The Harefield Academy Learning Policy

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1 The Harefield Academy Learning Policy November 2015

2 Opportunities to be successful and make accelerated progress A consistently 'good or better' daily diet Feedback on how to improve and reflection on progress A resilient 'we can' attitude Opportunities for learning and support beyond the classroom Development of key skills The Harefield Academy Learner Experience High expectations; high challenge A broad curriculum, with opportunities for SMSC development Personalised activities to suit all needs and abilities Active learning to promote ollaboration and independence Student ownership and positive attitudes to learning

3 Vision for the THA Learner Quality first teaching is the driving force behind curriculum planning, behaviour for learning and student outcomes. In our drive towards securing better than expected outcomes, we need to ensure that the daily diet for THA learners is consistently good or better across all lessons and all key stages. We recognise that a one size fits all approach is not conducive to a developmental learning culture, or staff wellbeing. Therefore the purpose of this document is to provide staff with aligned Teaching & Learning priorities - whereby individual teaching styles can be explored and a framework of consistency to suit the needs of our students is set out. Driving standards in Teaching & Learning is our core business; it should involve everyone and develop everyone. In short, we are all leaders of Teaching & Learning. Progression-based Pedagogy A progression-based pedagogical style will ensure that clear assessment objectives, opportunities to monitor and assess, feedback on progress and student reflection on progress over time are built into teachers planning. Teachers must have a secure overview of the starting points, progress and context of all students. In line with this, we will use data to set challenging tasks and targets - communicating these to the students through levelled/graded learning outcomes & success criteria, differentiated tasks & personalised feedback. This progression-based pedagogical style will also ensure that depth and pace of learning have been planned for. All students will know their current and target grades, with these being recorded on target stickers on the front of their books. At Department level, DOLs/Subject Leaders will work with teams on ensuring that all staff are familiar with the relevant curriculum assessment strands and specification criteria. Standardised assessment setting and criteria reflecting the appropriate levels of challenge will be built into schemes of review. DOLs/Subject Leaders will also lead training on using data to plan. Marking & Feedback Excellent marking and assessment are not just an expectation, but an entitlement that every THA student has as part of their lessons and learning. Guiding and ensuring student progress is a primary responsibility of a teacher and is outlined as such in the 2012 Teacher Standards. The purpose of the THA revised Marking Policy is to support us in developing a system of feedback that will secure student progression. It will also develop a dialogic process so that students are actively responding to the marking and feedback they are receiving and improving their knowledge and skills in light of the development needs that we identify. We know that the effective student engagement with feedback will have the highest impact on attainment, therefore aa an academy we have a whole school policy to use STAR and Red Pen Response. This means that any feedback given either verbally or written is acted upon and learners indicate this with a STAR next to their own comment, correction, continuation or response to a challenge question in red pen in their books. Excellent learning is easy to identify by simply looking at books and seeing coloured dialogue showing how learners have been guided to improve or make progress. By fully embedding the student red pen response in daily learning routines, it will increase student ownership of learning and reduce teacher workload over time. Planning to Meet the Needs of all Learners Personalised learning enables our students to have frequent opportunities to become successful. We must use data sets including SEND and PP coding - to take into consideration the starting point and individual needs of all students when planning for inclusive quality first teaching. In addition to this, we all have a responsibility to have aspirational targets for our students and take responsibility for helping them to meet them through our design of differentiated resources and tasks. All THA students

