Vernon Park Primary School. Teaching and Learning Policy

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1 Vernon Park Primary School Teaching and Learning Policy The school s approach to teaching and learning is based upon the school vision: At Vernon Park Primary School we aim to provide all children, parents, carers and the wider school community with a safe, caring and inclusive environment where all children can achieve. The rich history of our school provides a firm foundation for future success. For over 100 years we have delivered and continue to deliver, high quality creative education to generations of families. This policy functions as an umbrella policy for several others, which make explicit its implications. Each section references the school policies which are directly related. Each aspect of teaching and learning is based upon a set of key principles established through discussion around the conditions under which children learn best. Each key principle sets out the expectations for members of the school community and the implications for the School Leadership Team and Governing Body. This policy has been written to be used in several different ways in order to keep it active: for induction, performance management, coaching and mentoring, Staff meetings and to review progress of the school.

2 KEY PRINCIPLES Children learn best when: 1. the whole team works and collaborates effectively 2. their learning is challenging, well planned and differentiated, with tasks well matched to abilities, interests and learning style including whole class, groups and 1-1 interventions 3. they clearly understand the purpose, context and content of what is being taught 4. their learning is evaluated and assessed and they are clear about what they need to do to make further progress 5. they are happy and secure in school, feel valued for their efforts and their individuality 6. they are supported by their peers and work as part of a learning community 7. their learning is supported at home and there is strong communication between home and school 8. their learning environment is purposeful, well organised, varied and inspiring 9. they have a positive and confident attitude towards learning and feel involved, inspired and motivated 10. their physical, spiritual, moral, cultural, social and emotional needs are understood and valued 2

3 1. Children learn best when the whole team works and collaborates effectively a strong sense of collegiality a high degree of professional conduct staff who are proud to work at Vernon Park Primary low levels of absenteeism positive interactions between adults enjoyment recognise and value the different roles, responsibilities, talents and contributions of all members of the team plan time to communicate between all adults involved in the class provide timetables, information, guidelines, minutes of meetings when appropriate plan, review and evaluate together draw upon the expertise and talents of each other and refer to co-ordinators for support and advice listen to and value each other s opinions be a critical friend to each other with positive, constructive support appraise and identify individual needs as well as the needs of the school be willing to share our practice with colleagues provide feedback from courses provide an exemplar of professional conduct within school including being punctual and respecting confidentiality regard Vernon Park Primary as a learning organisation for all ensure that all adults and children are aware of the aims, values and expectations of the school ensure that the staff team is aware of all policies and decisions and that these are applied consistently facilitate time for effective communication to take place provide appropriate time and resources for effective CPD to take place facilitate effective coaching / mentoring for all staff provide appropriate spaces within school for professional meetings provide a high quality induction to new staff invest in staff wellbeing Staff Induction handbook 3

4 2. Children learn best when their work is well planned and prepared, with learning tasks well matched to their abilities, interests and learning styles Appropriate challenge for all groups of children focused teaching with clear learning aims and objectives children being clear as to the expected outcome work well matched to children s abilities high quality resources used, including ICT children actively engaged in learning activities, motivated and on task differentiated work in children s books adults being used effectively, clear in their role and impacting on children s learning be clear that the focus of planning is to raise children s achievements ensure all activities are based on learning intentions plan for specific learning intentions first in terms of knowledge, skills and understanding ensure that plans and interventions address the issues of differentiation such as pace, groupings, extension, support resources and the role of all adults within the class ensure that plans and interventions reflect the evaluation and assessment of previous learning ensure that planning and interventions are rigorous but flexible enough to respond to the unexpected plan for a balance in types of activities provide opportunities for practice, revision, re-visiting, application, consolidation structure and sequence the learning intentions and activities plan for quality rather than number of experiences consider the individual needs, interests, abilities and learning styles of the children have high expectations of all children and plan achievable, realistic challenges and goals ensure that what is planned is achievable within the time consider carefully when to withdraw or integrate children requiring additional support ensure that plans for small group work and interventions taking place outside of the classroom relate to whole class objectives ensure that all plans are accessible and available to all members of the teaching team Implications for the whole school will be: a school curriculum comprising units of work which are continually evaluated and updated to ensure a broad and balanced and inspiring curriculum schemes of work in place which ensure continuity and progression, and fulfil statutory requirements a programme in place to monitor the quality of planning across the school to continue to review and develop all aspects of our planning ongoing review of available resources adequate budgets to ensure appropriate availability of teaching and learning resources Curriculum Policy Special Educational Needs policy Monitoring and Evaluation Schedule 4

