Teaching and Learning Policy
1.1 At Adswood Primary School, we believe in the concept of lifelong learning, and in the idea that both adults and children learn new things every day. We maintain that learning should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone; in short, it should be fun. Through our teaching, we equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their lives. We believe that appropriate teaching and learning experiences help children to lead happy and rewarding lives.
2 Aims and objectives
2.1 We believe that people learn best in different ways. At our school, we provide a rich and varied learning environment that allows all children to develop their skills and abilities to their full potential.
2.2 Through our teaching, we aim to:
- enable children to become confident, resourceful, enquiring and independent learners;
- foster children's self-esteem, and help them to build positive relationships with other people;
- develop children's self-respect, encourage them to understand the ideas, attitudes and values of others, and teach them to respect other people's feelings;
- show respect for a diverse range of cultures and, in so doing, to promote positive attitudes towards other people;
- enable children to understand their community, and help them feel valued as part of it;
- help children to develop aspiration and to grow into reliable, independent and positive citizens.
3 Effective learning
3.1 Research tells us that people learn in many different ways, and respond best to different types of input (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic); we must therefore deliver teaching in different ways to address the needs of all our learners. We take into account the different forms of intelligence (e.g. mathematical/logical, visual/spatial, interpersonal, musical) when planning our teaching.
3.2 We ensure the best possible environment for learning by developing a positive atmosphere in which pupils feel safe and feel they belong, in which they enjoy being challenged, but in which they enjoy learning, and know that they will succeed (because they know the challenge will have been set at the right level). We therefore play music to accompany learning, provide 'brain breaks' at various points in the lesson to refocus children's attention, and make sure that the children have access to drinking water.
3.3 All teaching will be structured to maximise learning opportunities, and lessons will be planned in accordance with the following principles:
- the teaching should build on previous learning ;
- it should give pupils the 'big picture' of the lesson;
- the teacher should explain the learning challenge to each group and why the lesson is important;
- the lesson should be presented in a range of styles;
- it should allow opportunities for the pupils to build up their own understanding through various activities;
- it should allow opportunities for the children to review what has been learnt, through both peer and self assessment;
- it should have built-in opportunities for feedback to the children, celebrating success and reviewing learning strategies;
- the teaching should indicate what the next step in the learning will be.
3.4 We offer opportunities for children to learn in different ways. These include:
- investigation and problem-solving;
- research and discovery;
- group work;
- pair work;
- independent work;
- whole-class work;
- asking and answering questions;
- use of ICT;
- fieldwork, visits to places of educational interest and a diverse range of educational visitors, including authors, musicians, dancers, religious leaders
- creative activities;
- watching television and responding to musical or tape-recorded material;
- debates, role-plays and oral presentations;
- designing and making things;
- participation in athletic or physical activity.
3.5 We encourage children to take responsibility for their own learning, to be involved as far as possible in reviewing the way in which they learn, and to reflect on how they learn – what helps them learn, and what makes it difficult for them to learn.
4 Effective teaching and learning
4.1 When we are teaching, we focus on motivating all the children, and building on their skills, knowledge and understanding of the curriculum, so that they reach the highest level of personal achievement. We use the school curriculum map / Early Learning Goals to guide our teaching and from this we aim to provide an integrated curriculum which is broad, balanced, relevant and age appropriate. Teachers plan themed units of work, which include all national curriculum subjects / Early Learning Goals and ensure coverage of the content and skills required for each subject.
4.2 Teachers make ongoing assessments of each child's progress, and they use this information when planning their lessons. It enables them to take into account the abilities of all their children. Our prime focus is to develop further the knowledge and skills of all our children. We strive to ensure that all tasks set are appropriate to each child's level of ability. When planning work for children with special educational needs, we give due regard to information and targets contained in the children's Individual Education Plans (IEPs), Individual Behaviour Plans (IBPs) and Personal Education Plans for Looked after Children (PEPs). Teachers modify teaching and learning as appropriate for children with disabilities. We value each child as a unique individual, and teachers are familiar with the relevant equal opportunities legislation covering race, gender and disability. We will strive to meet the needs of all our children, and to ensure that we meet all statutory requirements related to matters of inclusion.
