Teaching And Learning Policy

Please click here to view our Marking and Feedback Policy 2017

 

February 2017

RATIONALE

At Neston Primary School our primary objective is to enable the children to achieve the highest quality of learning and independence.  Our main aim is that the children should learn, progress and develop to their full potential achieving the following skills and understanding: -

  • Develop lively, enquiring minds that find pleasure in learning in order to achieve and enjoy

  • Become resourceful, resilient and reflective learners

  • Develop creativity and an appreciation and understanding of the world around them

  • Become confident, articulate, independent decision makers and problem solvers who have the skills to achieve economic well-being and make a positive contribution

  • Develop a sense of spirituality, self-worth and an understanding of their rights and responsibilities as global citizens

  • Make appropriate moral and healthy choices which enable them to stay safe

  • Value and respect diversity

  • Challenge and debate threats to British Values

The school will provide a clear structure to the learning experiences it offers children. The school will value each child as an individual, supporting him/her to become a caring, confident, happy and successful learner, one who recognises and values others within and outside the school environment. We intend that all children regardless of their gender, race, religion or physical disability will feel valued by the school and will have equal opportunity to all that the school has to offer and will be supported in their learning.

In order to achieve these aims teaching and support staff will work within a framework that promotes and provides the children with the opportunities to learn and succeed.

The policy will set out what we expect to see happening in the classrooms at Neston Primary School. It will provide guidance for staff as well as showing what will need to be evaluated when the monitoring of learning and teaching takes place. This Teaching for Learning Policy is the foundation on which the curriculum policies and whole school policies, such as, the behaviour policy, are based.

TEACHING for LEARNING

Neston Primary School recognises that successful learning opportunities for the children come from carefully prepared and considered teaching plans and strategies. These plans, strategies, activities and units of work, are identified through policy documents on both the new national curriculum and other curriculum aspects, such as, PSHEE. We intend to ensure that children experience a range of teaching situations. These strategies may be, for example, group work, individual activity or class activity. The choice will be determined on the basis of which will best achieve the learning objective. This policy will be supported by guidelines on teachers planning and the policy for assessment so that there is consistency of approach throughout the school. When staff are working with the children the following aspects would be taking place if successful learning were to be achieved.

The staff would: -

  • Establish positive relationships, promoting high self-esteem for each child.

  • Plan effectively using the school policies and national curriculum and a range of tasks and activities that support the different ability groups within their class.

  • Have good subject knowledge.

  • Provide a context for learning that is meaningful for the children

  • Provide a rich learning environment.

  • Demonstrate a variety of teaching strategies.

  • Use questioning techniques to support and encourage the children’s learning and thinking.

  • Know the children well and are aware of the different needs of their class and differentiate learning accordingly.

  • Know how to support the children with learning difficulties and support them in appropriate ways so that they too can learn successfully.

  • Use assessment for learning approaches to support the children to move forward in their learning as well as reporting to parents, for example, about the child’s learning achievements.

  • Use SPTO to record and monitor progress acting quickly if data shows that the child is not making expected progress or working at expected AREs. (Age Related Expectations)

  •  Have high expectations of the children.

  • Teachers will ensure that support staff and parent helpers who work with the children are effectively managed, vetted and are aware of our safeguarding procedures.

     

 ESTABLISH GOOD RELATIONSHIPS

If children are to learn successfully we recognise that the relationship they build with the staff and the other children in the school is a crucial aspect in achieving this. It si essential that all staff understand the different needs of every child and provide a nurturing, safe and appropriate environment so that children thrive.  Our behaviour policy and Neston Promise identifies how we intend to develop and promote the children’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem. The school works from the principle of positive praise and support for the children. It will ensure that staff  have the support and training to enable them to put these approaches into practice. The school actively encourages the staff to work co-operatively to achieve these aims.  It is our ethos.

We would expect to see to children experience and show the following: -

  • Adults within the school using praise statements and rewards to encourage effort rather than outcome

  • Teacher working with the children to establish clear class rules and attitudes 

  • The children following the Behaviour Policy  and their classroom rules having a clear understanding why they are important. Circle time and PSHE used regularly to support this.

