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Kwa Moyo Primary School

 Teaching & Learning  Policy

January 2015

 

 

Aims and purposes


Any attempt to continue to raise standards in our school must be focused on the classroom. Continued and sustained improvement is dependent upon sustaining the high quality of teaching and learning that is taking
place on a daily basis.
Across our school the expectation is that all pupils are provided with high quality learning experiences that
lead to consistently high levels of pupil achievement.


We expect every teacher to be a good teacher – no child deserves less.


By adopting a whole school approach to teaching and learning across our school, we aim:
 to provide consistency of teaching and learning across our school.
 to enable teachers to teach as effectively as possible.
 to enable children to learn as efficiently as possible.
 to give children the skills they require to become effective lifelong learners.
 to provide an inclusive education for all children.
 to learn from each other, through the adoption of a collaborative, enquiry based approach to teaching and learning, where good practice is shared.
There is no single recipe for improving teaching and learning in a school. However this policy outlines some of the key elements which are key to raising standards in teaching and learning.

 

 



In Kwa Moyo Primary school we use the Creative Curriculum as our teaching
approach.

At Kwa Moyo we believe that all our children can benefit from the methods and styles of teaching that stimulate and start the development of these higher order thinking skills, so we apply it to all of our pupils in
an individually tailored way.
What we seek to do within the classroom is provide open-ended tasks with a focus on problem solving, discussion, collaboration and imaginative thinking that leads to the following “creative behaviours”:
 questioning and challenging
 envisaging what might be
 exploring ideas, keeping options open
 reflecting critically on ideas, actions and outcomes
 making connections and seeing relationships


The Creative Curriculum takes the National Curriculum content and uses a “thematic” (topic or theme) approach to teach multiple learning objectives across different subject areas. In avoiding narrow subject based lessons, pupils have the opportunity to see linkage between subject areas and learning objectives.
Topic start with a ‘theme week’ were a range of creative activities (including art, DT, music etc.) are used as starting points for the learning journey. We use problem solving and open ended tasks, drama and role play to help children see “the whole picture”. We have had particular success with the use of drama in Literacy lesson to stimulate their imaginations and provide experiences for writing across all genres. They are helped to recognize relationships and patterns in their learning and they gain a deeper understanding of their
learning and different cultural experiences and the unique contribution each of these provides.
Key elements and principles of teaching and learning across our school – a practical guide
All lessons across our school should include the following key elements to ensure high quality teaching and learning. New teachers to our schools will receive training to ensure they fully understand these elements
and to enable them to embed them in their everyday practice.
All lessons have…Clear Learning Intentions


 Learning intentions are shared orally and displayed .
 All learning intentions are written up and shared orally in child friendly language.
 Learning intentions are not muddled up with the context of the lesson.
 The learning intention is written or stuck into children’s books.
For learning intentions to be shared effectively, teachers must:
 Move away from saying ‘Today we are doing’… and instead say ‘By the end of today’s lesson you will all know/be able to/understand…’.
 Make learning intentions specific
 Use child-friendly language – there is little point in sharing learning intentions if students don’t understand what you mean.
 Write them down

 

·       Refer to them: at the start of the lesson, during the lesson and during the plenary

·       Students must know exactly what they are going to learn and what is expected of them by the end of the lesson.

All lessons have… Well planned success criteria

·       All pupils are clear about how they will achieve the learning intention.

·       Success criteria’s are displayed for the children to follow during the lesson or drawn up with the children, e.g. Steps to success.

·       Weekly planning includes success criteria for each learning intention.

·       Children use the success criteria to self-assess their own or other children’s work.

·       Children are reminded of the success criteria during the lesson – often children’s work is used by the teacher to illustrate the success criteria in action.

 

All lessons are …Clearly differentiated to enable all pupils to access learning

·       All learners are challenged appropriately.

·       Planning shows clear differentiation.

·       A range of learning styles are catered for through a VAK approach (Visual, Audio, Kinaesthetic)

 

All pupils are…Actively engaged in learning and work co-operatively

·       Pupils are actively engaged during all parts of the lesson – teachers take into account children’s concentration span and ensure pupils are not sitting passively for long periods.

·       Opportunities to Think/Pair/Share and discussions with a Talk Partner are regular features in all lessons. Pupils are trained to use appropriate body language when engaged in discussion with a partner.

·       Mini whiteboards are used for short bursts of activity, to develop understanding and to ensure children are active and engaged during the lesson.

·       Visuals, artefacts, auditory input are all used creatively as a way to enhance learning.

·       Children help and encourage each other

·       Everyone participates

·       Children explain their ideas clearly and in full sentences.

 

We believe it is important for pupils to talk during lessons

When we talk we do more than articulate our current level of understanding. The very act of talking forces us to organise our thoughts and so deepens understanding. It is partly the reason why we remember so much of what we teach to others.

