TEACHING AND LEARNING POLICY
AIMS OF THE POLICY
At St Ebbe’s Primary School we are committed to high quality teaching and learning to raise standards of achievement for all children. All teachers and governors have been consulted in developing this policy, which summarises expectations and common working practices at St Ebbe's. It reflects what has been agreed in terms of approach and consistency and makes explicit the best practice to which the school aspires. It also reflects the aims and objectives of the school and supports its vision.
PRINCIPLES OF TEACHING AND LEARNING
Learning is the purpose of the whole school and is a shared commitment. At St Ebbe’s Primary School we recognise that education involves children, parents, staff, governors, the local authority and the ODST, and that for optimum benefit all should work closely together to support the process of learning. Working in partnership, we aim to:
- provide a supportive, positive, healthy, caring and safe environment, which has high expectations and values all members of the school community;
- recognise the needs and aspirations of all individuals and provide opportunities for all our children to make the best possible progress and attain the highest personal achievements;
- ensure children can develop as literate, numerate, creative and technologically competent individuals, within a broad, balanced, exciting and challenging curriculum;
- provide rich and varied contexts and experiences for our children to acquire, develop and apply a broad range of knowledge, skills and understanding and approaches to learning;
- provide a curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, physical, mental and emotional development of our children;
- develop individuals with lively, enquiring minds, good thinking skills, self-respect, self-discipline and positive attitudes;
- encourage all children to be enthusiastic and committed learners, promoting their self -esteem, self-worth and emotional well-being;
- develop children’s confidence and capacity to learn and work independently and collaboratively;
- develop enduring values of respect, trustworthiness, equality, courage, compassion and awe and wonder;
- encourage our children to respond positively to the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities of a rapidly changing world;
- encourage our children to value the diversity in our society and the environment in which they live;
- encourage our children to become active and responsible citizens, contributing positively to the community and society.
As a school, we are committed to our mission statement – ‘St Ebbe’s C.E. Primary School – a place where children Learn, Grow and Flourish’
The ethos and atmosphere underpin the agreed aims of the school. In the course of their daily work the staff will contribute to the development of this ethos through:
o providing a calm and effective working environment, in which each child can produce his or her best work;
o providing a welcoming environment in which respect, equality and compassion are fostered;
o providing positive role models;
o providing a fair and orderly environment, in line with the school’s behaviour policy;
o developing links with the wider community;
o valuing and celebrating our children’s success and achievements;
o encouraging children to take risks in their learning;
o regarding making mistakes as a step towards learning;
o having a commitment to making learning accessible for all.
Roles and Responsibilities
Learning and teaching is a shared responsibility and all members of the school community have an important part to play.
Teachers will endeavour to:
o nurture a ‘Growth Mindset’ for all children;
o provide a challenging and stimulating curriculum designed to encourage all children to reach their highest standard of achievement;
o recognise and be aware of the needs of each individual child according to current level of achievement, aptitude and emotional need;
o ensure that learning is progressive and continuous;
o be good role models, punctual, well prepared and organised;
o keep up-to-date with educational issues;
o provide clear information on school procedures and pupil progress;
o have a positive attitude to change and the development of their own expertise;
o establish links with the local community to prepare our children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life;
o work collaboratively in key stage teams, Cherwell partnership and our ODST hub to ensure consistency and equal opportunity.
Parents are encouraged to support their child’s learning by:
o ensuring that their child attends school regularly, punctually, well-rested, fed and in good health;
o providing support for the discipline within the school and for the teacher’s role;
o supporting the work of educational targets and becoming actively involved in the implementation of any support programme;
o participating in discussions concerning their child’s progress and achievement;
o ensuring early contact with school to discuss matters which affect a child’s happiness, progress and behaviour;
o supporting the school’s homework policy;
o encouraging their child to become increasingly independent as they progress throughout the school;
o offering to help in class and on visits.
Our children are encouraged to support the school’s aims by:
o coming to school every day on time, except when they are too unwell;
o going to bed in good time so they are not tired at school;
o eating well, especially breakfast;
o completing their homework including daily reading;
o being organised, taking letters home promptly, etc;
o behaving appropriately at school in line with our behaviour policy;
o taking increased responsibility for their own learning.
At St Ebbe’s Primary School we are committed to following the programmes of study as required by the National Curriculum 2014. We follow a cross curricular approach to learning where some subjects are taught through a topic and some are covered as discrete subjects. Teachers plan collaboratively in their key stages, and produce a curriculum graphic each term; these are available to parents on the homepage of our website in the Class Areas under DAY-TODAY. Regular staff meetings are used to discuss various aspects of the curriculum and ensure consistency of approach and standards. Our curriculum is designed to meet the cultural and ethnic diversity of our school community.