4.3 We plan our lessons with clear learning challenges. We take these challenges from the National Curriculum / Early Learning Goals for Foundation subjects and ICT. Our lesson plans contain information about the tasks to be set, the resources needed, and the way in which we assess the children's work. We evaluate all lessons, so that we can modify and improve our future teaching.
4.4 Each of our teachers makes a special effort to establish good working relationships with all the children in the class. We treat the children with kindness and respect. We recognise that they are all individuals with different needs, but we treat them fairly, and give them equal opportunity to take part in class activities. All of our teachers follow the school Behaviour and Discipline policy with regard to classroom and pupil management. We have an agreed whole school Code of Conduct, and we expect all children and staff to comply with the rules that we jointly devise to promote the best learning opportunities for all. We praise children for their efforts and, by so doing, we help to build positive attitudes towards school and learning in general. We insist on good order and behaviour at all times. When children behave inappropriately, we follow the guidelines for consequences as outlined in our policy on Recording and Referrals to the HT/DHT.
4.5 We try to ensure that all tasks and activities that the children perform are safe. When we plan to take children out of school, we follow a strict set of procedures to ensure safety. The venue is visited, risk assessments are completed, and various permissions are obtained. We inform parents or carers, and obtain their permission, before the visit takes place.
4.6 We deploy teaching assistants and other adult helpers as effectively as possible. Sometimes, they work with individual children, and sometimes they work with small groups or 1-1 carrying out skilled intervention programmes.
4.7 Our classrooms are attractive learning environments. Displays are interactive and meaningful and there is a commonality of display themes running through every classroom which reflects what the school believes to be the ‘main things’ that every pupil needs to be able to make progress and learn as independently as possible. We change ‘theme’ displays and role-play areas at least once a term, so that the classroom reflects the topics studied by the children. We ensure that all children have the opportunity to display their best work at some time during the year through classroom displays, ‘Good Work Walls’ and individual Assertive Mentoring files. All classrooms have a range of dictionaries and of both fiction and non-fiction books, as well as displays relating to literacy and numeracy. We also use displays as learning prompts for the children. We believe that a stimulating environment sets the climate for learning, and that an exciting classroom promotes independent use of resources, which results in high-quality work by the children.
4.8 All of our teachers reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, and plan their professional development accordingly. We do all we can to support our teachers in developing their skills, so that they can continually improve their practice. Phase Team and Staff meetings are opportunities to train staff and share good practice.
4.9We conduct all our teaching in an atmosphere of trust and respect for all.
5 The role of governors
5.1 Our governors determine, support, monitor and review the school's approach to teaching and learning. In particular, they:
- support the use of appropriate teaching strategies by allocating resources effectively;
- ensure that the school buildings and premises are used optimally to support teaching and learning and the safeguarding of children’s welfare;
- check teaching methods in the light of health and safety regulations;
- seek to ensure that our staff development and our performance management both promote good-quality teaching;
- monitor the effectiveness of the school's teaching and learning approaches through the school's self-review processes, which include reports from phase and subject leaders, Headteacher's report to governors, and a record of the in-service training sessions attended by staff.
6 The role of parents and carers
6.1 We believe that parents and carers have a fundamental role to play in helping children to learn. We do all we can to inform parents and carers about what and how their children are learning:
- by holding parents' evenings to explain our school strategies for literacy, numeracy and health education;
- by sending information to parents and carers, at the start of each term, which outlines the topics that the children will be studying during that term at school;
- by sending parents and carers regular reports in which we explain the progress made by each child, and indicate how the child can improve further;
- by explaining to parents and carers how they can support their children with reading at home
6.2 We believe that parents and carers have the responsibility to support their children and the school in implementing school policies. We would therefore like parents and carers:
- to ensure that their child has the best attendance record possible;
- to ensure that their child is equipped for school with the correct uniform and PE kit;
- to do their best to keep their child healthy and fit to attend school;
- to inform school if there are matters outside of school that are likely to affect a child's performance or behaviour;
- to promote a positive attitude towards school and learning in general;
- to fulfil the requirements set out in the home–school agreement.
7 Monitoring and review
7.1 We are aware of the need to monitor the school's teaching and learning policy, and to review it regularly, so that we can take account of new initiatives and research, changes in the curriculum, developments in technology or changes to the physical environment of the school. We will therefore review this policy every two years, or earlier if necessary.