At our school we believe that Talking is central to learning. All lessons include planned and unplanned opportunities to discuss questions and extend thinking Think/Pair/Share and Talk to your partner (TTYP) are regular features in all lessons. Pupils are trained to use appropriate body language when talking to a partner and pupils understand that their TALK is valued as much as their written work.

 

Learning is enhanced through… effective use of questioning

It is adults who help pupils make sense of information. The frequency and nature of interactions between teacher and pupils is highly significant. We develop understanding by

·       Using open ended questions.

·       Providing wait time- (3-5 seconds), pupils need time to think through their answers before replying.

·       Providing thinking time by giving an advance warning, such as ‘In two minutes I am going to ask you….

·       Allowing pupils to explore and articulate their thinking by giving them time to discuss their responses in pairs or groups. Pupils then respond with ‘We think that…’.

·       Ensuring pupils fully understand the question.

 

All pupils receive regular and clear feedback which enhances learning

·       Assessment for learning is embedded in everyday practice and is used to inform teaching and learning.

·       All pupils are clear about how they need to improve.

·       Individual/group targets are set half-termly for Maths and Writing – these are displayed in the front of their books and the children refer to them during lessons.

·       When marking children’s work, the main focus is on meeting the learning intention, success criteria and/or targets. Evidence is highlighted, or commented on.

·       Marking identifies next step prompts.

·       Pupils are given regular time to address issues raised in marking.

 

Learning is enhanced through …The use of ICT.

·       ICT is used to enhance learning where ever possible. Although ICT is nearly always used at the start of lessons to engage children and in the plenary to consolidate learning, it is also used during the lesson as an aid to learning.

 

Learning is enhanced through the use of… Effective behaviour management

Effective, positive behaviour management is used to foster a positive learning environment in the classroom. For further details, please refer to our Behaviour Management Policy.

Learning is enhanced through the …Effective use of additional adults

·       Additional adults are clearly directed to support learning.

·       Teaching assistants are fully engaged with pupils on the carpet and tables during lesson times. They are not photocopying work, sharpening pencils or sticking work in books during learning time!

·       They are clear about who they are supporting and why.

·       Planning is shared in advance with teaching assistants.

·       They sit next to the pupil/pupils they are working with, quietly engaging the pupils, explaining the task or using other resources, e.g. number line to facilitate learning.

·       They are involved in assessing pupil’s understanding and feeding back to the teacher.

·       Teaching assistants to annotate in books to indicate support – see marking policy.

 

Learning is enhanced through… the effective use of a plenary and mini plenaries

 

Review what has been learned

Reflect on how it has been learned.

 

Reviewing learning is a key to memory and not confined to the end of the lesson. Teachers review throughout the entire lesson and constantly refer students back to the success criteria of the lesson,  reinforcing prior learning.

 

Encourage pupils to reflect on what they have learned and what has helped them to learn.

Use prompts like:

·       What did you do today that you found most helpful when you were learning?

·       What did you do today that you found less helpful?

·       If you had to do the task again, how would you do it?

·       If you had to give one piece of advice to someone tackling the same task, what would it be?

 

Learning is enhanced through…a great classroom environment

Across our school we aim to ensure that all classrooms, group learning areas and whole school areas are spaces that everyone can use to learn and be proud of.

 

All classes across the school should have:

 

Working walls

Every class should have a working wall for English, Maths and Science. This should reflect the work currently being studied in each of the subjects. It should include:

·       Children’s questions.

·       Key vocabulary.

·       Visuals and artifacts to stimulate thinking.

 

Well labelled and neatly organised resources

Classroom resources should be well organised and clearly labelled. Children should know where to find the resources they need for an activity. This will help to foster independent learning skills.

Overview of marking at Kwa Moyo Primary School

Across our school, we think of marking in terms of feedback about a child’s work. This feedback may take a number of forms – oral, written, formal and informal- and may be given on a group basis as well as an individual one – see marking policy.

 

Overview of the teaching of Reading and Writing at Kwa Moyo Primary School

At Kwa Moyo we use a cross curricular approach to embed literacy skills across the curriculum in every lesson we teach. The amount of time specifically given to the teaching of Literacy skills varies across the school:

Nursery

·       A sound a week- RML* Set 1 sounds (minutes daily) embedded in a rich daily diet of songs, rhymes, raps, poetry and story both oral and read. This aims to develop children’s phonological awareness in preparation for phonics teaching. Mark making opportunities and reading opportunities are offered daily and guided writing activities are offered when appropriate. 

Reception

  • RML sessions daily
  • Continuation of songs poetry rhymes and raps and story throughout the reception year.
  • Weekly guided reading and writing sessions

Year 1:

  • Three hour long RML sessions a week
  • Two and a half hour long literacy sessions a week
  • Handwriting to be taught at least once using Nelson Handwriting on the system and the teacher handbook in your classes, children to then have a least 2 further 15 minute sessions to practice the skills taught
  • Guided reading taught five times per week.

