Gors Community School Teaching and Learnning Policy

Last modified 12/02/2017 18:49

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Gors Community School  - Ysgol Gymunedol y Gors

Curriculum Policy

Polisi Cwricwlwm

 ‘Imagine the world

Dychmygwch y Byd’


Article 28: You have the right to learn and go to school

(We are a Rights Respecting School)

butterfly

 

UNICEF Rights of the Child Articles relating to this policy are:

Article 14 – Right to follow your own religion

Article 19 – Right to be safe

Article 28 – Right to an education

Article 29 – Right to be the best you can be

Article 31 – Right to relax and play

Teaching and Learning styles and strategies

There is no one way of achieving good practice, but it can be defined as a mixture of the most effective, efficient, stimulating and proven ways of achieving relevant and successful learning.  People are individuals with different strengths and weaknesses, similarities and differences and both teachers and learners need to find the best in themselves to achieve the best they can. There are many different kinds of learning which also require different types of teaching strategies to make them effective.

At Gors we embrace, in the main, a holistic approach to teaching and learning. This is because the approach recognises that:

  • Teaching and learning of the whole child does not only take place in the classroom, but throughout the school: in corridors, the playground, the dining hall, at home, on the way to and from school and on visits and residential visits
  • In the classroom the academic curriculum is not the only curriculum taking place. Within the context of a lesson we recognise that the quality of teaching and learning depends not only on the suitability and quality of preparation, planning and organisation for the academic curriculum, but also as importantly for personal moral social, emotional, aesthetic spiritual and physical development of the child.

 The importance of the ‘hidden curriculum cannot be overemphasised. It permeates all areas of the desirable outcomes and National Curriculum. It reflects the attitudes and values if our school aims and present in the ongoing moral and personal guidance from and the attitudes of the staff.

Good Practice

We have identified the following elements as being good practise in the teaching of all subjects

ü  Interactive teaching and learning

ü  Pupils are facilitated into embarking on independent learning experiences and activities and take responsibility for their own learning and that of their peers.

 

  •  Direct teaching
  •  Enthusiastic participating staff and pupils
  •  Stimulating classroom environment
  • All pupils work is attractively displayed and used as a teaching a learning resource
  • A range of pupil groupings in operation to address pupils individual learning needs
  • A self-evaluating environment
  • Flexibility and creativity in organisation, planning and delivery
  • Pace injected activities that are relevant, suitably challenging and fun
  • High expectations for both learning and behaviour
  • Pupils individually valued and respected
  • Pupils having a sense of ownership of their surroundings and say in their education which is valued and meaningful in the context of their learning and progress
  • Pupils have access to good quality resources in all classrooms and all areas of the school
  • Extension and enrichment activities that engage pupils beyond the classroom routine

 

 When using the various schemes of work and ‘Building Blocks’ planning and assessment tool staff are asked to plan their work so as to maximise the characteristics of teaching and learning we have agreed upon.  Clearly not every process would be evident in every lesson but should be witnessed if we engaged in systematic observation over a reasonable amount of time.

This policy has been set out using ten main headings; under which have been determined the teaching and learning objectives within the school.

1. The Classroom Environment

2. Planning and Preparation

3. Management of Learning Resources

4. The teacher as leader, motivator and presenter

5. The pupils as active, engaged and independent learners

6. The Classroom's social system for interaction

7. The Intellectual Climate

8. The Interpersonal Climate and the management of behaviour

9. The management of pupils work

10. The management of time

The Learning environment

1. Promotes learning rather than teaching. The environment and atmosphere is positive and welcoming.

2. The room is always clutter free and well-organised. The overall impression on entering the room is inviting and inspiring.

3. The equipment and materials in current use occupy the classroom in a structured manner, forming part of the overall display of the classroom and/or effectively stored and readily accessible to the pupils.

4.  Is organised to enable the pupils to engage in work on entering the classroom.

5. Wall displays are attractively arranged, celebratory, reflect current work, are bilingual and assist teaching and learning. At the beginning of a new academic year, the previous years work may be displayed, but walls should never be bare when entering the classroom on the first day of a new term.

