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Cavell Primary and Nursery School
Teaching and LearningWritten by:Sarah Adams
Date Written:September 2012
Review Date: September 2013
RationaleAt Cavell Primary and Nursery School we believe in the concept of lifelong learning and the notion that learning should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone. Through the teaching and experiences we offer we equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their lives.
Aims and Objectives This teaching and learning policy is intended to promote consistency, high standards and achievement of the school aims. We believe that children learn best in different ways. At Cavell we aim to provide rich and varied learning experiences that allows children to develop their skills and abilities to full potential.
Through our teaching we aim to:
enable children to become confident, resourceful, enquiring and independent learners;
foster childrens self-esteem and help them build positive relationships with other people;
develop childrens self-respect and encourage children to respect the ideas, attitudes, values and feelings to others;
show respect for all cultures and in doing so, promote positive attitudes towards other people;
enable children to understand their local area and help them feel valued as part of the local community;
help children grow into reliable, independent and positive citizens
Learning Styles We acknowledge that people learn in many different ways and we recognise the need to develop strategies that allow all children to learn in ways that best suit them.
We offer opportunities for children to learn in different ways. These include:
investigation and problem solving
whole class, pair, group and individual work
research and finding out
use of the extensive outdoor area
use of the computers/laptops across the curriculum
fieldwork and visits to places of educational interest both in the local community and further afield
watching television/movie clips and responding to musical or recorded material
debates, role plays and oral presentations
designing and making things
participation in physical activity
reflecting on what has been learned
Teaching and Learning at Cavell
We aim to make all of our lessons fun, exciting and at times unpredictable. The Structure may change however there are always key elements which can be seen. Where appropriate, the following will be seen;
A didactic element of the lesson where the teacher explains the objectives and demonstrates or explains where necessary a knowledge, skill or understanding.
Modelling by the teacher to exemplify the learning intention.
Posing of questions to encourage children to draw on their existing knowledge and extend their thinking.
During whole class/group work strategies such as the use of whiteboards, fans and talk partners will be used to allow all children to respond.
During group/independent work the children will be required to apply new knowledge, understanding or skills they have been taught.
Organisation of group/independent work will vary. The teacher will use their professional judgement in deciding which form of organisation is most suitable for the particular lesson.
Children will work in a mixture of set and mixed ability groupings.
Plenaries will be used during and at the end of every lesson. This time is used for reviewing, reflecting and consolidating teaching points. It may also be used for presenting work and sharing in the celebration of work completed by others. The plenary provides the teacher to monitor and assess the work of some of the pupils. It will enable pupils to reflect upon and explain what they have learned and to clarify their thinking.
In addition to quality first class teaching in the classroom the school will employ other strategies to ensure that teaching and learning is as effective as possible through; Use of specialist teachers/support staff: PE will be taught by a specialist member of support staff who will cover at least one of the PE lessons per week for each class. Outside agencies are also brought in from time to time to give specialist teaching in football, multi-skills and tennis. Music lessons are offered to individuals on a weekly basis and are taught by a specialist music teacher.
Use of ability grouping and setting: We believe that on occasion children learn best if they are working with children of a similar ability. This means that the teacher can get a very close match between what the children already know and what they need to learn next. Ability grouping can happen in two ways; firstly, within a class where the teacher puts all the children into groups based on their ability and secondly, across year groups/classes where children from different classes are put into groups according to ability. This is called setting.
Use of booster classes and other study support activities: The school will offer children opportunity to attend extra classes in Literacy and Numeracy if we feel that they will benefit from them. Other study support activities take place before and after school to support children in reaching their full potential.
Collaborative learning strategies: We believe that children can learn from each other and that we should provide regular opportunities for children to work together and share ideas. In every lesson where appropriate teachers will use talk partners whereby children work together to test out others thinking and explain answers.
Specialist intervention for pupils with English as an additional language or Special Educational Needs: The schools policy is to create and use an IEP for every child who has special educational needs and/or disabilities. Individual targets are both planned for through individual work, as well as being highlighted in differentiated whole class teaching. What does good teaching look like at Cavell?
Challenging but achievable expectations, clear explanations and rigorous pace. At Cavell we base our teaching on our knowledge of the childrens level of attainment. Our prime focus is to develop further the knowledge and skills of the children. We strive to ensure that all tasks set are appropriate to each childs level of ability. When planning work for children with special educational needs and disabilities we give due regard to information and targets contained in the childrens Individual Education Plan (IEPs). We have high expectations of all children and we believe that their work should always be of the highest standard.
Varied and flexible teaching styles are used, dependent on the task and the individual needs of the learner.
We set whole school, group and individual targets for the children in each academic year and we share these with the children and parents. Targets are reviewed formally each half term, setting revised targets at this point or before if achieved.
