Uncommon Schools - Teach Like A Champion

We at Gateacre are keen to learn from others. An important influence on our approach to education has been the attitudes and techniques found in the Uncommon Schools network.

Uncommon Schools was born in 2005, when charter leaders from New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts came together.  Their core values and teaching strategies have supported some striking educational developments and student outcomes since the inception.

The core values of Uncommon Schools are:

  • To know that it’s possible to give every child an opportunity to graduate on to higher education.

  • To be smart and strategic about the things we choose to do.

  • To pursue uncommonly high standards. To do what’s right for our students – even if it’s difficult to do.

  • To encourage rigorous debate, voice our best ideas, and communicate respectfully.

  • To encourage each other to excel through actionable feedback.

  • Learning and work should be fun.

  • To celebrate successes big and small.


A series of teaching techniques, published by Uncommon Schools, have been studied and assimilated through our own devised and delivered CPL sessions.  These training sessions have focussed on, for example, the techniques of Wait Time, Cold Call, Pepper, Name the Steps, Control the Game and Precise Praise. Explanations of all techniques can be found in the book ‘Teach Like a Champion’ by D. Lemov.

Please click here to access video examples on the Uncommon School’s website.