5 3. Children learn best when they clearly understand the purpose, context and content of what is being taught shared learning objectives and expectations children having a clear understanding of given tasks independent learning and child initiated learning active listening well motivated and challenged children pupils supporting one another where appropriate outcomes that reflect objectives and expectations be clear in our understanding of the knowledge or skills to be taught explain clearly the purpose of the task and its links to previous learning where appropriate, provide a context to the learning by linking it to children s experience and the real world draw from a range of teaching techniques that include telling, explaining, demonstrating, illustrating, modelling, questioning, challenging, intervening, interacting, discussing ensure that the chosen technique is fit for the purpose in terms of the task and the children use a range of intervention strategies such as encouragement, enabling, clarification, focussing, redirecting, informing, reviewing, exploration, probing, assisting explain clearly using and eliciting appropriate vocabulary encourage children to say whether or not they understand where there are misconceptions, or a need for consolidation, explain, model and present concepts in alternative ways outline the expectations, outcomes and deadlines for tasks provide children with sufficient time for practical, hands on experience encourage children to explain their own work, to teach others, to talk about what they know encourage children to ask questions, make predictions, elaborations and generalisations allow children sufficient thinking time allow for opportunities for children to use and apply these skills Implications for the whole school will be: High quality CPD, including opportunities for peer observation and discussion and sharing of good practice Whole school approach to monitoring and evaluation 5

6 4. Children learn best when their learning is evaluated and assessed and they are clear about what they need to do to make progress children s work being continually assessed planning reflecting previous assessments work regularly marked, with positive comments and suggestions for improvement planned assessment opportunities children redrafting work in collaboration with their teacher children responding to each other s work continually assess children s learning using a range of strategies including listening, observing, questioning, focused marking ensure our marking provides clear guidance for the next steps in learning as per the Marking Policy have strong pedagogical knowledge to be able to identify the next steps in learning record and analyse all significant and relevant assessment data and use it to identify patterns in learning develop children s ability to critically assess and review their own work and that of their peers plan regular opportunities for observations and focussed assessment maintain agreed records of children s progress and attainment be clear that the purpose of all assessment is to inform planning and accelerate pupil progress ensure assessment practice is both useful and manageable regularly review the school s Assessment Policy regularly review the school s Marking Policy monitoring assessment practice to ensure continuity facilitate moderation meetings to ensure accuracy of judgements facilitate termly meaningful pupil progress meetings provide high quality CPD Assessment and Feedback Policy Special Educational Needs policy Marking Policy 6

7 5. Children learn best when they are happy and secure in school, feel valued for their efforts and their individuality children feeling valued and secure children who are motivated to learn teacher enthusiasm, high self-esteem, children willing to take risks and to learn from their mistakes, a high degree of mutual respect between adults and children, children demonstrate a growth mindset provide positive, enthusiastic role models and be approachable, reassuring and supportive value children as individuals be consistent and fair encourage children in their learning and praise their efforts foster and maintain positive attitudes be aware of individual needs, interests and abilities balance high expectations with achievable targets listen and respond to children s viewpoints value efforts and achievements and praise and reward children appropriately be constructive and diagnostic in our comments enable children to feel confident, to have a go, to take risks, to ask for help and enable them to realise that mistakes are a positive learning experience establish and maintain clear guidelines, boundaries and expectations of behaviour establish and standardise organisational routines and procedures foster a sense of belonging to their class and to the school continually monitor children s wellbeing carry out an annual survey and report on its findings regularly review the school s vision and values as outlined on the school website regularly review the school Behaviour Policy provide opportunities for children s achievements to be shared and celebrated enable the school s Inclusion Manager to work alongside staff and children provide a school based Learning Mentor service Behaviour Policy 7

8 6. Children learn best when they are supported by their peers and work as part of a learning community children actively listening to one another and responding appropriately children commenting constructively on other s contributions children collaborating on projects flexibility in the grouping of children diversity in pupil groups develop children s listening skills promote the notion of the class as a learning community where we all learn from one another be flexible in the formation of groups understand the processes of group formation provide opportunities for children to work collaboratively in groups towards a common outcome provide a balance of grouping strategies including whole class, large and small groups, pairs and individuals use a range of groupings including ability, mixed-ability, gender, mixed-gender, age, interest, friendship, social provide opportunities for peer assessment and develop children s skills at providing constructive feedback provide opportunities for the School Council to meet on a regular basis support aims and values through assemblies ensure effective transfer of information between classes provide high quality CPD including opportunities for peer observation monitor and evaluate the quality of collaboration within classes Behaviour Policy 8

9 7. Children learn best when their learning is supported at home and there is strong communication between home and school An active and inclusive Learning Mentor Strong relationships between parents and staff with informal conversations at the start and end of the day parent volunteers being utilised to support activities including classroom activities and trips parents expertise being used to support specific curriculum areas high quality written communication to parents effective parent notice boards a friendly and welcoming reception area be welcoming and approachable to all our visitors be available to exchange important pastoral information in the playground before and after school be willing to make appointments at mutually convenient times to discuss concerns hold an open class meeting at the start of each school year to discuss expectations for the year, routines and the approach to teaching and learning keep parents informed about the school through letters, newsletters, notice boards, website and the VLE inform parents of the intended learning encourage parents to support homework and to extend the children s learning to the home environment support parents with how they can best support their children in their learning, both at home and at school hold Inspire events eg Stay and Play, at least once each year, to which all parents or family members are invited ensure parents are regularly made aware of their child s attainment and progress inform parents when there are particular concerns or reason for celebration listen to the interests, concerns and views of parents encourage parents to inform the school of significant changes that may affect their child welcome parents to help in school, encourage active parental support in the classroom and encourage them to share their expertise invite parents and members of the community to events, celebrations and performances support the work and activities of the Learning Mentor clearly communicate all teaching arrangements to parents ensure all parents are aware of the ways in which they can become involved in school provide regular parents evenings provide regular correspondence in a range of forms maintain a strong and effective website maintain a register of parents who have particular skills and expertise that can benefit children s learning provide workshops to support parents in key areas of learning provide opportunities for family learning carry out an annual parents survey and respond to its findings provide formal appointed opportunities to discuss children s progress and achievement 9