4 will receive personalised feedback from each of their teachers, so that they have clear individual next steps for further progress. It is our responsibility to use data to track the achievement of each of our students, with a clear strategy for addressing the need for intervention with underachieving individuals and groups. There will be regular communication between teachers and the SEN Department about how teaching can be best structured and resourced to support students. Wave 1 inclusive quality first teaching Wave 1 is about what should be on offer for all children: the effective inclusion of all pupils in highquality everyday personalised teaching. Such teaching will, for example, be based on clear objectives that are shared with the children and returned to at the end of the lesson; carefully explain new vocabulary; use lively, interactive teaching styles, making maximum use of kinaesthetic/visual/auditory and verbal methods. In addition using data informed seating to allow maximal benefit from peer teaching and collaborative work. Approaches like these are the best way to reduce, from the start, the number of children who need extra help with their learning or behaviour. Wave 2 is targeted catch up provision for groups to put children back on course and Wave 3 a deeper intervention offering more personalised solution to be used if Wave 2 hasn t worked. Student Ownership of Learning The learning ethos at THA embodies a we can attitude so that students are consistently made aware of our relentlessly high expectations of their learning and therefore show resilience and independence in tackling the challenging tasks and targets that we set. Establishing clear learning routines will reinforce the expectation of students attitude to learning from the very beginning. We will each meet and greet our students at the door for every lesson, providing them with clear and accessible instructions for a prompt start to the learning. Furthermore, lessons will end with us monitoring the work that has been produced by students and opportunities for their reflection on progress against the criteria set out at the start. Whilst there is no prescriptive style of teaching, we will ensure that challenge, pace and behaviour for learning are planned for so that no time is wasted. There is a consistent expectation for all students to enter the room in an orderly and timely manner, work to the best of their ability, produce their best work, show a positive attitude to their learning and be clear about the expectations of their conduct when they depart the lesson: we are the people who make this happen. Students need to be engaged in their own learning and encouraged to be enthused by the process of learning. Whilst behaviour needs to be monitored and standards maintained there must be an equal emphasis on rewarding good behaviour and excellent academic progress. Class Charts and the recording of good behaviour with commentary is a fast and effective way of letting students and their parents/carers know that they are progressing well. Achievement through Active Learning In each lesson there will be an expectation for students to be active in their learning and passivity will be addressed by all staff. It is expected that teachers will plan active lessons. Lessons where students are engaged in the learning and the resources in an active, physical and movement based method. Students learn more when there is an interest, excitement or challenge to discovering content or interacting with content.

5 Students should be up and out their seats, moving around the room to engage with other students, complete group work, present or have an active role to play in the learning. Active learning can take more planning and more confidence from the teacher however it creates a more memorable learning experience and the learning can be deeper. At THA we want the students learning environment to accelerate their learning. Can students be changed and in PE kit doing Maths in the sports hall? Yes they can! Students become more confident and active in their learning when they: - Apply a wide range of skills. - Move around the room or school, stand up, dance, sing - bring the learning to life. - Work collaboratively as part of a team, with a clear brief. - Show ideas, experiences and understanding in the form of presentations and displays. - Debate topical issues related to the learning. - Ask and answer questions, giving precise instructions and information, thereby developing reasoning skills. - Are willing to try accept challenges and try new things. - Select and use a range of equipment and learning spaces appropriately, and responsibly (in line with the THA H&S policies) A healthy ratio healthy ratio of student activity > teacher input in an average lesson at THA is 70% > 30% and our planning must take into account a varied range of strategies to make this happen. Similarly, planning for lessons and schemes of work will take into account Personalised Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTs) so that students are leaders in their own learning and show the following skills: independent enquirers creative thinkers reflective learners team workers self-managers effective participants Key Skills Developing key skills in literacy, numeracy and communication will increase opportunities for all students in accessing the curriculum, promoting success in assessments, preparing for the world of work, enhancing employability prospects and life chances. Teaching and Learning at THA is designed to ensure that language for learning is a high priority. Effective literacy skills enable students to gain access to the range of subjects that they study, to read for information and pleasure and to communicate effectively. In addition to this, all lessons will include structured peer dialogue so that students oracy is developed. Our students will develop their literacy skills via planned for activities in in each of their lessons to ensure that they leave school as confident readers, writers and communicators. We also recognise the importance of numeracy in learning and in life and will promote numeracy across all areas of the curriculum, ensuring that students develop the necessary skills and the confidence to apply essential numeracy, analytical, problem-solving and decision-making skills across the curriculum. Homework Philosophy: All students are set homework to support and extend work undertaken in lessons. Homework is an opportunity for students to practice and reinforce some of the topics, skills and materials addressed during the school day. Setting aside a period of time to independently focus, think,

6 explore, and engage in the work of the day allows them to extend and solidify their learning in a distraction-free environment. Mechanics: All departments at THA complete a timeline of homework for each year group and these are published on the schools website for parents and students to view. Students are expected to be actively responsible for organising their time and managing their workload but it is our hope that parents will take an effective role in supporting them. Parents and tutors monitor the recording of homework in their planners. The importance of homework and independent study: Setting quality homework gives students the experience to independently think, explore and engage in the work they have covered in class. It allows for the reinforcement, reviewing, consolidation and extending of classroom learning and broadens learning experiences by encouraging the use of materials and sources not available within the classroom. Homework may also be fundamental in preparing students for future class work. Setting high standards for independent study will teach students the importance of planning; staying organised and will provide valuable experience of working to deadlines. Effective independent study Activities that are set for homework should be: an integral part of the course curriculum appropriate to the needs of the student varied and inspire curiosity recognised by meaningful and constructive feedback supported by both teachers and parents/carers manageable within the set time clear in how it consolidates and extends the work that is being covered in class Broad curriculum In order to develop and sustain an ambitious culture and vision for our learners we need to ensure that we deliver a wide curriculum that encompasses the development of key skills and spiritual, moral, cultural and social development (SMSC) to equip them with universal values and prepare them for life in modern Britain. Departments will regularly review planning to ensure coverage of: Spiritual Development Ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people s faiths, feelings and values Sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them Use of imagination and creativity in their learning Willingness to reflect on their experiences Moral Development Ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives, recognise legal boundaries and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England Understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions Interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, and ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues

