Teaching and Learning Policy

1. Introduction

This document is a statement of the aims, principles and strategies for teaching and learning at Ingleton Primary School. It lays the foundations for the whole curriculum, both formal and informal, and forms the context in which all other policy statements should read.

2. What is Teaching and Learning?

Teaching and learning is the main purpose of our school.

It is the method through which we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and meets the requirements of the Education Reform Act relating to the National Curriculum, Religious Education and the Act of Collective Worship.

3. Aims

Our aims for Teaching and Learning are that all children will:-

  • be tolerant and understanding with respect for the rights, views and property of others.
  • achieve their potential in terms of academic achievement, aesthetic appreciation and spiritual awareness.
  • develop a responsible and independent attitude towards work and towards their roles in society.

4. Principles of Teaching and Learning

The staff see Teaching and Learning as a process of co-operative team work. We welcome, and positively encourage, the involvement of parents and others in the community.

All members of the school community (staff, both teaching and non-teaching, parents, pupils and governors) work towards the school`s aims by:-

  • esteeming children as individuals and respecting their rights, values and beliefs.
  • fostering and promoting good relationships and a sense of belonging to the school community
  • providing a well ordered environment in which all are fully aware of behavioural expectations
  • offering equal opportunities in all aspects of school life and recognising the importance of different cultures.
  • encouraging, praising and positively reinforcing good relationships, behaviour and work.
  • working as a team, supporting and encouraging one another.

TEACHERS work towards the school`s aims by:-

  • providing a challenging and stimulating environment and programme of study designed to enable all children to reach the highest standards of personal awareness.
  • recognising, and being constantly aware of, the needs of each individual child according to ability and aptitude.
  • ensuring that learning is progressive and continuous.
  • being good role models – punctual, well prepared and well organised.
  • maintaining an up to date knowledge of the National Curriculum and other educational issues.
  • having a positive attitude to change and the development of their own expertise.
  • establishing links with the local community to help pupils come to an understanding of their responsibilities to people other than themselves.
  • working collaboratively with a shared philosophy and commonality of practice.

PARENTS work toward the school`s aims by:-

  • ensuring that children attend school regularly, punctually and in good health.
  • providing support for the discipline within the school and for the teacher`s role.
  • being realistic about their children`s abilities and offering encouragement and praise.
  • ensuring early contact with school to discuss matters which affect a child`s happiness, progress and behaviour.
  • giving due importance to homework, hearing reading and assisting in any work sent home.
  • allowing their children to take increasing responsibility as they progress through school.

5. Strategies for Teaching and Learning

Our curriculum is organised on a rolling programme of topics/themes with subjects being taught separately as and where necessary.

Emphasis is placed on outdoor learning. The school grounds are an extension to the classroom. The local environment is regularly visited to enhance learning opportunities.

There is no predominant mode of working – group work, individual and class based teaching being used where appropriate.

Groups are usually of mixed ability although matched ability grouping may be used where appropriate, in particular in mathematics.

Relevant discussion and silent work are both encouraged so that children will see the need for both in their approach to work.

Teachers cater for different learning styles. During the school day they aim for balance and variety of learning opportunities: still/active, outdoors/indoors, independent/co-operative group work.

There is little specialist teaching, teachers teach all subjects to their classes.

Each class has a teaching assistant for the majority of the week. Their role is of vital importance in the classroom and includes leading learning and supporting groups of children.

Volunteer helpers assist in the classroom, on outings and visits and in providing other help such as providing contact with industry and commerce, local places of interest and fund raising.

High School and FE students on work experience are welcome into school. Certain standards of dress and conduct are expected from them. This is made clear to them before their placements begin.

PUPILS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS receive extra support in the classroom from classroom assistants when appropriate. In some cases they are withdrawn from class and work with the Special Needs Co-ordinator or other outreach support teachers e.g. Speech Therapists.

THE EMPHASIS OF OUR TEACHING AND LEARNING POLICY is on first hand experience and we encourage children increasingly to take control of their own learning by:-

  • encouraging investigative work and building questioning skills.
  • encouraging pupils to communicate their findings in a variety of ways, including the use of ICT.
  • providing opportunities for pupils to become involved in decision making, often through Circle Time activities.

EXCELLENCE IS CELEBRATED in display, performance and Praise Assemblies whereby:-

  • each child is given the opportunity to have work of a high standard displayed at some time in the school year.
  • sustained effort including drafting and re-drafting is encouraged to enhance standards.
  • school events such as concerts and drama are seen as opportunities for all pupils to show their own best performance.
  • pupils are encouraged to believe that any exhibited work should represent their highest and best standards of personal achievement.
  • each pupil is given the opportunity to receive praise for non-academic achievement.

6. Strategies for ensuring Progress and Continuity

PLANNING – All teachers are involved in drawing up a rolling cycle of topics carefully balanced to cover the N.C. and other areas. Schemes of work for individual subjects are developed by subject leaders in collaboration with the whole staff and, with the exception of the core subjects, are integrated in the rolling programme of topics/themes.