6. Relevant reading and reference material is available to pupils and staff  at all times, without the need to request it.

7. The layout of furniture gives pupils as much work space as possible. Furniture layouts are not necessarily static and allow for flexibility between individual work, paired work, group work and whole class teaching.

8. There is a ready supply of all necessary writing and drawing materials that may be required. Materials should be used efficiently and cost effectively, with children taking responsibility for their care and proper use.

9. The reward system for each class is used readily and actively as appropriate to the Behaviour and Discipline policy.

10. Computers and other IT resources assigned to the classroom are laid out to permit instant use as required, (e.g. computers turned on). When required there is access to other technology as required

11. The following are always clearly displayed in the classroom:

 

  • School rules
  • Class charter
  • Duty Bearer’s Charter (signed)
  • Classroom rules

 

These should be fully understood and readily referred to at all times (See Promoting Good Behaviour Policy)

 

Planning and Preparation

1. The long term planning model encompasses the 2015 Mathematics and Language and Literacy programme of study. In Key Stage 2 the 2008 National Curriculum is covered effectively by the use of schemes of work and ‘Building Blocks’ rich activities which are whenever possible planned for under the umbrella of an overarching theme. Were this is not possible long term planning makes use of schemes of work which ensure that full coverage of all subjects is planned for in discreet lessons or additional rich tasks.

2. The planning framework for the school not only addresses the academic curriculum but also the basic curriculum provides adequately and appropriately for the personal, moral, social, emotional, aesthetic, creative, spiritual and physical development of our pupils.

3. The planning framework pays due regard to the assessment process. Opportunities for assessment are integral to Building Blocks. Building Block is used to plan for ALL subjects to ensure that ALL subjects are tracked and assessed in a formative and summative way. All forms of assessment ( see Assessment, Recording and Reporting Policy) are used to inform the planning process and therefore the next teaching and learning step. The plan, teach, assessment cycle is a feature of the planning framework.

4. There is a clear policy on explicit arrangements for Assessment, Recording and Reporting. Assessment of pupils' work is based on formal and informal methods, as per policy. A range of assessment procedures are used to identify and address pupils' needs, including teacher assessment of pupils' ongoing work, combined with annotated evidence of individual pupils' work, standardised tests, agreed school based assessments and National Tests.

5. Planning is a shared exercise involving all teaching and support staff, as both co-ordinators and colleagues. Planning throughout the school ensures both continuity and progression. Staff are given the opportunity to develop their own strengths and interests within their classroom.

6. Planning directly and appropriately addresses the different ages, abilities and maturity of our pupils.

7. The medium term planning model gives more detailed objectives and direction that have been derived from the long term planning model.

8. The short-term planning model gives a clear, week by week, overview. (A supply / cover teacher could readily interpret and understand the teaching plan)

9. The short -term planning model is done in advance of each week. It is derived from medium-term planning. It gives clear detailed direction and focus for each activity, taking place daily, during the relevant week. Teaching & learning objectives are clear, including differentiation, criteria for assessment.

10. Short-term planning evaluates previous work in the teaching and learning programme; the teacher uses this information to develop the following week’s activities and is recorded in the evaluation section of the Building Blocks planning tool.

11. The documents - Staff Handbook, supply teacher's guide, in conjunction with all appropriate school policies, schemes of work, planning pro-forma are available to assist the class teacher, or other teacher, in classroom management and organisation.


Management of Learning Resources

1. As far as is possible, pupils can access and retrieve all resources that they may require, without the need for unnecessary movement around the classroom and wastage of time.

2. Resources are organised and stored in a way that helps the pupils find and use them.

3. Quantities of resource items have been determined by the needs of the programme when finances permit. (E.g. class sets; small sets; individual copies.)

4. There is an adequate supply of all necessary paper for writing and drawing that may be required.

5. Resources are differentiated to match the needs of individual pupils (particularly with regard to reading levels of printed materials.)

6. Printed resources have design appeal, in addition to providing the necessary data and stimuli.

7. Resources are diverse so that pupils are able to learn through visual and aural experiences as well as reading alone.

8. There are, as appropriate, specimens, models, and artefacts etc., which are used effectively.

9. The reading book resource is adequate to develop properly a multi- sensory, multi-strategy approach. Pupils change their books regularly and are encouraged to enjoy reading.

