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Teaching and Learning

Approaches to Teaching and Learning (how our curriculum is delivered) 

This year we have developed a 'Teaching and Learning Policy' to help improve the quality of teaching which will allow us to launch our new curriculum. Below, we have outlined some elements of the policy to help give you an understanding of what children experience in lessons. 

Direct Instruction 

The National Curriculum is predominately knowledge based, and we recognise that our children need to retain knowledge that they have learnt. Our teachers will use direct teaching approaches (especially in reading, writing and mathematics). We used research by Barak Rosenshine to help develop approaches of direct instruction. This includes delivering the curriculum through focussed teaching with the class, groups and individuals and allowing opportunities for children to work alongside an adult or independently through guided and independent practice

What this would look like in practice: 

  • lesson having clear a learning aim and progressive success criteria 
  • lessons linking current learning to previous learning and identifying where it fits into future learning
  • teachers using worked models and examples to support learning
  • teachers asking carefully thought out questions
  • children having meaningful discussions
  • teachers providing scaffolded support for children
  • children self-reflecting on how they are doing and assessing their work throughout the lesson linked to the success criteria 

Continuous Provision

We believe that it is important to continue the use of continuous provision beyond Early Years. Research at Early Excellence supports our belief that pupils in reception and KS1 should be taught in a developmentally appropriate way. We know that from birth to 7 children are in a unique neurological and developmental phase. In order for pupils to reach their full potential as happy and effective learners we believe that we need to carefully plan activities that best suit this stage of development. Delivering learning through a well resourced curriculum and a high quality indoor and outdoor learning environment will ignite curiosity. 

What this would look like: 

  • children taking ownership of their learning 
  • high level of engagement from children in provision areas - children thinking, investigating and exploring 
  • carefully planned areas of provision that children can access independently to enhance their learning
  • quality interactions between adults and children that affirm, consolidate and extend children's learning
  • children having access to high-quality, carefully selected and open-ended resources 
  • opportunities and experiences planned to follow the interests of the children
  • provision planned, assessed and reviewed regularly linked to assessments and observations

Meaningful Curriculum Enhanced Experiences

To help give our curriculum more meaning and purpose to our children we will draw upon some characteristics of project based learning in our curriculum delivery. 

What this would look like: 

  • Driving Questions At the start of a sequence of lessons teachers will develop a driving question that will guide learning over a half-term. These questions may link to a real world dilemma or an issue, or they might be designed to help the children to dig deeper into the learning. In a sequence of science lessons looking at human body the questions may be 'What should humans do to stay healthy?  In a sequence of history lessons about Roman Britain the driving question may be: What was it really like to a Roman solider? 
  • Wow Experiences are designed to engage and excite children in their learning through additional resources, planned visits and trips relating to the subjects and topics that they are learning about. These experiences can be developed at the start of a sequence of lessons or during the teaching sequence to deepen knowledge and understanding.
  • Aha Moments are carefully planned questions or discussions that allow children to explore and develop their spirituality. For example, whilst learning about mountains the teacher may introduce the question ‘If you are all alone when climbing a mountain does that mean you will feel alone?’ Developing these moments is an important part of our Christian Vision.
  • Learning Product As teachers plan a sequence of lessons, where possible they will include an end product or outcome. A learning product could be something as simple as a final piece of writing in English or a presentation to parents in geography. Developing a learning product can be something that the teacher decides or, where possible, something that develops from a discussion with the class. The learning product will link to, and answer the driving question, and build the link between the curriculum and the world our children are going to live in.