Teaching & Learning

Our teaching and learning non-negotiables are as follows:

KEY AREA 1: KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF PUPILS

Basic non negotiable practice

  • An acceptance of, and interest in, the individuality of each pupil
  • A belief in equal entitlement and opportunity for all
  • Consistent and appropriate expectations of behaviour and attainment
  • A range of teaching styles and strategies
  • Awareness in curriculum planning which takes account of pupils’ experiences, locality, abilities and developmental stages
  • Pupils’ work is marked regularly against shared learning intentions
  • Awareness of the range of factors which may be impacting on individual pupils’ ability to learn such as health or family concerns, child protection issues, bereavement, acting as a young carer or absence

Good practice

  • A wide range of teaching and learning styles which match the learning styles of the group
  • Flexibility within the curriculum, shaped through dialogue with pupils
  • Lessons which are responsive to pupil interest/needs and which change pace, direction and pitch to meet those needs and hold their interest
  • Pupils aware of the possibility of shaping the curriculum
  • All pupils are challenged through the curriculum
  • The teacher will take calculated risks to extend pupil learning
  • A wide range of assessment and data analysis informs teaching
  • Use of individual, group and class targets
  • Marking gives clear suggestions for improvement
  • Fun and humour used in teaching
  • Enthusiasm of all pupils is valued and nurtured
  • Confidence and lack of tension in teacher and pupils

KEY AREA 2: ORGANISATION AND GROUPING OF PUPILS

Basic non-negotiable practice

  • Classroom routines and ground rules are made clear to all pupils and adults working in the classroom
  • A range of behaviour management strategies are used
  • Groupings are explicit and referred to in planning
  • Decisions about the size and formation of teaching groups are based upon the subject matter and/or the learning needs of the pupils concerned
  • Additional adults involved in teaching are well briefed
  • Variety of groupings used: whole class, ability, friendship, individual
  • Children are given clear instructions as to what is expected of them

Good practice

  • Pupil grouping and adults are used to actively promote learning and to keep pupils on task
  • The amount of teaching time to be given to particular groups is planned for and is communicated to pupils
  • Effective routines and organisation in groups allow teachers to focus on teaching
  • Planning indicates the link between the organisation and management of the classroom and the resources
  • Teachers are able to relate their choice of grouping to the aspect of a subject being taught
  • The organisation of the room supports learning and is easily changed to meet pupils’ needs
  • Adult support is shared appropriately between the groups
  • Sometimes groups are formed in order to give pupils experience of leadership and responsibility by helping other pupils less skilled or knowledgeable
  • Pupils have opportunities to engage in collaborative work

KEY AREA 3: PLANNING

Basic non-negotiable practice

  • Clear expression of what the children should learn in the lesson
  • Use of the words ‘be able to’, ‘know’ or ‘understand’
  • Activities which demonstrate a clear link to the learning objective
  • Reference to the range of needs in the class and how they are to be met
  • Planning for the role and use of supporting adults
  • The time required for activities
  • Links between current teaching and previous lessons
  • A range of activities over both a day and a week
  • Clear links between long, medium and short term planning

Good practice

  • Learning objectives are narrow and explicit
  • An even clearer match of activity to learning
  • The range of teaching strategies to be used, with a particular focus on different types of questioning
  • Reference to preferred learning styles
  • Evidence of imaginative links and activities
  • An indication of the amount of teaching time to be given to particular groups/ individuals

KEY AREA 4: ETHOS AND RELATIONSHIPS

Basic non- negotiable practice

  • Liking pupils
  • A sense of moral purpose
  • Pupils at the centre of the curriculum
  • Simple classroom routines and effective behaviour management
  • Displays of pupils’ work relevant and changed regularly
  • An understanding of equalities issues and their impact on pupil learning
  • Knowledge of pupils and their particular circumstances
  • Positive relationships within the whole school community

Good practice (teaching)

  • Relevance of the curriculum- teaching rooted in pupils’ experiences
  • Liking, respect and enjoyment of all pupils and adults is evident
  • Feedback to pupils about ongoing and completed work and behaviour with consistency and clarity of expectation
  • Pupils’ work is moved forward by marking
  • Targets for individuals and groups
  • Teachers and pupils are receptive and willing to learn
  • Teachers make good use of body language, eye contact and voice to keep control and encourage learning
  • Teachers know when to intervene
  • Teachers use pupils to reinforce particular points
  • Pupils take pride in their work and are motivated to complete work to an acceptable standard within time limits