10. There are explicit arrangements for pupils to use the central library / resources provision in the school.

11. There is an efficient system of identifying and ordering resources that are needed. They are available on the school site, well before they are required to be integrated into central / classroom resources, so that the curriculum runs smoothly without disruption from lack of resource provision.

12. The teacher has access to sources of information, policies, schemes, planning, teachers' guides, Building Blocks and other books and documentation, which will support their work.

13. To maintain access to all teachers’ aids it is expected that all staff will be considerate of others and replace resources in the centrally allocated areas.

14. Pupils demonstrate a high level of competence and independence in the handling and use of resources.

15. The planning framework informs and identifies appropriate learning resources, which have been carefully assembled and organised in advance of the learning activities to which they pertain.

16. All written / visual material is of the highest quality in its content and presentation. Use of Worksheets should be kept to a minimum and only used when it enhances the learning experience and does not restrict the learning taking place. E.g. writing frames.  

 

The Teacher as Leader, Motivator and Presenter.

The Gors teacher:

  • Values every pupil irrespective of ability, race, gender, age or achievement
  • Is warm, patient and demonstrates a patient and nurturing persona.
  • Makes positive body gestures and eye contact.
  • Praises effort and achievement, respects and values the pupils and each other.
  • Empathises with the child's needs and concerns.
  • Listens and responds to the child and includes the child in discussion.
  • Uses positive encouragement and utilises the school reward system rigorously, in order to motivate pupils and give learning an extra sense of purpose.
  • Is aware of how pupils learn and ensures planning and delivery considers the various learning styles
  • Creates a constant impression of self-confidence and self-control.
  • Prepares and presents activities as enjoyable and motivating, communicating learning objectives to pupils.
  • Stimulates and extends the child's language and thinking.
  • Encourages pupils to use their senses.
  • Links activities with previous learning/ experiences.
  • Encourages the child to be responsible for their own actions
  • Facilitates self management and empowerment of the child
  • Enables children to choose and supports child initiated ideas.
  • Provides opportunities for experimentation
  • Encourages the child to negotiate conflict and rules with use of Restorative Practise questions and principles.
  • Gives instructions, descriptions and explanations are precise, pacey and clear.  
  • Deploys effective higher order questioning techniques as appropriate, in order to raise the level of pupils' thinking.
  • Uses his/her voice in varied, interesting and encouraging ways and tried their best not to shout at pupils as outlined and promise in the Duty Bearer’s Charter.
  • Monitors his/her language used for its accuracy and for its appropriateness. Correct terminology is promoted as relevant and appropriate to pupils' maturity and abilities.

 

  • Demonstrates a sound knowledge of the subject matter, particularly for the content and leaning objectives being addressed in any given lesson.
  • Draws on a large repertoire of example, illustration, anecdote and vivid detail.
  • Presents his/her own work of the highest quality, whether on the whiteboard, visualiser, work-sheet etc as per the school policies on handwriting and display.
  • Has a certain amount of curriculum knowledge and expertise
  • Ensures that the pupils present their own work in the most meaningful and attractive fashion that is possible. There are high expectations of the standards that pupils can achieve.
  • Ensures the range of different work produced by the pupils in class is presented on a regular basis to the class and/or whole school in displays, class portfolios or good work assemblies.
  • Promotes the moral, spiritual and social welfare of the child.
  • Has high standards and expectations for all pupils.
  • Is responsible for his/her own continuing professional development.
  • Promotes good behaviour.
  • Has a consistent approach to teaching and learning.

 

In summary a high quality repertoire which we define as the set of skills, devices, methods, strategies, knowledge and understanding which enable a teacher to make effective decisions in the course of promoting learning in the range of curriculum areas they teach.

 

The Gors pupil as an active, engaged and independent learner.

There are observable signs of children's involvement in activities, which indicate that learning is taking place.

1. Concentration. The attention of the child is directed to the activity. Nothing can distract the child from his/her deep concentration.