10 Homework Policy Home-School Agreement Parental Involvement Document 10

11 8. Children learn best when their learning environment is purposeful, well organised, inspiring and fit for purpose good classroom organisation with clearly labelled resources children familiar with the classroom rules and routines high quality displays which celebrate children s work and inform learning artefacts and books displayed for children to use and handle children feeling involved and interested in their classroom environment the topics which are being studied be flexible in the organisation of furniture to respond to varied teaching strategies ensure the children are aware of the appropriate materials and can use them independently empower children to have responsibility for the care of their environment create designated areas indoors and outdoors for specific types of activities and ensure they are resourced accordingly ensure ease of access and movement around the room expect children to take responsibility for resources, their work space and the whole classroom ensure resources have a specific place and that they are labelled, available and accessible to the children communicate clear routines and organisational procedures establish guidelines and boundaries about expected behaviour and ensure that these are known, understood and implemented by the children draw upon a wide range of environments within the school, grounds, home, local community and further contrasting localities provide a variety of different types of display including process, product, interactive, celebratory, informative, tactile, starting point, 2D, 3D create displays of a consistently high standard that reflect and support the current learning indoors and outdoors ensure that every child s has some work on display ensure that the school looks attractive, welcoming and well maintained both indoors and outdoors ensure the physical comfort and safety of each room in terms of heat, light, ventilation, hygiene, appropriate size of furniture and adequate work surfaces provide central areas for the storage of resources which are available for teacher s use provide adequate classroom storage provide high quality CPD and ensure that good practice is shared Buildings Plan Display Policy 11

12 9. Children learn best when they have a positive and confident attitude towards learning and feel involved, inspired and motivated children taking a pride in their work, conduct and school children enthused and wanting to share what they are learning, children being given and taking responsibility, trips, visits and visitors to school, children writing and carrying out tasks that have a real purpose, children choosing to extend their learning outside of school. show our own enthusiasm and excitement for learning provide memorable experiences rich in opportunities for high quality learning provide stimulating starting points to topics utilise the resources and environments outside the classroom including trips, visits and use of the outdoors use first hand experiences and concrete resources wherever possible relate the learning to real life experience link key texts and writing tasks to topic work wherever possible when appropriate, ensure that writing tasks have a real purpose, for example book making or letter writing be secure in our subject knowledge and present information in an interesting and stimulating manner give children responsibility in the classroom and around the school and expect them to be fulfilled listen to children s ideas and suggestions give children opportunities to share their out of school experiences convey our expectations that they too have a responsibility in their learning provide opportunities for child-initiated tasks involve them in setting their own targets encourage their initiative and interests within and beyond school incorporate their interests whenever practical or relevant make explicit links and connections in learning encourage children to bring in artefacts and resources from home and include them in activities plan opportunities for group work, collaborative tasks, practical investigations, drama, role-play praise children for having made appropriate decisions, independently develop their sense of pride and achievement engage them in active learning as quickly as possible at the start of each session be flexible and respond to unplanned high quality learning opportunities as and when they present themselves ensure the Vernon Park Primary Curriculum s breadth and balance provides children with their full entitlement monitor and evaluate children s attitudes to learning monitor and evaluate the quality of teaching provide opportunities to teachers to share ideas that inspire learning ensure the school is well resourced ensure staff are well supported to take learning outside of the classroom 12

13 ensure assemblies are used to support school aims and values Curriculum Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Schedule 13

14 10. Children learn best when their spiritual, moral, cultural, social and emotional needs are understood and valued in school. a high degree of mutual respect children showing respect for all members of the school community children being aware of and appreciating other cultures aspects of children s home life being shared time provided for quiet reflection develop our understanding of children s home lives, cultural heritage and faiths ensure that children s social and cultural backgrounds are valued promote positive attitudes about themselves allow children to explore and discuss philosophical and moral issues maintain effective links between home and school support and encourage children to appreciate differences and differing opinions displays and artefacts reflecting cultural diversity ensure that the Vernon Park Primary Curriculum reflects the diversity within the school community ensure displays and resources reflect the diversity within the school community celebrate a range of festivals throughout the school year regularly review and update the school s Equality and Diversity Policy ensure all school policies support the school s values with regard to equalities plan a rolling programme of celebrations of religious and cultural festivals Behaviour Policy Equality and Diversity Policy PSHE Policy RE Policy May 2013 Reviewed January

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