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About Consilium

Consilium Academies is a multi-academy Trust working across the North of England. It has nine academy schools located in Yorkshire, the North West, and the North East. Consilium is dedicated to enriching lives and inspiring ambitions for both students and colleagues.

Teaching and Learning

Heworth Learning Cycle – SOLAR

At Heworth Grange School, we use a learning cycle to make sure that every lesson counts. It is underpinned by research about how students learn and helps us to deliver meaningful and engaging lessons day in, day out. SOLAR is an acronym for the five key parts of the lesson. More detail is included below.

Starter - Engage students immediately with a retrieval starter. Activate prior knowledge and recall key pieces of learning from earlier in the curriculum.

Objectives - Share the objectives. Motivate and make relevant; why this is important to know? Make explicit why students need to master these skills or pieces of knowledge.

Learn - Teach the concept required for students to progress. Use modelling to show the thought process and path to success. Check regularly to ensure that learners have developed the desired level of understanding.

Apply - Learners use the newly acquired knowledge and apply it to a relevant activity, an exam question or real-life situation. This links learning from the whole of the lesson. Applying the taught skill deepens understanding and is a good measure of progress.

Review - Review and reflect the lesson outcomes. Effective plenaries help solidify learning, aid recall, and allow progress to be demonstrated. Sharing examples of best practice, self- or peer-assessment, and retrieval are great ways to make learning stick.

Marking and feedback

Our feedback model is called SUN (strengths, understanding errors and next steps). We use this model to motivate, monitor and move learning forward. Motivate; so that students know we value their work and their efforts. Monitor; so that we can gauge students’ understanding of the subject, completion of tasks and standards of presentation, as well as inform our subsequent lesson planning. Move learning forward; to support students to make rapid progress by giving them the opportunity to respond to the feedback given to them.


What it looks like

Intended impact


  • Specific statements about what the student has achieved.
  • Clearly linked to the key learning intended for the piece of work
  • Students can articulate what they can do, specifically for the subject and topic.
  • Students can celebrate their successes

Understanding errors

  • Clear identification of errors/misconceptions
  • Subject-specific 4and related directly to key knowledge or skills
  • Students are clear on what is incorrect, or what misconceptions that have fallen foul of
  • Students are clear on the piece of learning that they need to repair

Next steps

  • Specific objective/task for students to complete to help repair their learning
  • An objective/task that students respond to using green pen, to demonstrate progress
  • Responded to using green pen
  • Students feel like they have moved forwards and can articulate what they did wrong and how they repaired it.

Students are then given an appropriate amount of time in lessons to respond to the feedback that they have been given. They are expected to respond to SUN feedback using green pen. Teachers should check the students’ responses as they circulate the classroom by ‘live’ marking the work. This means that the teacher can know whether the student has moved forward in the way that they expected them to on the back of teacher feedback. If this is not the case, teachers can be responsive and intervene 1:1 with those students during class time to repair learning gaps. In some subjects, for example English, the next steps may be addressed in a subsequent piece of work.

It is vitally important to uphold high standards of literacy in every classroom, regardless of the subject that is being taught. As such, all teachers will highlight key literacy errors within written work.

We use the literacy marking codes outlined in the image to the right to highlight any spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors that students may incur in their written work. Students are then expected to respond by correcting any errors using their green pens.

To support with reducing teacher workload, we encourage teachers to ‘live mark’ wherever possible.