  • Children taking on responsibility for activities and tasks within the school

  • Adults and children being courteous and polite to each other

  • Children, as they progress through the school, to take on more responsibility for their own learning

  • Children and adults recognising the needs and feelings of others and being supportive and caring.

The school’s behaviour policy sets out in greater detail the expectations of the whole school community in order to keep everyone safe and develop positive and supportive relationships which maximise happiness and therefore learning.

 

PLANNING

Curriculum policies and schemes of work support the objectives of the school and that of the new national curriculum. They identify what it is expected that children in a particular year group will experience. Planning identifies how this learning is intended to progress, activities that might be used and assessment opportunities. By using these documents teachers are able to plan and prepare appropriate learning opportunities for the children.

Teachers will be well planned if their plans show: -

  • Clearly identify the learning objective of each lesson so that the children are clear what the learning objective is (W.A.G.B.A) and ‘How’ they will be successful.

  • Key vocabulary will be identified daily, weekly and termly to support their children to develop their thinking skills across the subject areas.

  • A progression of learning across the week, termly and year.

  • Knowing the ability range within the class and therefore identifying different differentiated activities for the groups to enable the children to be supported appropriately in their learning.

On weekly plans identifying the code that different groups are working at.

  • Showing that the activities are sometimes, group task, class tasks or individual tasks with the appropriate either whole class teaching or focused group teaching to support the work

  • In the planning teacher will identify where the teacher led and TA led groups will work

  • Identify what resources will be used

  • Identify where computing will be used to support the learning across the curriculum

  • Identify assessment tasks, key questions (linked to Bloom taxonomy), and opportunities for children’s self-assessment.

  • Where parent helpers are involved in the work of the class or group there is a clear role identified for them.

SUBJECT KNOWLEDGE

The curriculum policy identifies what the children need to learn. In order for teachers to plan and teach successfully they need to understand the subjects skills and knowledge they wish the children to learn.

Successful teaching would show that the teachers: -

  • Understand the subject they are teaching

  • Are able to identify the learning objectives within the subject knowledge

  • Can establish the processes, skills and knowledge that has to be taught

  • Understand the progression of skills and knowledge within the subject

  • Can link the individual subjects to other aspects of the curriculum to make the learning more meaningful for the children

  • Can link computing to the individual subjects so that children can use and apply computing skills in their learning of other subject areas plus develop their computing competencies.

A MOTIVATING CONTEXT FOR LEARNING

The subject areas are not immediately obvious to children, especially younger children. Successful learning will take place when the teachers plan the learning in a context that is accessible to the children. Children can be invited to share in the planning of the learning at the beginning of a term. At Neston Primary School, much of the work carried out will be through the development of themes for learning. These will be planned from the longer curriculum schemes and developed into termly and then weekly plans, which will provide the children with activities and tasks that are interesting to them and stimulate their curiosity and willingness to learn. The teachers will achieve this if they have: -

  • Identified termly schemes and the yearly plans.

  • Have planned, exciting starting points for the theme, for example, an education visit, a special event or visitor to the school

  • The use of artefacts, books and challenging questions, computing links to stimulate interest and curiosity

  • To provide a challenge for the children, for example, planning a school event or helping a local activity

  • Completing the work with an event such as an assembly for parents, a drama/music event, and a theme feast or outside event.

THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Motivation and interest in learning are key elements in enabling the children to succeed. The way in which the school is organised, particularly the classrooms, is especially important if successful learning is to be achieved. In the classroom the use of daily visual timetables, learning prompts and targets for learning, all help the children understand the process of learning and what is to be expected of them.

At Neston Primary School, the appearance of the school in terms of display, organisation of furniture and equipment are a priority. Display should be used to motivate and stimulate and demonstrate high quality work to act as a model for other children.  Challenging displays can provide thought provoking interest from the children. Displays also reinforce the children’s sense of self-esteem when they see their work displayed and valued.

Classroom and school organisation of furniture and resources must be of the highest quality so that children have an environment in which they wish to work and support their learning. Clear storage and accessibility of resources, apparatus and materials will be provided. Staff will work with the children to provide the environment that best supports their learning.