Teachers write a weekly curriculum newsletter to parents explaining what our children are currently learning in class. These can also be accessed in the Class Areas under DAY-TO-DAY.
The links are as follows:
Mrs Stowe's Garry class EYFS
Miss Woods’ Darling Class EYFS
Miss Smallman's Liffey Class YEAR 1
Miss Woodward's Congo Class YEAR 1
Miss Pullin's Seine Class YEAR 2
Madame Vergier and Mrs Horner's Thames Class YEAR 2
Miss Welham's Swan Class YEAR 3
Miss Jackson's Pangani Class YEAR 3
Miss Cranham's Danube Class YEAR 4
Miss Handley's Amazon Class YEAR 4
Mr Panzer's Yangtze Class YEAR 5
Mrs Horn's Limpopo Class YEAR 5
Mr Stowe's Ob Class YEAR 6
Mr Godby's Haro Class YEAR 6
Teachers’ daily planning is informed by their continuous assessment of children’s learning, pupil need and subject expectation.
Teachers are each responsible for managing a subject at St Ebbe’s. This involves:
o supporting colleagues in the development and implementation of their subject, and in assessment;
o taking responsibility for the purchase and organisation of central resources for their subject;
o organising an annual curriculum day;
o providing curriculum briefings for parents;
o monitoring curriculum coverage;
o meeting twice annually with the subject link-governor to report on their subject;
o keeping up-to-date through reading and attending relevant courses e.g. partnership/ODST briefings;
o proactively seeking out and disseminating new ideas.
The learning environment will be managed in such a way as to facilitate different styles of learning.
Opportunities will be made for:
o whole class teaching;
o group work (this tends to be in mixed achievement groups);
o one to one teaching;
o working in pairs;
o independent learning.
Children will learn in the classroom, outdoors including at Forest School, on local walks and on residentials at Hill End, Yenworthy and Woodlands, and at other places of interest associated with the curriculum topic e.g. Christchurch Cathedral, the Ashmolean, the Story Museum, the Natural History Museum, Pizza Express etc.
The classroom will be organised to facilitate learning and the development of independence. For example:
o resources will be labelled and easily accessible;
o wall displays will prompt learning e.g. word banks, calculation strategies etc.
o book corners will be comfortable and attractive;
o resources will be culturally and ethnically relevant;
o areas for imaginative play will change regularly, in order to give opportunities for a range of play and role-play which will contribute to learning in a purposeful manner;
o our children will take responsibility for the maintenance and care of all equipment and resources.
Classrooms will provide a stimulating and purposeful learning environment, including thought provoking and stimulating displays.
Classroom support is available in the form of both teaching assistants and volunteers. These are used at the discretion of the class teacher. Volunteer helpers assist with the many aspects of school life, including supporting reading and providing assistance with school visits. Trainee teachers and school students on work experience are welcomed into school. All staff, volunteers and visitors are expected to follow the school’s Code of Conduct which includes DBS and DBA clearance.
School events such as performances, concerts and assemblies are seen as opportunities for all our children to demonstrate their own best performance. Our children are encouraged to believe that any exhibited work (performance or display) should represent their highest standards of personal achievement. ‘Head teacher’s’ awards are announced weekly in Friday’s Sharing Assembly for those achieving personal academic best or outstanding effort. Exemplary behaviour is announced weekly, also at Friday’s Sharing Assembly, for those who have been observed behaving remarkably well that week.
So that we always have the highest possible expectations of individual learners and so they can demonstrate what they can do, understand and achieve, teachers will differentiate the curriculum according to individual needs by: pace; content; task; relevance; resources; extension; autonomy; outcome; teacher/adult support.
Differentiated tasks will be detailed in weekly planning for Maths and English. Learning objectives will be specified for all differentiated teaching and reference will be made in weekly plans to individuals with additional learning needs.
Where necessary children with special educational needs receive additional support provided by a teaching assistant, 1:1 Tuition or their class teacher. Extra support is given in the classroom by teaching assistants and the class teacher. Additionally, advice is sought from relevant external support agencies when and where the need demands it. (See Special Educational Needs Policy)
Homework is considered to be a valuable element of the learning process. (See Homework Policy)
Assessment, Recording and Reporting
At St Ebbe’s we have three formal assessment points each year. We rely heavily on teachers’ professional judgement for assessment, and keep formal testing to a minimum. However the third assessment point includes statutory testing in Year 2 and Year 6 through SATs, and Phonics are tested in Year 1 and re-tested where necessary in Year 2. In Years 3, 4 and 5 we use a combination of professional judgement and summative testing to assess children’s achievement at the end of the academic year.
