Introduction

At Woodside School, we believe in the concept of lifelong learning and the idea that learning should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone; it should be fun. Through our teaching, we equip children with skills, knowledge and the understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their lives. We believe that effective teaching and learning experiences help children to make those choices.

Although we recognise that extensive learning takes place within the classroom, children are also made aware that there are opportunities for learning outside of school.

All practitioners are also learners and strive to evaluate and improve their practice. This means understanding both the teaching and learning process and building on children’s skills, knowledge and understanding. Practitioners are the managers of the learning environment facilitating all children to reach their full potential. In order to facilitate the learning process for practitioners, a carefully planned and linked Continuing Professional Development programme is in place.

An effective learning environment is created when children participate in, and are motivated by, lesson content, interact well with both practitioner and other children and improve their skills and confidence in themselves as learners. Children need to feel that they are learning and therefore achieving.

All members of our school community are strongly expected to develop a passion for learning – to be the best that they can be

Effective Teaching and Learning

In order to have the most effective teaching and learning, practitioners and parents/carers must expect all children to achieve their best. The partnership between home and school is a vital element in the success of every child and must be developed to the best possible degree.

Effective Learning:  Where learning is effective, children ……

Are motivated to:

  • take an active interest in their learning through encouragement and support from their parents/carers
  • improve their performance and be willing to learn from areas for development as well as strengths
  • enjoy lessons and readily respond to the challenge of the tasks set
  • demonstrate, through assessments and tests, that they are performing at least as well as can be expected, according to standards for their age and ability
  • care about the presentation of their work and look after resources

Take responsibility for:

  • their learning
  • evaluating their progress towards meeting success criteria/learning objectives
  • concentrating on tasks set and listening attentively when appropriate
  • developing their confidence to raise questions, to try to find answers and asking for help when needed
  • helping each other and working collaboratively as well as independently
  • developing, over time, the ability to work autonomously and to take responsibility for their own learning

Have developed or are developing the following skills:

  • persevere with tasks they find difficult without losing heart
  • respond positively to opportunities given to extend their learning
  • editing, modifying and redrafting work where necessary
  • meet deadlines
  • retain knowledge, apply it in unfamiliar contexts and make connections with other work

Understand the implications of social learning by:

  • working within the ethos of our school and abiding by class and school rules
  • settling down quickly and purposefully to work
  • being able to adapt easily to different ways of working (dependent upon age and ability)
  • communicating information and ideas, offering comments and explanations
  • working collaboratively within a group and actively including and responding to members of the group
  • feeling that they are valued by their practitioners and that their achievements are being recognised

Effective Teaching: Where teaching is effective, all practitioners will aim to:

Make their lessons purposeful

  • through carefully planned, well structured and paced lessons
  • by making objectives explicit to children at the beginning of a lesson
  • by involving children actively in the evaluation of their learning through use of success criteria
  • through explicitly checking understanding and reviewing work planned and covered in each task

Make lessons interesting and stimulating

  • by consciously showing enthusiasm and positivity for and about their teaching and children’s learning
  • by devising imaginative and creative approaches to the development of knowledge skills e.g. use of multi modal texts
  • by varying teaching styles (tactile, visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory), learning activities and the learning environment to maintain students’ interests and take account of learning styles
  • by structuring lessons to include plenaries
  • by using praise and positive reinforcement to foster self esteem, motivation and confidence
  • by regularly displaying examples of students’ work and other relevant stimuli (see Appendix A)
  • by encouraging children to demonstrate their skills through presentations, drama, debate and role play
  • by using ICT and multimedia presentation when and wherever appropriate to enhance the learning experience and outcome

Create an orderly environment and manage classes efficiently

  • by matching teaching style to lesson objectives and group dynamic
  • by organising physical resources in ways which will promote orderly classroom management
  • by setting and marking homework regularly
  • by ensuring that up to date and accurate records are kept and submitting assessment data for reporting in line with deadlines
  • by being flexible enough to adapt their lesson plans to take account of children’s contributions and current affairs
  • by setting and achieving high standards of behaviour and motivation
  • by regularly reviewing grouping and seating of children to promote effective learning

Match learning activities and opportunities to all abilities (Personalisation) See Appendix B

  • by using evidence of prior attainment to gauge children’s individual capabilities
  • by using knowledge of individual children’s preferred learning styles
  • by assessing the understanding and acquisition of knowledge through a variety of means
  • by using appropriate differentiated materials and tasks which ensure children’s active participation in lessons, for the most able as well as for those with Special Educational Needs
  • by working proactively with Teaching Assistants/Learning Support Assistants
  • by setting high expectations for all children, rewarding achievements with praise

Develop positive and productive working relationships with children

  • through confident and assured command of subject matter, which is regularly updated
  • through appropriate CPD, observations, discussions and INSET
  • by being clear with instructions, questions and explanations
  • by setting ground rules for speaking and listening
  • through actively promoting equal opportunities through the teaching and learning process
  • by encouraging parent/carers to support their children’s learning
  • by fostering mutual respect, both child to child, practitioner to child and practitioner to parent/carer

Use both formative and summative assessment to evaluate children’s progress and to inform future teaching plans:

  • by using a variety of formative in-class assessments
  • by marking consistently, positively and constructively in line with our school Marking and Responding to Children’s Work policy
  • by giving regular feedback either through marking or verbally to children about their work, helping them to set achievable ‘SMART’ targets and helping them to understand what they need to do to achieve these targets
  • by planning time for self-assessment and peer assessment in the drive for further improvement

Create further opportunities for learning

  • all practitioners have a responsibility to promote, uphold and implement our school’s ethos and rules with consistency, during all lessons, around the school and on school trips and visits
  • extra curricular activities are actively promoted through our extended schools programme and all children encouraged to attend.

Appendix A

 Displays

Our school believes that the purpose of displays is to support and celebrate children’s learning. This is achieved in a variety of ways:

Engaging children in learning

  • Interactive displays e.g. asking questions, relevant to current topics and themes etc
  • Festival Board
  • etc

Enabling learning

  • Word lists
  • Sentence starters
  • Connectives
  • Spellings
  • Punctuation
  • Number lines
  • Number squares
  • Timelines
  • Clocks
  • Mathematical facts
  • Multi cultural display
  • Subject displays
  • Art Gallery
  • Multidisciplinary displays
  • etc

Celebrating success

  • Commendation marks
  • Displaying children’s work
  • Children’s photographs
  • Plasma screen
  • Governors’ Award winners
  • etc

Raising expectations

  • Year Group/Class/Group targets
  • Class rules
  • Anti-bullying promise

Clarifying routines

  • Timetables on whiteboards
  • Labelled resources
  • Signs

Encouraging independence

  • Access to labelled resources
  • Curriculum targets
  • Class responsibilities
  • Word banks
  • Strategies for self help
  • Etc

Appendix B

Effective Learning

We offer opportunities for children to learn in different ways. These include:

  • Investigation and problem solving
  • Whole class work
  • Use of ICT including Interactive White Boards, DVDs, CDs
  • Responding to questioning
  • Small group work
  • Independent work
  • Debates, role plays and oral presentations
  • Self assessment and peer assessment
  • Independent work
  • Designing and making
  • Visits and visitors
  • Participation in physical activity
  • Skills based learning
  • Strategy based learning
  • Application of learned skills and strategies in context
  • etc