Michael School

Work hard, aim high, have fun!

LEARNING AND TEACHING POLICY

SCHOOL VISION STATEMENT

“Whatever we do in the future we know that we have been prepared for life.”

Michael School is a small school with big learning experiences. It is an exciting place to learn with times to be calm when we need them. We learn in a variety of ways and enjoy lots of different activities. Our learning means something to us and is fun and motivating. Pupils and staff aim high and try to do their best. We know that if we work hard our achievements will be celebrated. It is a place where we take risks and are not afraid to fail.
Michael School is a happy and caring place where everyone is welcome. It is a place where everyone is different and is important. We understand that we are all good at different things and together we can achieve more.
We are part of a school family and Michael School is the beating heart of our village. We are proud to be members of Michael School. Whatever we do in the future we know that we have been prepared for life.

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, successful, 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 the ideas, attitudes, values and feelings of others;

• show respect for all cultures and, in so doing, to promote positive 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.

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 best suit them. The psychologist Howard Gardner identifies seven main areas of intelligence: including linguistic, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial, kinaesthetic, musical, interpersonal/group working, and interpersonal/reflective. We take into account these different forms of intelligence when planning learning and teaching opportunities.

We offer opportunities for children to learn in different ways. These include:
• investigation and problem solving;
• research and finding out; “We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it, than we do from learning the answer itself.” Lloyd Alexander 1924-2007
• group work;
• pair work;

• independent work;

• whole-class work;

• asking and answering questions;

• use of the computer;

• fieldwork and visits to places of educational interest;

• creative activities;

• watching television / DVDs and responding to musical or tape-recorded material;

• debates, role-plays and oral presentations;

• designing and making things;

• participation in athletic or physical activity.

• self and peer assessment.

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.

EFFECTIVE TEACHING
When teaching we focus on motivating the children, developing key dispositions and learning muscles and building on their skills, knowledge and understanding of the curriculum.
We base our teaching on our knowledge of the children’s level of attainment. 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 Individual Education Plans (IEPs). We have high expectations of all children and we believe that their work here at Michael Primary 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. We review the progress of each child on a regular basis and set new targets based on the progress that they have made.
We plan our lessons with clear learning objectives and success criteria. We take these objectives from the Development Matters document for the Foundation Stage, the National Curriculum, the International Primary Curriculum and E4L. 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. In response to assessment for learning strategies used, teachers adapt their next step in the teaching sequence in order to ensure provision is at the right level.
Each of our teachers makes a special effort to establish good working relationships with all children in their class. We treat the children with kindness and respect. We treat them fairly and give them equal opportunity to take part in class activities and the learning journey. 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. 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 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 also complete the necessary forms for approval from the DEC and carry out detailed risk assessments.
We deploy learning assistants and other adult helpers as effectively as possible. Sometimes they work with individual children and sometimes they work with small groups. Our learning assistants also assist with the preparation of resources and creating displays.
Our classrooms are attractive learning environments. We change displays at least once a term, to ensure that the classroom reflects the themes studied by the children. We ensure that all children have the opportunity to display their best work at some time during the year. All classrooms have a range of dictionaries and fiction and non-fiction books as well as displays relating to Literacy and Numeracy. We believe that a stimulating environment sets the climate for learning and an exciting classroom promotes independent use of resources and high-quality work by the children. Displays are used to promote independent learning, and the children are referred to them to be used as prompts in order to help them progress. These include displays featuring the 6R dispositions, Anderson’s taxonomy to encourage higher order thinking skills, working walls and Afl prompts etc.
All our teachers reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, and plans for their professional development needs are made accordingly. We do all we can to support our teachers in developing their skills, so that they can continually improve their practice.
We conduct all our teaching in an atmosphere of trust and respect for all.
We personalise learning for individuals and groups of pupils in order to provide a rich curriculum which reflects their needs and interests. Pupils have a voice in what they learn and how they learn and staff plan the learning and teaching sequences in response to this.
The use of ICT is an integral part of all learning and teaching at Michael School. The use of Digital Projectors, laptops and ipads are used regularly by pupils across the curriculum. Digital equipment such as a Visualiser, camera and camcorder are also available to support all aspects of learning and teaching.

THE ROLE OF PARENTS
We believe that parents have a fundamental role to play in helping children to learn. We do all we can to inform parents about what and how their children are learning by:
•holding workshops for parents to explain our school strategies for teaching literacy and numeracy;
• sending information to parents at the start of the year in which we outline the topics that the children will be studying during each term at school;
• keep parents informed via the Head teacher's newsletters and school website;
• sending regular reports to parents in which we explain the progress made by each child and indicate how the child can improve further;
• explaining to parents how they can support their children with homework. We suggest, for example, regular shared reading and help in completing their Learning Logs.
• We provide induction sessions for parents of new entrants to school which include our procedures in school, working with your child at home and our reading scheme.
• Providing parents with termly information about their child’s progress in mathematics and their targets so that they can support their children at home.

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;
• 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;
• fulfil the requirements set out in the home/school agreement.

As a result of these actions, we encourage our children to: Work hard, Aim high, Have fun!

Policy updated October 2015

Review date: October 2017

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