Teaching & Learning Policy

 

Our Vision

Through a positive caring environment, we provide the opportunity for every child to reach their full potential. We embrace Christian values and ensure all children are ready for their next steps.

Context
In order to achieve our vision we need to ensure that we have broad agreement on what is necessary and desirable for effective teaching and learning to take place. This policy has been drawn up to reflect best practice as described by OFSTED. It has been discussed with teaching and support staff.

General Principles

Teachers need to establish a positive, pleasant classroom ethos where children work hard and feel that their best efforts are recognised. The ethos should ensure that children feel safe and confident to tackle new experiences and express opinions or give answers in front of others. Children need to be treated fairly and consistently in line with agreed classroom rules. They should receive abundant praise for good behaviour and should know and expect clear consequences for transgressions. An atmosphere of trust, support and respect should be fostered between all class members. Child protection should be carefully considered at all times – please see the Child Protection Policy for further details.

Classroom Organisation and environment

• Classrooms should have well labelled and accessible resources to contribute to independent learning.
• There should be a stimulating and orderly working environment.
• All children should be able to see and hear the teacher at all times
• Teachers should regularly reflect on the optimum use of classroom size and layout.
• Teachers should reorganise their classrooms to accommodate changing requirements/strategies as lessons demand.
• It is important for our school ethos to generate a sense of ownership by the children. They should be encouraged to tidy up after activities and take pride in their classroom; contribute to displays, pick up fallen objects, tuck chairs under quietly, treat property with respect etc.

Teaching & Learning Non-Negotiables (Agreed by staff January 2013)

As a staff we have recognised that in order for children to make the best possible progress within lessons the minimum standard of teaching must be ’Good’.
We have agreed that a good lesson must include:
• Information from assessments used to set tasks that are well matched to groups of pupils’ prior attainment.
• Work is pitched at a level that is achievable for all children but provides sufficient challenge to ensure progress is made within the lesson.
• Resources, including teaching assistants where applicable, are well deployed to support learning for groups of pupils regardless of their aptitudes and needs so that all such groups make at least good progress.
• Pupils with specific learning needs receive support that allows them to work independently and make good progress during the lesson. More able children are provided with sufficient challenge.
• Pupils find the strategies and tasks interesting and enjoyable. They concentrate well and pay full attention to the teacher.
• Only the briefest of reminders is required to refocus any pupils whose attention may have wandered.
• The pace of learning is good throughout the lesson as no time is wasted. The teacher provides support for groups as appropriate and they do not have to wait for such input.
• The teacher demonstrates a good degree of subject knowledge when framing and answering questions.
• Questions tease out most pupils’ understanding so that the teacher is aware of the degree to which most pupils are secure.
• Lessons are adapted in response to misconceptions that are brought to light through questioning or checks on pupils’ work.
• Opportunities are made to allow children to reflect on their learning and consider the next steps. Adequate opportunities are provided to allow children to work effectively independently and make good progress.
• Progress is visible by the vast majority of children within the lesson. The vast majority of children understand how learning builds on previous learning and recognise the next steps in their learning journey.
• Lessons have clear objectives that are understood by all children.
• Classroom environment is utilised to enhance the learning process; providing support in specific tasks and celebrating the learning achieved.
• Teachers are able to choose and utilise a range of teaching styles that allow all children to engage fully with the lesson and make good progress.

Teachers are also aware of the DFE Teachers’ Standards 2012 and recognise that these too are non-negotiable and are requirements of the all members of the teaching profession.
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For lessons to be judged as outstanding they need to be at least good, as described above, in all major respects and exemplary in significant elements:

 Classroom management
 Matching task to the needs of pupils
 Assessment for learning
 A context that is relevant and imaginatively used to stimulate and engage the children

Furthermore lessons need to show an impact on pupil learning over time.
Long Term Planning

In the Reception Class, the curriculum is planned against the Development Matters statements and Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. This is an overarching framework that informs all other stages of planning. There are seven areas of learning and development that must provide a framework for planning, teaching and assessing, and all areas of learning and development are inter-connected. Planning should provide a clear balance between challenging the most able children in some cases to exceed Early Learning Goals whilst supporting those children who are emerging at the Early Learning Goal level. By the end of the Reception year, the Numeracy and Literacy lessons will be in place in preparation for children entering Year 1.