2. Energy. The child invests much effort into the activity and is eager and stimulated. Such energy is often expressed by loud talking, or pressing down hard on paper. Mental energy can be deduced from facial expressions, which reveal hard thinking.

3. Complexity and Creativity. Shown when a child freely mobilises his / her cognitive skills and other capabilities in more than routine behaviour. The child involved cannot show more competence- he / she is at his / her very 'best'. Creativity does not mean that original products have to result, but that the child exhibits an individual touch and what he / she does; furthers his / her own creative development. The child is at the very edge of his / her capabilities.

4. Facial Expression and Posture. Non-verbal signs are extremely important in reaching a judgement about involvement. It is possible to distinguish between' dreamy, empty , eyes and 'intense' eyes. Posture can reveal high concentration or boredom. Even when children are only seen from the back their posture can be revealing!!

5. Persistence. Persistence is the duration of the concentration at the activity. Children who are really involved do not let go of the activity easily; they want to continue with the satisfaction, flavour and intensity it gives them, and are prepared to put in effort to prolong it. They are not easily distracted by other activities. 'Involved' activity is often more prolonged but it can be dependent on the age and the development of the child.

6. Precision. Involved children show special care of their work and are attentive to detail. Non-involved children gloss over such detail- it is not so important to them. At Gors we expect the learners best work at all times and have high expectations of the quality and presentation of work.

7. Reaction time. Children who are involved are alert and react quickly to stimuli e.g. children 'fly' to a proposed activity and show prolonged activity and prolonged motivation and keenness. (NB involvement is more than initial reaction).

8. Language. Children can show that an activity has been important to them by their comments e.g. they ask for the activity repeatedly. They state that they enjoyed it!

9. Satisfaction. The children display a feeling of satisfaction with their achievements.

 

 To encourage children as active, engaged and independent learners, the pupils should,

 

1. Take active steps to prepare for work at the beginning of the lesson / activity.

2. Demonstrate initiative and independence in finding the resources and equipment they need.

3. Display initiative in getting help with difficulties before seeking help from the teacher.

4. Take part in discussion in a measured, responsible and courteous way.

5. Frequently offer help to fellow pupils as appropriate to the learning.

6. Be organised in varied combinations as most appropriate to the activity / learning objectives of the lesson as a way of supporting their active and independent learning.

7. Be encouraged to practise and apply their newly acquired skills and knowledge and follow up initial classroom work with further investigation /extended activity, using the school library, modern technology or elsewhere.

8. Be encouraged to follow up educational visits in the classroom. The visits are used as a stimulus and hands on resources experience for learning. Teaching and learning opportunities of such visits are fully exploited.

9. Be given responsibility for the various' housekeeping' tasks of the classroom, with the teacher delegating appropriate responsibilities to pupils.

10. Be trained in the skills of personal organisation and in the skills of learning. Pupils' ownership of their work is a feature of their learning. Pupils should be encouraged to reflect on their learning and evaluate their work.

11. The teacher should be able to step back from the classroom action to observe because the pupils are so involved, absorbed and engaged in their learning.

12. Learn from adults in the wider community.

 

The classroom social system for interaction

1. Pupils experience a balance of teaching and learning activities, organised as a whole class, in small groups, in pairs and as individuals.

2. Within the class there is a strong sense of mutual support.

3. The teacher gives time to training the pupils in the skills of small group or paired work.

4. Group size is organised to be small enough to ensure participation of all members, yet large enough to produce diversity of response.

5. The composition of the groups / partners has taken into account the desirability and diversity of process and outcomes of the activity being addressed. Classroom organisation features combinations of pupils as appropriate to the type of learning and learning objectives. i.e. whole class; similar ability groups; mixed ability groups; friendship groups; similar ability partners; mixed ability partners; friendship partners and individually.

6. There is a wide range of strategies and interaction incorporated into planning and organisation of tasks including problem solving, investigations, games and simulations and discussions.

7. The teacher has given the class/ groups / pairs/ individuals adequate guidance on the procedures and standards of any given work / task. Pupils understand the purpose of their tasks and their own targets to be achieved.