Good practice (impacting on whole school community)

  • Good relationships across pupils, teachers, support staff, volunteers, admin and premises staff
  • Teachers sharing ideas
  • Ability to take risks
  • High input and ‘presence’ of all teachers around the school
  • Staffroom atmosphere- discussion/networking about children
  • Inclusion of support staff in the above
  • Fun

KEY AREA 5: HIGH EXPECTATIONS

Basic non-negotiable practice

  • Has explicit long term aims and objectives for pupils’ learning
  • Communicates the intended learning and standards to be achieved
  • Poses an acceptable level of challenge and pace throughout each lesson
  • Plans lessons and activities which reflect relevant content and appropriate pitch
  • Demonstrates an understanding of equalities issues and their impact on learning
  • Uses questions which focus pupils on their learning

Good practice

  • Plans activities which engage pupils in a range of learning experiences and styles
  • Communicates explicitly the pace, amount and quality of work required
  • Balances the range of strategies to maintain challenge for all pupils
  • Uses a wide range of questions/questioning
  • Encourages pupils to formulate and ask questions
  • Builds in an expectation of success
  • Ensures that pupils understand how and why they learn and that ‘making mistakes’ is an integral part of the learning process
  • Allows pupil choice in working and recording
  • Encourages pupils to evaluate their own work
  • Allows pupils to play a part in identifying future learning needs
  • Uses analysis of assessment to modify immediate teaching and future teaching
  • Displays work from a range of abilities which demonstrates process as well as finished product
  • Does not accept first attempts as sufficient
  • Builds relationships in which asking for more effort is not seen as negative
  • Demonstrates an enthusiastic approach to learning

KEY AREA 6: TIME MANAGEMENT

Basic non-negotiable practice

  • Clear classroom routines
  • Acceptable pace and challenge in a lesson
  • Variety for pace of the work in the lessons
  • Planned work is allocated the right amount of time so it can be completed
  • Time is allowed for plenary or evaluation
  • Pupils are on task

Good practice

  • The teacher is able to manipulate the use of time and adult support to ensure it responds to and reflects the learning needs of pupils
  • Teaching time for groups/individuals is identified on plans
  • In focused teaching the pace responds to pupils’ understanding
  • Independent work is timed, focused and completed
  • The plenary is allocated the right amount of time and emphasis to reflect it’s purpose
  • Pupils are required to work at a good pace with an understanding of the quality and quantity of work expected of them by certain deadlines
  • Pupils are given clear instructions as to what is expected of them within a given time
  • The teacher systematically monitors the work undertaken
  • All pupils are on task, interested and involved

KEY AREA 7: RESOURCES

Basic non-negotiable practice

  • A safe and organised learning environment
  • Resources which pupils can and do use to support learning
  • Well maintained and sufficient numbers of resources
  • Pupils find resources accessible and available when required
  • There are established routines for finding, using and returning resources
  • Pupils are taught how to use resources properly, with regard to health and safety and respect for personal property

Good practice

Good teachers use resources in a more flexible and differentiated way taking on issues such as:

Resources being tidily stored, clearly labelled and accessible to teacher and pupils as appropriate.

Care is taken to ensure equipment is cared for and that pupils take responsibility for obtaining and clearing away resources

Teacher varies presentation of resources knowing when they need to be laid out for pupils and when pupils need to choose time, resources, space;

Additional adults are well used and managed to promote the learning of specific knowledge and skills and keep pupils on task

Core beliefs re: Learning Environment

The surroundings in which children learn can greatly influence their academic performance and well-being in school

  • The better the school looks, the more it inspires the people inside it
  • Pleasing surroundings will definitely lead to better attendance, improved concentration and a healthy dose of motivation and self-esteem
  • Staff need to have an outstanding environment which is adaptable to their day-to-day professional needs
  • The more attractive, well-lit and colour co-ordinated school classrooms are, the better pupils will feel
  • A well cared-for classroom can make pupils feel that what they achieve and how they themselves are perceived is important

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