7 Social Development Use of a range of social skills in different contexts, for example working and socialising with other pupils, including those from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds Willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including volunteering, co-operating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively Acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; they develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain Cultural Development Understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others Understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain Knowledge of Britain s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain Willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities By exploring, understanding and respecting other faiths and cultures they develop tolerance and respect for others from a wide variety of backgrounds, including socio-economic. In so doing they are able to celebrate diversity in both local, national and Global contexts. Sharing Good Practice There is a collegiate and collaborative approach to staff development at THA to capitalise on the existing good practice and to offer a range of opportunities for joint practice development and for staff to develop at all stages in their career. As an Academy, we have clear processes in place for the sharing of good practice and internal staff development opportunities. In addition to whole school INSET, these include: Strategies for communicating Teaching & Learning Developments which include half termly newsletters and weekly bulletin tips. In order to strengthen this further, Monday briefings have evolved, in order to promote a collegiate, open forum approach and improve communication through Tool-box Talks. Each week, a member/s of staff will be invited to deliver a 5 minute presentation or demonstration to reinforce our key priorities, provide developmental support, or share good practice. All staff are encouraged to make suggestions. Furthermore, we will also use these slots to ensure that staff are fully informed on all matters relating to health & safety and the safeguarding of students. Wednesday Twilight Training: a peer-led comprehensive programme of internal CPD, whereby staff collaborate and share practice across teams. The strategy for this is set in accordance with staff CPD survey responses, performance management and OFSTED recommendations. The programme includes a rotation of Middle Leader Development sessions with a clear focus on leading improvements in Teaching & Learning, as well as Leadership & Management, along with Department training sessions with the specific focus for each session mapped against our Teaching & Learning Action Plan priorities. Teaching & Learning Team: a key driver of improvements, with a range of staff working on a range of strategies for school improvement. In addition to the mechanisms set up to share good practice through the Teaching & Learning Newsletter, there are now named ambassadors within the team to lead on the key areas of our Teaching & Learning Action Plan. Projects are

8 underway to provide coaching and ensure that staff are kept abreast of priorities and the range of opportunities to develop their practice. If you do wish to apply for an external course in addition to what we already have in place, please be mindful of the following: The course request form must be completed and the steps noted at the top of the form must be followed. You must outline on the form how the course will meet your specific performance management/cpd needs and how it will have an impact on our Academy priorities. Courses should not be booked or approved without this process being followed. This form can be found in the staff Shared area/admin/forms/absence and CPD Request Form. When an external course incurs a cost and is authorised, no more than one member of staff may attend the course. There is an expectation that the member of staff will cascade the information/training in a team meeting. All staff attending external courses must complete a Course Evaluation Form, which can also be found on the staff shared area Shared area/admin/forms/absence and CPD Request Form. Staff are encouraged to consider school>school networks and Teach Meets as useful CPD. Local schools are always willing to arrange visits and share their ideas/resources; please be proactive in seeking these opportunities with your line manager and let me know if you would like to discuss further. Exam boards often offer free or inexpensive subject specialist KS4/5 conferences, standardisation meetings and webinars, please do look into these. Monitoring Evaluation & Review The Academy calendar of monitoring, evaluation and review sits within the Teaching & Learning Action Plan and has been developed to ensure a sharper focus on the performance of key areas. As part of this, a Department Review is calendared for every department between October and March. The Department Review Team will encompass a collegiate approach to school improvement and will support consistency; sharper evaluation; enhanced CPD. In addition to the Department Review process, we will each have 2 formal observations. Whilst staff will receive constructive feedback on areas of strength, recommendations for development and a good or better or less than good summary, individual lessons at THA are not graded. We understand that a wider evidence base, using a progress-over-time methodology is required. Additional monitoring, evaluation and review tools to provide this evidence base include: Learning walks Book looks Reviews of planning Line management meetings, with standard agenda items Bespoke support programmes For further information on the information outlined in the THA Learning Policy, please refer to: - Teaching and Learning Action Plan 2015/16 - Marking Policy 2015/16 - Behaviour for Learning Policy - Assessment Policy - Teaching & Learning Newsletter - Wednesday Training Programme - Department Review Vision Document - OFSTED Common Inspection Framework Teacher Standards

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