Review date: February 2016
Next review date: February 2017
Author: Mrs Nordstrom
At New Silksworth Infant school we believe in the concept of life long learning and the idea that both adults and children learn new things everyday. We maintain that learning should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone; it should be fun. Through our teaching we equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their lives. We believe that appropriate teaching and learning experiences help children to lead happy and rewarding lives.
Aims and objectives
We believe that people learn best in different ways. At our school we provide a rich and varied learning environment that allows children to develop their skills and abilities to their full potential.
Through our teaching we aim to:
Enable children to become confident, resourceful, enquiring and independent learners;
Foster children’s self esteem and help them build positive relationships with other people;
Develop children’s self respect and encourage children to respect their ideas, attitudes, values and feelings for others;
Show respect for all cultures and, in so doing, to promote attitudes towards other people;
Enable children to understand their community and help them feel valued as part of this community:
Help children grow into reliable, independent and positive citizens.
We acknowledge that people 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. There are three main learning styles visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. We take into account these differing learning styles when planning and teaching.
We offer opportunities for children to learn in different ways. These include:
• investigation and problem solving;
• research and finding out;
• independent/paired/group work
• whole-class work;
• question and answer
• fieldwork and visits to places of educational interest;
• pupils involved in reporting back/reviewing
• debates/role play and oral presentations
• designing and making
• participation in athletic/physical activity
• development of creative skills and talents.
• Opportunities to learn indoors and outdoors
We encourage children to take responsibility for their own learning, to be involved as far as possible in reviewing the way they learn, and to reflect on how they learn – what helps them learn and what makes it difficult for them to learn (Assessment for Learning).
Teaching and learning is monitored thoroughly through observations, book scrutiny, data analysis, termly pupil progress meetings and pupil discussions. Parents views are sought regularly and any feedback is analysed to maintain high standards of teaching and learning. External consultants are used to validate judgements on teaching and learning. When teaching we focus on motivating the children and building on their skills, knowledge and understanding of the curriculum. We use the school curriculum map to guide our long term teaching. This, together with our aims, objectives and the values of the school, identifies what is to be taught in each year group. Our medium term plans stem from class/group interests and incorporate what the children want to learn. Medium term plans are working documents that allow for on-going assessment for learning. We base our knowledge on assessments of the children’s level of attainment, using both formal and informal observations. Our prime focus is to develop further the knowledge, skills and understanding of the children. We strive to ensure that all tasks set are appropriate to each child’s level of ability. When planning work for children with special educational needs we give due regard to information and targets contained in the children’s support plan.
We have high expectations of all children, and we believe that their work here at New Silksworth infant School is of the highest possible standard. We set academic targets for the children in each academic year and we share these targets with children and their parents through reports and at each open evening. Specific targets to facilitate the development of children’s skills, knowledge or understanding in Reading, Writing and Maths are set. We review the progress of each child at the end of the year (Reception), or the term (Years 1 and 2) and set revised targets. In addition each child may have specific targets for development.
We plan our lesson with clear learning objectives. Learning objectives are shared with the children at the beginning of each lesson. We take these objectives from the National Curriculum or the EYFS Curriculum. Our lesson plans contain information about the tasks to be set, the resources needed, and the way we access the children’s work. We evaluate all lessons so that we can modify and improve our teaching in the future. Each of our teachers makes a special effort to establish good working relationships with all 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. Wepraise children for their efforts and, by doing so, we help to build positive attitudes towards school and learning in general. We insist on good order and behaviour at all times. When children misbehave we follow the guidelines for sanctions as outlined in our school behaviour policy. We ensure that all tasks and activities that the children do are safe. When we plan to take children out of school, we first inform parents and obtain their permission.
We deploy learning assistants and other adult helpers as effectively as possible. Sometimes they work with individuals and sometimes they work with small groups. Our adult helpers all assist with the preparation and storage of classroom equipment.
Assessment, progression and recording achievement. At New Silksworth Infant School we undertake the formal assessment of each pupil’s achievement in relation to some subjects of the National Curriculum, along with the recording and publication of results in accordance with the procedures set out in statutory and other guidance. Details of Assessment can be found in our ‘Assessment Policy’ and ‘Marking and Feedback Policy.’
We recognise the need to have optimal learning conditions in place before effective learning can take place. There are nine dimensions of classroom climate which impact significantly on the pupil’s motivation. These are clarity, order, standards, fairness, participation, support, safety, interest, and an attractive physical environment. Teachers, take account of all of these areas when planning and teaching. Our classrooms are attractive learning environments. We change displays at least once a term to ensure that the classroom reflects the topic studied by the children. We ensure that all children have the opportunity to display their best work at some time during the year. All the classrooms have a range of dictionaries, fiction and non-fiction books available for children in the reading area, as well as displays relating to English, Maths and Computing. We believe that a stimulating environment and an exciting classroom promotes an independent use of resources and high quality work by the children. We have a list of non negotiable elements that are evidenced in each and every classroom.
The school recognises the importance of the outdoor learning environment in enhancing children’s learning and promoting their all round development. We believe all aspects of learning including Maths, Science, and English can be enhanced outdoors. The developments made to our outdoor classrooms reflect this. All of our staff reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and plan their professional development needs accordingly. We do all we can to support our staff in developing their skills, so that they can continually improve their practice.
The role of the governors
Our governors determine, support, monitor, and review the school policies on teaching and learning. In particular they:
• support the use of appropriate teaching strategies by allocating resources effectively;
• ensure that the school buildings and premises are best used to support successful teaching and learning;
• monitor teaching strategies in the light of health and safety regulations;
• monitor how effective teaching and learning strategies are in terms of raising pupil attainment;
• ensure that staff development and performance management policies promote good quality teaching;
• monitor the effectiveness of the school’s teaching and learning policies through the school’s self review processes. These include reports from subject leaders and the annual head teachers report to governors.
The role of parents
We believe that parents have a fundamental role in helping children to learn. We do all we can to inform parents about what and how their children are learning by:
• holding parents meetings to explain our schools strategies for teaching English and Maths; and the EYFS curriculum.
• parents evenings;
• sending information to parents at the start of each term, in which we out line the topics that the children will be studying that term at school;
• sending regular reports to parents in which we explain the progress made by each child and indicate how the child can improve further;
• talk homework
• explaining to parents how they can support their children with homework;
• parents contributing to the child/children’s ‘Learning Journey books’ in Foundation stage
• a celebration of children’s achievements in assemblies and presentations;
• We believe that parents have the responsibility to support their children and the school in implementing school policies. We like parents to:
• ensure that their child has the best attendance record possible;
• ensure punctuality;
• ensure that their child is equipped for school with the correct uniform and named P.E kit;
• do their best to keep their child healthy and fit to attend school;
• inform school if there are matters out side of school that are likely to affect the child’s performance or behaviour at school;
•promote a positive attitude towards school and learning;
•fulfil the requirements set out in the home school agreement.
• Encouraging parents to become actively involved in their children’s learning by sending in information (photographs, drawings, certificates) relating to the children’s interests and achievements outside school. Within the Foundation Stage these may be placed in the child/children’s individual Learning Journey’s.
Monitoring and review
We are aware of the need to review the school teaching and learning policy regularly so that we can take account of new initiatives, changes in the curriculum, developments in technology or changes to the physical environment of the school.