key reminders to support them during that day.

The Morning Meeting links with students’ home learning. Each evening, students complete their home learning using their knowledge organisers, using a read, cover, write, check strategy. This supports their retrieval practice outside of school. Once in the Morning Meeting session, the first opportunity for retrieval practice is a ten question quiz. This quiz is based upon a curriculum subject; English, Science, Humanities and Languages. This quiz is deliberately interleaved using an excel spreadsheet and question bank. Each quiz comprises five questions from the current week’s learning, three questions from the previous fortnight and two questions from the fortnight before that. This quiz is self-marked so that students can identify the knowledge they have grasped and the knowledge that they still need to develop.

On a Friday, students complete the Benton Park Test. The Benton Park Test is in place of the subject quiz and students answer 10 of the questions that they have already seen during that week. At Benton Park, we are committed to students being able to know, understand and apply powerful knowledge, and the Morning Meeting is pivotal to this commitment.

Within the Morning Meeting, students also complete some Maths practice. This is linked to the Maths progression maps and is tailored for each year group. This, alongside daily lessons in Maths, supports their confidence and ability in this key subject area. Again, this work is self-marked and answers explained by the leader who is delivering the session.

Finally, students complete the ‘Big Read’. A number of texts have been chosen for each year group to read and the year groups work through these one at a time. A member of staff reads to the students and they are expected to track the words within the book. Alongside this, there is a glossary to support vocabulary development. The benefits of this reading approach are that the teacher models fluent, expert reading and can plan to concisely explain vocabulary, ask questions, or offer clarifications, during the act of reading. This, again, is an evidence-informed approach using the work of Alex Quigley’s book ‘Closing the Reading Gap’.

What does this look like for each year group?

Years 7, 8 and 9 students will be working as year groups in one of our larger spaces during this time. Whilst in this session, which will be led by Senior Leadership and Key Stage Leaders, they will be quizzed on the previous night’s home learning, as well as completing Maths and numeracy practice and collective reading. There will be key pastoral staff and teaching staff supporting students in these sessions to ensure all are successful.

Years 10 and 11 students will be in classrooms working with their class teachers in their English, Maths and EBacc subjects. This will have similar features to the Year 7, 8 and 9 sessions with an additional focus on supporting them in these subjects through teaching, quizzing and independent practice.

Years 12 and 13 will have a variety of activities within this time, including working with their Form Tutor and supporting younger students through the mentoring programme.

How will my child be supported?

We are aware that for some students there is some extra support required. This can take many forms, as it does elsewhere throughout the school day. For some students they may work in smaller groups with inclusion and hub staff and for others they may benefit from this support within the main session. We use everything we know about students including their student passports to ensure our provision is tailored to meet their specific needs.

If you would like any further information about how we can support students please contact our SENCo Miss Tizard.

How can I find out more information about Morning Meetings?

Please contact your child’s Key Stage Leader or Year Leader in the first instance.