Resources provided in the learning environment whether they are books, computing software, equipment that could be for use in the classroom or across the school need to be appropriate to support the learning and of good quality. The resources need to be regularly monitored so that where necessary they are replaced and updated.

The learning environment will demonstrate the following attributes:

  • Displays are stimulating and thought provoking

  • Displays celebrate the children’s achievements and work is of high quality

  • Vocabulary on the displays helps children develop their knowledge and extends their thinking

  • Learning prompts provide help and reminders for the children.

  • Classrooms are clean and tidy

  • Resources are appropriate to the teaching. They are well organised and accessible to the children.

  • Resources are regularly audited and updated and replaced where necessary

  • Furniture in the classrooms and throughout the school are well organised and appropriate to the functions needed

  • Seating arrangements and grouping in the classes are appropriate to the children

  • Children know how to look after equipment, collecting and returning it appropriately

  • Children can explain how their classroom is organised and what the displays are about

DEMONSTRATE A RANGE OF TEACHING STRATEGIES

For children to have the best opportunities to learn their teachers need to give careful thought to how they are to teach the learning objectives they have set and support the wide range of learning needs within their classes. They need to understand that they can use different styles of teaching, different groupings as well as using effective questioning skills to help children’s learning and thinking.

Teachers therefore need to know and be aware of: -

  • Different teaching styles, for example whole class, group and individual

  • Adapt their teaching style to the learning needs of the children. They need to be aware of the different ways children can learn

  • To select the most approach starting point to engage the children’s interest for example posing a problem for the children to solve, using artefacts or visitors to the school to create enthusiasm

  • To understand and use the different approaches to encourage and motivate the children to develop their thinking skills so that they can take their learning further

  • To understand the needs of the children and balance their children’s day with a variety of different types of activities and tasks so that the children remain focused and motivated.

  • To use assessment strategies to help guide the children’s future learning.

THE USE OF QUESTIONS AND TECHNIQUES TO SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE CHILDREN’S LEARNING AND THINKING

To enable the children to learn effectively teachers need to know about how children learn. This will enable teachers to plan for a variety of activities that take account of the different learning styles that children have. They also need to be aware of their own preferred learning style as this is often the way in which they may prefer to teach. This will need to balance with other learning styles so children are introduced to a variety of teaching approaches. Children develop their ideas and understanding when they are given opportunities to develop their thinking through appropriate and challenging questions. Teachers will consider carefully the types and range of questions they use so that questioning supports learning. Children will also be encouraged to pose their own questions so that they challenge their own thinking.

Teachers will therefore: -

  • Use knowledge about learning styles to help them plan a range of activities for the children

  • They will take account of the children’s preferred learning styles when supporting the children in their learning

  • Ensure that children understand the effective attributes of a ‘good learner’ and these are celebrated during Celebration Assemblies which support the Neston Promise.

  • They will use a range of questioning skills to help the children to develop their thinking and learning

  • Teachers will encourage children to conduct their own questions so that they are developing their own thinking and enquiry skills.

  • Teachers will monitor and adjust if necessary the balance of questioning for boys and girls so that passive girls are actively supported and encouraged to contribute.

  • Talk partner work will be used to help children develop thinking, support them in developing logical explanations and apply appropriate subject vocabulary.

KNOWING THE CHILDREN WELL

Children make good progress if the adults, especially their teachers who work with them, know them well.

Teachers will achieve this by:

• Getting to know the children in their class by talking with them and their parents

• Read the children’s previous records

• Gain a knowledge about what and how the children learn

• Provide opportunities in the class for children to talk to them about their    interests beyond that of their schoolwork.

• Talk to parents about their child, read pre-school information and transfer information if appropriate.

KNOW HOW TO SUPPORT THE CHILDREN WHO FIND LEARNING DIFFICULT OR WHO ARE VERY ABLE

Children have a range of abilities and strengths. In order for them to learn and develop successfully they may need support because they find difficulty in learning or that have a great strength in a curriculum area, such as, high ability in maths. Teachers will work with the children to support them by working the following ways: -

  • From assessment data and information from outside agencies if relevant identify the needs of the children

  • Where children have identified difficulties there is a plan for an appropriate curriculum for them. My Plans and Support Plans will be produced if a child is on the SEN register.  Targets suggested by outside agencies will be used as part of a programme of learning for these children.