8. All work in the classroom is conducted in a disciplined manner.

9. There are well-organised opportunities for pupils to report the outcomes of their work.

10. Pupils demonstrate their developing skills, by respecting the views of others and by engaging in debate without quarrelling.

 

The Intellectual Climate

1. The teacher allows time for pupils to express their ideas and to expand on them.

2. The teacher sets a good example of higher levels of thought.

3. The teacher delivers the curriculum using varied approaches and strategies, which addresses the different ways in which pupils think and learn and allows for pupils to express themselves in concrete and abstract terms.

4. The teacher phrases questions in ways, which will provoke divergent responses from the pupils.

5. The teacher uses and encourages the pupils to use language in a caring and measured way, appropriate to the needs of the situation.

6. The pupils have ownership of their learning and are involved / included in decisions about their own individual progress.

7. The pupils show a willingness to analyse knowledge and ideas.

8. The pupils demonstrate a capacity for developing and testing hypotheses in a thoughtful way.

9. The pupils are ready to analyse information and ideas in a positive, critical and constructive manner.

10. The pupils are encouraged to express value judgements and to have them discussed,

11. The pupils constantly seek to structure their knowledge and understanding in meaningful ways.

12. The pupils are prepared to pursue an enquiry with perseverance and persistence.

13. The pupils are encouraged to and demonstrate a willingness to extend and develop their ideas and their own learning.

 

The Inter-personal Climate & the Management of Behaviour

1. The pupils and teacher feel valued.

2. All staff actively and rigorously promote and administer school policies that directly influence attitudes ad values that effect / assure the quality of teaching ad learning in is widest context.

3. The teacher shows a personal interest in individual pupils for heir own sake, beyond the needs of the immediate learning task.

4. Self- esteem raising activities, such as 'circle time', are highly regarded and valued and are incorporated into the classroom curriculum. These activities / strategies are used to positively influence the quality of teaching and learning.

5. Self-esteem raising activities such as the school house points system, in-class rewards, Class Dojo, good work celebratory assemblies and Respect Assemblies are a feature of the school culture and are used to promote and value pupils' good work and conduct.

6. The teacher actively fosters a sense of class cohesion in work and in discipline. The teacher is caring, respectful and courteous towards individual pupils. Minor lapses in pupil behaviour are handled in a competent way, demonstrating assertiveness, alertness, sure judgement and confidence.

7. The teacher makes frequent use of praise and encouragement, but in a sincere, measured and sensitive way. The teacher also readily / regularly gives rewards (stickers, house points, etc.) appropriately for good work and conduct. Positive reinforcement and incentives feature as obvious practice.

8. The teacher listens sensitively and sympathetically to pupils’ grievances / worries and measures and balances the issues fairly and impartially when considering any further course of action that may be needed.

9. The teacher frequently accepts pupils' expression of feelings about their work. Pupils' good ideas / input are incorporated to give their learning more meaning and ownership.

10. The pupils display their willingness to work co-operatively in a range of different kinds of activities.

11. The pupils feel confident to alert the teacher to problems, difficulties and mistakes that they may be experiencing.

12. Appropriate humour features as an important part of the classroom atmosphere, which the teacher manages, to foster quality relationships within the class. Sarcasm is avoided.

13. The teacher, when appropriate, encourages the pupils to express their different points of view and opinions and effectively manages discussion / debate to develop pupils; tolerance and understanding of others.

14. The teacher is punctual and strategically placed to receive and welcome pupils as the routine and procedures demand. Pupils are greeted in a positive and welcoming manner.

15. The teacher is assertive in the management of the pupils' behaviour and work. The teacher actively avoids hostile or passive (non-assertive) methods and strategies.

 

The Management of Pupils’ Work

1. The teacher has established procedures for the monitoring and assessment of each pupil's work.

2. The teacher has helped each pupil in their class to establish clear personal targets objectives, and commitments. Feedback is given to each pupil in order that he / she can build up knowledge about his / her own performance.

3. There is an effective system for the continuous recording of each pupil's tasks, progress and achievements on Building Blocks. A long-term overview for the development of our pupils as they progress throughout the school, from the nursery to the oldest juniors is a feature of the teaching model.