Suitable tasks for assessment include:
o group discussions;
o short tests in which our children write answers;
o specific assignments for individual our children;
o discussions in which children are encouraged to appraise their own work and progress;
o pupil observations;
Pupil Progress meetings are held following each of our three annual assessment points. Teachers discuss with a member of the SLT, all those who are below the expected standard for their curriculum year in Reading, Writing or Maths, plus any additional vulnerable children. Next steps and additional provision is agreed and resourced.
Initial assessment is used in Reception/Early Years within their first term of starting school and they are assessed against the DfE criteria for Good Level of Development (GLD) at the end of their first academic year.
Feedback to our children about their own progress is achieved through discussion and the marking of work (See Feedback and Marking guidelines).
Monitoring and Evaluation
Teaching and Learning is monitored and moderated regularly throughout the year by the Senior Leadership Team through subject specific Learning Walks, Governor Link visits and Book Moderation afternoons. Reports are shared with our Governing Body.
Teaching Strategies and Styles
In order to ensure equality of access and effective matching of tasks to needs, teachers will employ a variety of teaching strategies in any one session. This will include:
o provision of an integrated curriculum;
o teacher observation;
o discussion and questioning (open and closed as appropriate);
o previewing and reviewing work;
o didactic teaching;
o interactive teaching;
o providing opportunities for reflection by our children;
o demonstrating high expectations;
o providing opportunities for repetition/reinforcement;
o providing encouragement, positive reinforcement and praise;
o making judgements and responding to individual need;
o intervening, as appropriate, in the learning process in order to encourage development;
o providing all children with opportunities for success;
o using a range of communication strategies – verbal and non-verbal.
Activities should show a balance in terms of individual, group and whole class work.
The emphasis of our policy is on a good variety of experiences and we encourage children increasingly to take an active role in their own learning. Thus:
o investigative work is used;
o children are encouraged to communicate findings in a variety of ways;
o opportunities are provided for children to become involved in decision making and to take responsibility, along with staff, for their own learning.
Learning Processes and Learning Styles
Children enter school at different stages of development. Children learn in different ways and at different rates of progress. In the course of learning, children develop their skills through a variety of processes and learning styles. These include:
o talking and discussion;
o asking questions;
o child-initiated play;
o practical exploration and role play;
o retrieving information;
o making choices and decision-making.
At St Ebbe’s Primary School opportunities are organised to allow our children access to these processes, and for them to develop their own strategies to gain knowledge and skills. We aim to provide opportunities to develop a wide range of learning styles. We recognise that each child has a unique way of learning and that learning preference is affected by previous experience, competence, confidence, beliefs and values. We shall ensure that learning is accessed by as many means as possible. Staff are aware of a range of theories and research linked to learning including encouraging a ‘Growth Mindset’.
Resources and Programmes
Classroom and central resources are the responsibility of classroom teachers and subject coordinators.
Each classroom will be equipped with a basic set of resources and books appropriate to the age range. Specialist resources will be stored in the appropriate curriculum resource cupboard/area, and will be regularly audited by the subject leaders. Consumables will be replenished as necessary. Staff may contact subject leaders with suggestions for specialist materials which may need ordering.
Children will be taught how to use all resources correctly and safely, with care and respect and with regard for Health and Safety and waste. Care will be taken to ensure that resources reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of our school community, and that all children have equality of access.
At St Ebbe’s Primary School the use of visits and visitors to enrich the curriculum is valued and these are used throughout the school to widen children’s experiences and support learning across a range of subject areas.
Maths – we use the mastery approach supported by the Maths No Problem and Nrich resources.
Reading – we use a variety of graded reading books including Songbirds and Fireflies to teach reading, and we encourage children to read a variety of rich texts for pleasure. We also use Oxford Reading Campaign and Read, Write, Inc resource as reading interventions to accelerate learning.
Phonics – we use the DfE Letters and Sounds programme to teach phonics
Writing – we use the Talk for Writing approach, which includes story mapping and stepping to help teach writing.
Computing is a major resource, which is used across the whole curriculum
Swimming is taught by specialist teachers at the Ferry pool in Summertown
RE - we deliver the agreed syllabus for Oxfordshire, using units of work provided by the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education.
Health and Safety issues are the responsibility of all who work in the school. Two members of staff are nominated as Health and Safety representatives and all problems should be reported to them. These are the Headteacher and Caretaker.
This policy will be reviewed by Governors, following consultation with teachers, every three years.
Last reviewed: November 2017