Year 2

  • Five hour long RML sessions a week
  • Five hour long literacy sessions a week
  • Five guided reading sessions a week no shorter than half an hour a session
  • Handwriting to be taught at least once using Nelson Handwriting on the system and the teacher handbook in your classes, children to then have a least 2 further 15 minute sessions to practice the skills taught

Year 3

  • Five half-hour long RML sessions a week (Autumn term)
  • Five hour long literacy sessions a week
  • Five guided reading sessions a week no shorter than half an hour a session. 
  • In the Spring term RML will be then run as an intervention and “Support for Spelling” should be taught at least twice a week for at least 15 minutes a session
  • Handwriting to be taught at least once using Nelson Handwriting on the system and the teacher handbook in your classes, children to then have a least 2 further 15 minute sessions to practice the skills taught

Year 4-6

  • Five hour long literacy sessions a week.
  • Five guided reading sessions a week no shorter than half an hour a session.
  • Handwriting to be taught at least once using Nelson Handwriting on the system and the teacher handbook in your classes, children to then have a least 2 further 15 minute sessions to practice the skills taught.
  • “Support for Spelling” to be taught at least twice a week for at least 15 minutes a session.

*Ruth Miskin Literacy (a phonics teaching scheme)

 

Assessment of Reading and Writing

Teachers complete an assessment grid on a half termly basis for five benchmark children in their class following the half termly writing assessments. Year 2 and Year 6 are also using the standard APP grids to support assessment judgments.

Reading is continually assessed during guided reading sessions. Reading comprehension skills are also tested more formally once a term using QCA optional SATs papers for children from Years 3-6.

In the EYFS children’s attainment in literacy is tracked half termly.

 

Overview of the teaching of Mathematics at Kwa Moyo Primary School

We place a strong emphasis on teaching Mathematical skills and concepts in concrete and practical contexts. Teachers should use, where possible, models and practical activities which enable the children to use and apply skills, knowledge and understanding.

We also place a strong emphasis on the teaching of basic Maths skills, knowledge and understanding (times tables, calculation methods etc.). To help with this, we have a weekly Calculation strategy which teachers must spend 15 minutes on each day, as laid out in the Maths Calculation Timetable. Year One children play daily Maths games to reinforce their basic skills.

In the EYFS maths is taught in Reception as a whole class daily and guided maths sessions take place weekly. Maths games are played weekly across the phase and there are mathematical opportunities offered daily throughout the learning environment, both inside and outdoor.

 

Assessment of Mathematics

Teachers continuously assess the children informally through their marking and interactions with the pupils during lessons. Maths is more formally assessed every half term using ‘Assertive Maths’. This is a diagnostic assessment tool which enables teachers to pinpoint, with precision, the gaps in children’s knowledge, skills and understanding. In the EYFS children’s mathematical development is tracked half termly. The information from these assessments is used to plan the next half term’s work; thus enabling the teachers to plug the gaps in the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding.

KEY PROMPTS FOR PLANNING AND DELIVERING A LESSON

Am I crystal clear about what I want the children to be able to do/understand/know at the end of the lesson?

 

Is the learning objective in child-friendly language?

Have I thought about the steps to success and planned the success criteria in advance? Are the children going to be involved in formulating the success criteria?

Have I thought about the questions I will need to ask to deepen children’s understanding/assess learning?

Have I thought about how I am going to engage and motivate the children at the start and during the lesson?

Have I thought about how I will meet the needs of all learners, including the more able? Are activities challenging and designed to deepen understanding?

How are pupils going to assess their own learning or that of their peers?

Have I thought about how I will meet the needs of the EAL learners in my class eg. what visuals will I use in the lesson?

Am I giving the children thinking time and talking time before answering questions?

Am I going to be introducing new vocabulary to the children

Have I made sure children are not going to be sitting passively for long periods?

Have I included any time for pupils to respond to marking from previous lesson? 

How am I going to meet the learning styles of all pupils?

Have I shared the planning with my teaching assistant?

Is he/she clear who she is supporting and how? 

Have I got a balance of teacher instruction, intervention and children working independently?

How am I going to conduct my plenary?

Have I planned opportunities for pupils to talk about their learning in pairs and groups?

How are pupils going to assess their own learning or that of their peers?

 

 

Teaching and learning in the early year’s foundation stage.

At Kwa Moyo primary school and children and family centre we care for and educate children from birth to five years old. We provide 26 places of flexible day-care from 8am to 6pm for children from six months to five years in the children centre. We provide two nursery classes and two reception classes in the school.

