Teaching and Learning Policy


At St Margaret’s Primary School we believe in the concept of lifelong learning and the idea that both adults and children learn new things every day. 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 future 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 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 – both peers and adults;
• develop children’s self-respect and encourage children to respect the ideas, attitudes, values and feelings of others;
• show respect for all cultures and in so doing, promote positive attitudes towards other people;
• enable children to understand their community and help them to feel a valued part of it;
• help children grow into reliable, independent and positive citizens;
• take a pride in their work and the work of others.

Effective learning

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 suit them best. We take into account these different forms of intelligences when planning teaching and learning styles.
We offer opportunities for children to learn in different ways. These include:
• investigation and problem solving;
• research and finding out;
• group work;
• paired work;
• independent work;
• whole-class work;
• asking and answering questions;
• use of ICT;
• fieldwork and visits to places of educational interest;
• creative activities;
• watching media, responding to musical and recorded material;
• designing and making things;
• participation in athletic or physical activity;
• after school clubs;
• guest visitors and performers.
• allowing them to access relevant resources.

In order to create a positive learning environment teachers:

• create an ordered, secure and safe atmosphere;
• ensure that good quality resources are freely available;
• ensure that classroom rules and procedures are explained, understood and adhered to and, whenever possible, mutually agreed;
• ensure that classroom routines are well established;
• ensure that the environment is stimulating and attractive;
• ensure that teacher expectations are understood in relation to
behaviour, working practices and the outcome of each activity;
• praise positive behaviour and working practices;
• differentiate tasks when appropriate according to abilities;
• ensure that classrooms have, if possible, no invisible areas and there is clear access to equipment;
• ensure that children have opportunity to work in a variety of groupings including friendship groups;
• ensure that children have their own private space e.g. desk or tray;
• ensure that classrooms are kept tidy by the children;
• demonstrate respect for the children’s work, accepting their ownership of it;
• ensure displays are of a high quality and regularly changed.

In order to motivate pupils teachers provide:

• stimulating experiences;
• differentiated work matched to previous learning experiences;
• appropriate tasks;
• praise and encouragement;
• acknowledgement of achievement;
• regular feedback;
• positive feedback;
• positive interactions;
• tasks that maximise opportunity for open-ended investigations and independent learning;
• activities with meaningful and relevant contexts;
• tasks with clear objectives and expectations which offer the possibility of success according to mutually understood criteria;
• offer regular constructive feedback which helps pupils to progress in their learning.

Effective teaching

When teaching we focus on motivating the children by setting exciting and enjoyable challenges and building on their skills, knowledge and understanding of the curriculum. We use the National Curriculum, Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and Lichfield RE Diocese Syllabus to guide our teaching, ensuring progress. This sets out the objectives and values of the school and details what is to be taught to each year group.

We base our teaching on our knowledge of the children from Assessment for Learning. 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 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 Individual Education Plans (IEPs). We have high expectations of all children and we aim to provide work of the highest possible standard. We aim to set challenging opportunities for more able pupils. Assessment for Learning (AFL) takes place throughout the lesson so that the teacher can meet the needs of the pupils.

We set academic targets with the children throughout the year and we share these targets with children and their parents. We formally review the progress of each child termly and set revised targets.

We plan our lessons with clear learning objectives. We take these objectives from the National Curriculum and the Literacy and Maths Frameworks. Our lesson plans contain information about the tasks to be set, the resources needed, and the way we assess the children’s work. We evaluate all lessons so that we can modify and improve our teaching in the future. The work is either marked by teachers, teacher assistants or by the children themselves under supervision against the lesson objectives and is intended to help the children to progress further next time.

Each of our teachers make a special effort to establish good working
relationships with all children in the class. We treat the children with kindness and respect and expect children to do likewise. We treat them fairly and give them equal opportunity to take part in class activities. All our teachers follow the school policy with regard to discipline and classroom management. We set and agree with children the class code of conduct at the beginning of each year. We expect all children to comply with these rules that we jointly devise to promote the best learning opportunities for all. We praise children for their efforts and, by so doing, we help to build positive attitudes towards school, the community 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 and staff complete the relevant paperwork.

We deploy learning assistants and other adult helpers as effectively as
possible. They work with individual children or with small groups to accelerate learning and assist with the preparation and storage of classroom equipment.

We conduct all our teaching in a positive atmosphere of trust and respect for all. The Leadership Team monitor the standard of teaching and learning on a termly basis. The Leadership Team give clear guidance on what teachers do well and what they need to do better to enable pupils to make the best possible progress. Observations, team teaching, work trawls, planning scrutinies, assessments and Peer Coaching are all used to improve teaching and learning. Outcomes of the above activities are fedback to staff.

The Role of Governors

Our governors monitor and review the school policies on teaching and learning.
In particular they:
• ensure that school buildings and premises are safe and 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 self-review processes. These include updates from subject leaders and the termly Head Teacher’s report to governors.

The Role of Parents

We believe that parents have a fundamental role in helping children to learn and we do all we can to inform parents about what and how their children are learning by:
• sending information to parents at the start of each term in which we outline the topics that the children will be studying during that term at school;
• termly newsletters;
• sending termly reports to parents in which we explain the progress made by each child and indicate how a child can improve further;
• explaining to parents how they can support their children with Home Learning;
• providing regular parent workshops in Maths and English;
• inviting parents into school to discuss their children’s progress on at least three occasions per year.

We believe that parents have the responsibility to support their children and the school in implementing school policies.

We would like parents to:

• Ensure that their child has the best attendance record possible;
• Ensure that their child is equipped for school with the correct uniform and PE kit;
• Ensure homework is returned to school;
• Do their best to keep their child healthy and fit to attend school;
• Inform school if there are matters outside of school that are likely to affect a child’s performance or behaviour at school;
• Promote a positive attitude towards school and learning in general.

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.
We will review our policy during the Summer Term 2014.

April 2013