  • Teachers will work with support staff to develop suitable programmes of work for the children whether they have special needs or have been identified as able and talented

  • Teachers will work with parents keeping them informed about the provision that is offered to their children

  • Teachers will also liaise with support from the SENCO, with outside agency staff, for example, from the special needs support team, where this is appropriate.

  • The SENCO will work with all staff especially TAs to develop and improve their skills to support the children. The SENCO will provide support and advice to help teachers develop appropriate personalised learning plans to meet the needs of SEN and vulnerable children.

USE ASSESSMENT TO SUPPORT FUTURE LEARNING

To help children progress well in their learning and development regular assessments are made to track their progress. This information can then be used to plan their future learning. Assessment on the pupil tracker has been introduced and developed to support this in writing, reading, science and maths. Assessments also provide a summative picture of the children’s attainment at the end of particular periods in their schooling, for example, the end of FS2, KS1 and KS2 SATs. Year 1 children also carry out the Year 1 phonic screening test. This data will be entered on the SPTO.  Objectives achieved will also be identified on SPTO as working towards, achieved and greater depth.

Teachers will carry out assessments: -

  • To identify what progress children are making, SPTO will support this.

  • To find out if a particular learning objective has been understood and identify what they need to learn next.

  • To use assessment evidence to help set future targets

  • To inform parents and children about progress

  • To celebrate success

  • Use success criteria so children understand what their learning will look like if they are successful

  • To enable children to self-assess so that they acknowledge whether they have achieved the learning objective or need more support to do so.

  • Track group, class and cohort progress to enable challenging targets to be met.

  • Meet with the head teacher (SLT) to regularly review, track and assess progress, agreeing future interventions where necessary. (PPM)

HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF THE CHILDREN

By enabling the children to see themselves as successful learners and have the self-belief that they ‘can do it’. Staff promote and encourage the children to have positive self-belief. This helps them to learn.

Staff will do this by: -

  • Aiming high

  • Ask searching questions making learning interesting and fun

  • Using approaches and activities that encourage thinking

  • Learning is centred around extending and developing the child’s vocabulary and speaking in full sentences.

  • Children are involved in evaluating their own learning and know what they need to do next

  • Their success is celebrated

  • Children are encouraged to try their very best whatever the task

  • Children work successfully with a talk partner or talk triangle, sharing ideas, ways of learning and thinking.

  • Take part in group, class and partner activity so that they are not passive

WORK WITH SUPPORT STAFF AND OTHER HELPERS EFFECTIVELY 

In school, teaching assistants make a valued contribution to helping the children develop and succeed. Teachers support their work in the following ways by: -

  • Talking through specific programmes
  • Giving training on aspects of the work the children are undertaking
  • By sharing planning and learning objectives.
  • By informing support staff about information that is important to their work with the children
  • By listening to or reading comments about the children’s progress that support-staff make so further support can be given.
  • SENCO and deputy head providing a range of training to help staff use intervention programmes, computer games and learning packages to help the children fill gaps in learning and overcome misunderstandings.

MONITORING AND EVALUATION OF THE POLICY

This policy is a key policy of the school. Other policies, such as assessment, develop in detail the way aspects of the learning policy are implemented in the school. All aspects of the learning and teaching taking place are regularly monitored. This is through such ways as:-

  • Evidence trails

  • Classroom observations

  • Work scrutinies

  • Planning reviews

  • Learning Walks

  • Curriculum talks by subject leaders

  • Resources audits

  • Reviews of assessment data such as SAT information

  • Data analysis and tracking

  • SEF

  • Ofsted Inspection and SIA visits

The information gained from the monitoring activities is shared with staff and governors. Staff and governors can celebrate successes and work on areas for development. The information can be used to identify strategic developments for the school and to identify the key improvement areas for the school in a particular year so that the aims of the school can be achieved with the support of the staff, parents and children in the school.