Teachers show secure knowledge of the areas they are teaching
Staff have an exciting, enthusiastic approach to learning which will help inspire, motivate and engage our children
Clear focus is given through explicit learning intentions and success criteria, which identify what learners need to understand and be able to do in order to achieve. Our learning objectives come from units within the International Primary Curriculum which in turn come from the National Curriculum, Primary Strategies and the Early Years Curriculum. Our planning contains information about the tasks to be set, the resources needed and the way we assess the childrens work. We evaluate our weekly planning so that we can modify and improve teaching in the future.
Good use of additional adults and resources is made to support the childrens learning. We continually revise the deployment of staff and position them considering both their skill set and the current need of the classes and individuals. Classes in upper Key Stage two have two teachers per class of thirty children to reduce the pupil/teacher ratio so to accelerate progress and allow children to leave our school with the best chance of reaching their full potential. Support staff are deployed to work with groups and individuals. They will also assist with the preparation and storage of classroom resources. On occasion, teaching assistants will teach whole classes.
Positive behaviour management strategies are used to motivate and encourage pupils to respond appropriately and help create a climate for learning. All adults follow school policy with regard to discipline and classroom management. We set and agree with children the class code of conduct and refer to this regularly. We praise children for their efforts and, by so doing, we help to build positive attitudes towards school and learning in general.
Opportunities for self-evaluation and reflection are built in throughout the session. Teachers also reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and plan for their professional development needs accordingly. The school has systematic procedures for identifying strengths and weaknesses in teaching and provides opportunities for teachers and support staff to continually improve their practice through courses, peer observation and working and with in house training.
A consistent approach is used, in line with whole school policies and procedures.
A relaxed yet purposeful learning environment is created. Learning is linked to pupils prior knowledge and understanding. A range of question types are used. Pupils are encouraged to generate their own questions. Information is presented in short chunks, which enables pupils to maintain their concentration. There is good interaction and communication between children as well as between adults and children. All of our teachers and adults work hard to establish good working relationships with all the children in the class. We treat the children with kindness and respect. We treat them fairly and give them equal opportunity to take part in class activities.
Creative ideas are valued and actively encouraged.
We ensure that all tasks and activities that children do are safe. Regular risk assessments are carried out.
What does good learning look like at Cavell?
We asked some of our children what qualities learners should demonstrate and they came up with the following list:
A good learner is someone who.
Asks lots of questions
Keeps thinking when they get the answer wrong
Looks interested by having bright eyes and a big smile
Doesnt give up even when its really hard
Gives others the chance to talk even when you are excited to get your point of view across
Asks for help
Takes a risk and has a go even when theyre scared
Enjoys learning new things
Can explain what they have learnt to someone else
Can use what you have learnt in one lesson in another
Listens and respects what others say even though you might not agree
Tries to solve the problem themselves before asking an adult
Shares their ideas with others
The Learning Environment
At Cavell we believe a positive learning environment sets the climate for learning and enables all children to access the curriculum. It should:
Be welcoming and inviting to children, staff, parents and the community by encouraging interaction and providing opportunities for good communication between home and school.
Each classroom has a board outside of the classroom which displays messages to parents, highlights learning taking place during the day/week/term and provides any feedback needed.
Each classroom should have a planning board where long and short term plans are clearly displayed along with routines/timetables, groupings and general class organisation.
Provide displays which support the current learning taking place through working walls and current vocabulary. Displays should be changed regularly with old material removed so the focus is on current teaching and learning.
It should reflect cultural and racial diversity.
Support and challenge learning by ensuring appropriate resources are accessible for the children, encouraging them to be independent in different areas of learning, including ICT. Also by reminding children that they are working towards personal goals and targets in their learning.
Celebrate achievement and value effort in the display and presentation of childrens current learning across the curriculum. It should help raise self-esteem and confidence. Work should be clearly named.
Be stimulating and thought provoking with the use of interactive displays, resources and different zones within each classroom that encourage children to explore, investigate and play.
Be warm, comfortable and clean with the provision of suitable and functional furniture and fittings.
Create an environment where children feel they belong and can foster a sense of pride within it.
Be safe and hazard free, both emotionally and physically.
Encourage co-operative and collaborative learning and good working relationships through the flexible use of space and the ability to adapt to whole class, group and individual learning.
Promote an appropriate atmosphere for learning supported by the schools expectations and Code of Conduct.
Be well organised and uncluttered, using available space to best advantage.
Curriculum and Planning
The curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum but also the range of extra-curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich the experience of the children. These include the use of the allotment in teaching children where food comes and supporting them in taking ownership of their health and diet in the way food is served in a family home style at lunch time. Cavell has a hidden curriculum in terms of what the children learn from the way they are treated are expected to behave. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive and responsible people who can work and co-operate with others, while developing knowledge and skills so that they achieve their true potential.
The aims of our school curriculum are:
to enable all children to learn and develop their skills to the best of their ability;
to promote positive attitudes towards learning so that children enjoy coming to school and acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning;
to teach children the basic skills of literacy, numeracy and information and
communication technology (ICT);