Work/lesson plans are drawn up by individual class teachers for each half term and are monitored by the Headteachers.

SUBJECT LEADERS have a variety of roles. They:-

  • take the lead in developing policies & schemes of work planned to ensure subject progress and continuity throughout school.
  • support colleagues in the development of detailed work plans, the implementation of schemes of work, assessment & recording.
  • monitor progress in their subjects and advise the Headteachers on any action needed.
  • are given time release, subject to budget and time constraints, to allow them to support colleagues in the classroom.
  • are expected to keep up to date through reading and courses.

FEEDBACK TO PUPILS about their own progress is achieved by the marking of, and discussion about, their work.

Effective marking:-

  • aims to help children make progress, not find fault, and comments aim to be positive as well as constructive e.g. 2 stars and a wish
  • pupils read and take on board comments and acknowledge feedback with a tick or a comment if appropriate
  • where possible comments reflect pupil targets
  • is used sensitively and with discretion so that a child can assimilate a limited number of corrections at one time – this will vary according to age and ability.
  • includes supporting the development of grammar and punctuation and the teaching and learning of spellings which can be corrected or underlined depending on age or ability

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT is used to guide the progress of individual pupils. It involves identifying each child’s progress in each area of the curriculum, determining what has been learned and what, therefore, should be the next stage in his/her learning. Formative assessment is mostly carried out informally by teachers in the course of their teaching.

Suitable tasks for assessment include:-

  • small group discussions – in the context of a practical task.
  • specific assignments for individual pupils.
  • individual discussions in which children are encouraged to appraise their own work and progress.

CROSS PHASE CONTINUITY is encouraged by:-

  • liaison with parents, pre-school settings and child minders before children enter Nursery
  • FS staff share FS Profile information with Y1 staff
  • regular liaison meetings between teachers of Y6 pupils and those from the secondary schools.
  • visits to receiving secondary schools by Y6 pupils.
  • transfer of summative assessment results and pupils records of progress.
  • cross school subject leader’s meetings.

7. Strategies for Recording and Reporting

RECORDS OF PROGRESS kept for each child are:-

  • up-dated regularly by class teachers
  • examined by class teachers at the beginning of each academic year as they prepare for a new class.
  • retained throughout the child’s time at the school and passed to the receiving school when the child leaves.

REPORTING TO PARENTS is done both formally and informally and there are two annual written reports. Parents are made aware that:-

  • parent interviews are held for a limited time during “twilight” periods to ensure that teachers are not too tired to perform effectively.
  • they may meet their child’s teacher by appointment at any other time to discuss particular concerns.

FORMAL SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT is carried out at the end of the National Curriculum Key Stage 1 through the use of tests and teacher assessment. At the end of Key Stage 2 Year 6 pupils will be assessed using statutory tests and given a scaled, standardised score. This procedure is moderated by the LA.

On completion of this activity:-

  • results of individual pupil’s assessments are made available to the parents concerned.
  • the overall statistical profile (but not individual results) is made available to parents of children in Year 2 and Year 6, Governors, the Local Authority and the Department for Education. (National Government)

8. Strategies for the use of resources

CLASSROOM RESOURCES are the responsibility of classroom teachers who ensure that:-

  • there is a range of appropriate, accessible and labelled resources available, from which pupils can select materials suitable to the task in hand.
  • all children know where resources are kept and the rules about their access and use.
  • all children know what they must not touch for safety/privacy.
  • children are encouraged to act independently in choosing, collecting and returning resources where appropriate.
  • children and teachers act together to establish an attractive, welcoming and well organised environment engendering respect, care and value for all resources.

CENTRAL RESOURCES are generally the responsibility of subject leaders, who subject to School Development Plan and financial constraints have a small budget available. Stationery is ordered and stored centrally.

TIME is a resource that we value. To maximise its use:-

  • initially the children`s time is tightly organised by the class teachers.
  • as children progress through school they are encouraged to take greater control of their own learning – including the use of time.
  • time wasting is reduced by ensuring that tasks are made specific and clearly defined.
  • all children engage in useful activities immediately upon entry to the classroom and know what to do between the end of an activity and the end of a session.

COMPUTING is a major resource that is used across the whole curriculum. Interactive whiteboards are the central teaching tool in every classroom. Children use computers, laptops and tablets in every area of learning. Each child has a folder on the network where they can save and access their work. The Internet is used widely to support the children’s learning.

CENTRAL RESOURCE BOOKS, fiction and non-fiction are a valuable resource. It is the responsibility of the class teacher using them to ensure they are returned to their correct place in good order.

HEALTH AND SAFETY issues are the responsibility of all who work in the school. It is incumbent on each member of staff to familiarise him/herself with the Health and Safety policy and associated issues.