4. The teacher gives clear directions on task procedures and encourages pupils to understand the structure and learning objectives of each lesson. (pupils know not only what they are doing, but also Why they are doing it).

5. Pupils are encouraged to help in decision making about organisation, development and the progress of their own work.

6. Activities and learning build both empirically and experientially. Pupils become increasingly autonomous and independent in their learning, developing their individuality.

7. The teacher maintains the smooth flow of classroom activities, particularly when there is transition from one mode to another,

8. There is a clear range of assessment methods used, both formal and informal as per school policy on assessment- marking, formal questioning, observation, discussion and listening. Marking, as a matter of course, should always be up to date.

9. The school policy for assessment, in its wide ranging nature, implemented by teachers to evaluate pupils' work and progress and inform planning and therefore teaching. The plan, teach, assess cycle is a feature of the class teachers' teaching model.

10. Pupils' work is effectively assessed so that the tasks, activities and experiences are most appropriate to maximising pupils' potential, progress and development.

11. Pupils' progress is recorded in a positive, meaningful way, ensuring continuity across the school, informing and communicating to all staff within the school appropriately as required.

12. Pupils' achievements are compiled and recorded in an organised and systematic practice according to agreed school policy and associated procedures.

13. Problems and concerns about pupils are reported to their parents/ carers, as they arise, at the earliest opportunity. Parents are encouraged to work in partnership with the school, with a view to effectively solving the problems and addressing the concerns together.

14. Parents are kept informed of their children's progress as appropriate. The school has formal parent and teacher meetings in the autumn and spring terms. The end of year report is comprehensive regarding all aspects of the pupil's learning and development in school. The head teacher and class teachers are usually available to discuss problems/review progress, at the end of the school day.

 

The Management of Time

1. The teacher succeeds in allocating a high proportion of the available time to academic work. The pupils spend a high proportion of their time on their learning tasks.  

2. The pupils experience a high degree of success during their engaged learning time.

3. The teacher utilises many teaching styles, most appropriate to the learning objectives or WALT and WILF. A good balance is maintained in the use of time on supervisory, organisational and teaching tasks.

4. The highest proportion of the teacher's time is spent in 'substantive interaction' with the pupils (i.e. explaining, questioning, describing and illustrating).

5. The teacher has eliminated unnecessary routines and activities from her own performance. Simple and speedy procedures have been devised for tackling routine events and recurring problems.

6. The teacher has delegated to pupils' suitable responsibilities and tasks that are within their competence.

7. There is evidence that the teacher plans ahead so that classroom organisation and teaching intent assures that time in lessons is used most effectively.

8. The teacher regularly reviews the conduct of lessons in terms of teaching intent and learning outcomes with particular regard to the effective use of time by both teacher and pupils.

9. Teachers plan equally effectively for their prescribed and discretionary time, to ensure that the most efficient management is made of all time available.

10. Teachers are punctual and prompt as appropriate, to make most effective use of time and avoid time mis-management. Teachers act as good role models for pupils and consequently pupils become effective managers of time and appreciate the value of promptness and punctuality. Staff are strategically positioned / placed, promptly at all times.

11. Teachers prepare activities / tasks for the classroom well in advance, including the requirement of resources. Pupils from the earliest age are encouraged to prepare well; this aspect of pupils' attitude develops well as they move in age through the school.

12. Teachers utilise time before the start of the school day to fine-tune their delivery for the day.

13. Teachers manage time during the school day to ensure smooth running, order and efficiency.

14. Teachers utilise time at the end of the day to prepare for the next day.

15. Teachers manage their time to include proper and adequate importance to display and presentation of pupils' work within the classroom and throughout the school.

16. Teachers documentation (paper, work) is up to date, well organised and available on request or instruction by the head teacher, other colleagues and all authorised personnel, as relevant and appropriate.

 

Evaluation

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis or if required before this, so it is at the forefront of all policies.

 

As part of our overarching aim for pupils to fulfil their full potential across the curriculum we will endeavour to ensure that all children are given the necessary support to access learning in this area in line with our equal opportunity and disability scheme.

 

Last Review: 2.9.2016 (By all staff and management)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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