All of the principles stated in the schools teaching and learning policy applies to the early years foundation stage and we recognise that learning begins at birth and continues throughout life. We acknowledge that everyone has the ability to be a competent learner, regardless of disability or other special needs.

 

All children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. The principles which

guide the work of all early years practitioners are grouped into four themes:

 

A Unique Child –Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

 

Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through

positive relationships.

 

Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.

 

Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development.

 

They foster the characteristics of effective early learning

• Playing and exploring

• Active learning

• Creating and thinking critically

 

Teaching and Learning Aims

  • That teaching should recognise that early years is a distinctive phase of education requiring specialised teaching to a developmentally appropriate curriculum.
  • To observe, support and extend the individual child’s learning and to recognise that they are entitled to learn at their own pace and in their own way.
  • To enlist Parents as teachers and learners in a partnership approach, for the benefit of all.

 

How to achieve these aims:

A focus on the prime areas

Prime areas are fundamental, work together, and are move through to support development in all other areas.

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical development

 

The importance of play:

At Kwa Moyo we acknowledge the central role of play in the education of the young child. (refer to play policy).

 

Assessment

All classes in the EYFS follow the observe, assess and plan cycle: daily, weekly and half termly.

Every child has an individual learning story which includes observations and information from both staff and parents that record the child’s journey and progress through the foundation stage. Learning journeys contain:

  1. Long Observations
  2. Short Observations
  3. Pieces of work and photographs
  4. Comments from children and families
  5. Termly reviews, assessments and next steps.

They form an essential evidence base for planning children’s next steps and sharing learning with families.

 

Planning:

Planning takes place mid termly, weekly and daily and takes account of information from observation and information from parents. This may include children’s interests preferred ways of working, and identified schematic behaviour.

Evaluation: Monitoring and evaluation form the basis of informed planning. Verbal or written evaluations take place constantly and planning is flexible to take account of this information.

 

The important role of all adults:

We recognise the importance of the role that all early years educators play in the care and education of our youngest children. These roles include:

·       Building relationships. Getting to know all of our children and families

·       Key working small groups of children

·       Observing children to identify their wellbeing and involvement, their needs , strengths , schemas and interests

·       Planning for next steps in learning  

·       Supporting and extending child initiated activity

·       Engaging children in focussed activity

·       Maintaining and developing a stimulating, welcoming safe and challenging learning environment

·       Working as a team to ensure that all children reach their full potential

 

The Learning environment:

At Kwa Moyo we recognise the importance of providing a stimulating, interesting, welcoming, safe and challenging learning environment. All rooms are organised and resourced to provide learning opportunities in the seven areas of learning in the EYFS curriculum. Children are taught how to access the equipment in each area of provision independently from the moment they are able, to enable them to follow their own ideas and interests.

There is a high level of staff involvement in children's chosen activities and play. There are also planned age appropriate ‘focused activities' for specific children, or groups of children providing a balance of child and adult initiated activity.

Suitably differentiated activities are organised to meet the learning needs of each child. There is some whole class teaching for short periods of time for nursery children over three such as shared story. Where possible these times happen at the end of a session of free flow play. In the reception classes, whole class carpet times happen at the beginning and end of each session both morning and afternoon to ensure that children have access to daily phonics sessions, mathematics, and story and shared writing.

 

Outdoor Provision

All children in the EYFS have access to the outdoor learning environment for the majority of each session. The outdoor learning environment is valued as half of the curriculum and is organised into areas of provision that promote the seven areas of learning in the EYFS curriculum. (See outdoor play policy).

 

Partnership with Parents

At Kwa Moyo we recognise the importance of parents as children’s first educators and the important role the home learning environment plays in the development and education of the young child (EPPE get ref). We develop our partnership through:

  • Home visits
  • Key persons systems
  • Parent and family music sessions
  • Regular parent workshops focussed on learning in the EYFS
  • Regular parents meetings
  • Whole school and centre celebrations
  • Daily opportunities to talk to your key person about your child’s learning and development

We regularly monitor our provision to ensure every child's learning is well supported and builds on children's own home, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. We use materials, equipment and displays which reflect the home languages, cultural and ethnic diversity of the children, the local community and wider world. We work towards supporting bilingual children's development in their home language as well as English. We ensure that bilingual children have access to the full curriculum and are involved in all the learning experiences offered giving the extra support needed so that they can participate and understand. Children will be learning English through real life, every day, meaningful experiences and through interacting with other children and staff.

 

 

Cherishing childhood:

The early years are a time where children progress and grow at a rapid rate and where children are bursting with awe and wonder, fun and joy. All the EYFS staff at Kwa Moyo recognise the special responsibility they hold as custodians of the early years and they do not lose sight of this treasured opportunity.

 

info@kwa-moyo.de Tel : 06349 - 990 542  | Spendenkonto : VR Bank Südpfalz IBAN: DE29 54862500 000297 3138 BIC : GENODE61SUW