Each class has a two year long term plan which lists the subject areas to be covered over our two year rolling programme. National Curriculum subjects plus RE and PHSCE can be taught as discrete subjects or where possible with curriculum links to make delivery of the curriculum more efficient and relevant. It is also possible to focus on a subject for a particular period of time.

Pupils with SEN are generally taught alongside their class mates with differentiated work that helps them work towards their targets on their IEPs. However where it is appropriate for the needs of the child they may be withdrawn either on their own or in a small group either with a TA or the Special Needs teacher. We are fully committed to inclusive education but firmly place the needs of the child above the latest vogues.

Medium Term Planning

Meium Term plans should outline the content to be covered, learning objectives and possible resources to be used. They should be completed by the agreed date, and be available for scrutiny by the Head Teacher or curriculum leader.

Short Term Planning
This is intended to be a useful working document for the individual teacher. Literacy and Maths should generally follow the agreed format, although adaptation to individual styles is acceptable. Care should be taken to ensure that plans are easily readable for a supply teacher should the need arise and that they are made available to TAs with their area of work and group clearly identified.

Supply Teachers
Once the supply teacher has been found, it is the duty of the class teacher to ensure that either she leaves clear plans and resources for the supply teacher to follow or she contacts the supply teacher to agree what is to be taught. If a member of staff is ill and unable to deliver plans into school she must contact the Head Teacher as soon as possible so that suitable work can be arranged.

Assessment
This will be in line with the school’s policy for assessment.
Cross-Phase Continuity
Close links are fostered between the school and the nursery, and the school and Newent Community School, which is the main secondary receiving school. Every effort is made to liaise with other pre-school and secondary school settings.

Resources
Classroom resources are the responsibility of class teachers who ensure that:

• Consumable resources are replaced through the central budget.
• That there is a range of resources that are appropriate, accessible and labelled from which pupils can select materials suitable for the task in hand.
• All pupils know where resources are kept and the rules for their access and use including what children must not touch or use for reasons of Health and Safety or privacy.
• Children are encouraged to act independently in choosing, collecting and returning resources where appropriate.
• Children, support staff and teachers work together to establish an attractive, welcoming and well organised environment promoting respect, care and value for all resources.

Central resources are generally the responsibility of the curriculum leader, each of whom is responsible for auditing and monitoring the use of resources. Budgets are allocated in line with the SDP. Teachers and Curriculum leaders should alert the Head Teacher to a shortage of resources in good time before the budget is set for the succeeding year. All staff and children are responsible for the care of resources.

Professional Development

Opportunities for whole staff professional development will be offered in line with the priorities identified in the SDP. Individual needs should be brought to the attention of the Head Teacher either by the teacher/member of staff or by the curriculum leader if appropriate. The Head Teacher will also advise a teacher/member of staff on the need or desirability for further development if it is felt to be necessary. On occasions a course that may benefit the school will be offered to an individual who will be expected to feedback either verbally or in a written summary to the rest of the staff. Visits to other schools and to other classes to see a variety of approaches and recognised good practice are felt to be very beneficial and will be encouraged as far as funding will allow.

Monitoring
Governors will monitor the implementation of the T&L policy through committee meeting reports and regular visits.
Head Teacher will ensure the implementation of T&L policy through regular drop-ins, work scrutinies and observations as outlined in the school’s appraisal policy.

For this policy to be deemed successful there will be 3 success criteria:

1. Children’s Performance will improve. Progress can be measured against previous attainment both in formal assessments and when looked at as progress over time by work scrutiny

2. Lesson observation judgements will improve. Strengths should match the effective Teaching and Learning descriptors

3. There will measurable progress in subject development.
More children will be in line or above when compared against tracking assessments.