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Teaching and learning policy

Adopted: March 2015

Introduction

East Point Academy recognises that highly effective teaching and learning is the most sustainable way for pupils to achieve well and develop the skills and attitudes that will support them through their lives.

The purpose of this policy is to share and develop a professional knowledge and understanding of the principles of good teaching and learning. It will provide a shared language for all staff to talk about and develop their own best practice in classrooms. It also conveys high expectations and provides consistency in our approaches, ideas, techniques and support in lessons across the whole academy.

Principles

Teaching and learning is underpinned by the following principles. Teaching should be:

  • Well-planned – with a clear structure to lessons
  • Interactive – involving the pupils in their learning
  • Motivating – engendering enthusiasm for the subject in the pupils
  • Differentiated – to meet the needs of the pupils
  • Informed – by what pupils know, understand and can do
  • Evidence-based, using the best evidence available about effective techniques for learning
  • Engaging and enjoyable
  • Encouraging excellent levels of behaviour to support learning

Teachers recognise that:

  • Every pupil brings their own goals and aspirations to the classroom. These need to be known and understood before effective learning can take place.
  • Learners need to develop a positive image of themselves as effective learners.
  • Learners make great progress in an environment rich in language.
  • There is a need to raise achievement by using prior attainment data to set challenging targets to allow pupils to make outstanding progress.
  • Where ongoing underachievement exists in either teaching groups or vulnerable groups that the appropriate interventions are planned to raise achievement and make outstanding progress.
  • Learning is more effective in a safe and secure learning environment.
  • Where appropriate opportunities exist for social, moral, spiritual and cultural elements should be explored and shared.
  • Teachers continue to develop and learn throughout their careers.

Planning

Planning for teaching should include:

  • Clear teaching activities
  • Clear explanation of what the pupils should be doing
  • Appropriate subject-related vocabulary
  • Activities differentiated for groups of pupils
  • Assessment opportunities for identified groups of pupils
  • Appropriate questioning techniques to develop learning
  • Resources to support and reinforce learning
  • Homework that reinforces and extends what has been learned in the lesson

Planning for learning should include:

  • Clear learning objectives and graded learning outcomes in every lesson
  • Opportunities for collaborative working in pairs or groups and independent study
  • Making links between lessons on a similar subject
  • Opportunities for pupils to ask questions and contribute to whole class discussion
  • Opportunities to explore, investigate and research
  • An opportunity for developmental feedback to utilised to allow further learning.

Lesson structure and time allocation

Lessons should include:

  • A clear lesson structure with a beginning, middle and end, e.g. the three-part lesson including a starter and a plenary
  • Appropriate amount of time and number of lessons to cover the curriculum
  • A seating plan
  • Where appropriate a dedicated raising achievement plan.

Interactive lessons

Teachers should use a variety of skills and techniques to ensure genuine interaction between teacher and pupil, such as:

  • Effective questioning using different modes of questions to elicit different types of information
  • Planned opportunities for discussion in pairs and groups
  • Effective use of the plenary session to allow pupils to explain their thinking.
  • A variety of activities that stimulate pupils’ thinking, such as Edward de Bonos’ Six Thinking Hats and curiosity, which will encourage debate

Motivating pupils

Teachers should use a mix of strategies to motivate and encourage enthusiasm for the subject including:

  • A variety of learning activities
  • A variety of teaching styles
  • A variety of resources and artefacts

Differentiation

Teachers should employ a variety of strategies for differentiation; these should include differentiating by:

  • Resource – using ICT, a variety of media and study guides at all times ensuring readability
  • Response – using clear objectives, accessible questions and explicit assessment criteria
  • Support – using other teachers, LSAs/LSTs, EAL support staff and other pupils effectively
  • Task – using a variety of tasks matched to pupils abilities with some choice and a range of outcomes

Teachers should employ differentiation in a manageable way whilst at the same time ensuring the needs of all pupils are met. This can be achieved by:

  • Planning activities for no more than three or four groups of pupils
  • Modifying the activities within these groups for pupils with different learning needs
  • Employing LSAs/LSTs and EAL support staff in a planned and informed manner

Allocation of LSAs

Pupils with more severe SEND concerns will continue to have the recommended hours of support. Where the academy and staff recognise an SEND concern teaching staff have to bid for their additional support under the following categories:

  • Reinforcement
  • Assessment
  • Mediation
  • Intervention

The achievement of these pupils is monitored every half term to ensure that these categories are effective.

The use of assessment

Assessment should be an integral part of the everyday work of teachers. It should be used to:

  • Inform the short-term planning cycle
  • Inform teachers about the progress of pupils
  • Inform pupils how well they are doing and what they need to do to improve
  • Enable pupils to undergo self-assessment, an integral part of assessment for learning
  • Provide information for pupil tracking and parents
  • Provide information for the curriculum leader to monitor and pass onto the next teacher

Classroom organisation and management

Teachers should organise and manage classrooms to include:

  • Appropriate grouping of pupils
  • A stimulating learning environment
  • A variety of ways of working involving individual, pairs, group work and whole class
  • Effective use of resources
  • Modelling good examples of work.

Monitoring and evaluation

Monitoring teaching and learning is the responsibility of curriculum leaders and senior leaders.

  • Curriculum leaders monitor the quality of teaching and learning and support teacher development within their areas.
  • Senior leaders monitor the subject areas they line manage according to the monitoring calendar.
  • Audit teams provided by the Inspiration Trust will review the standard of teaching and learning at East Point Academy.
  • Teaching and learning will be reviewed annually and reported back to the governors through the relevant sub-committee.
  • The development of teaching and learning is the responsibility of curriculum leaders and the senior leadership team.

The quality of teaching and learning is evaluated through performance management observations, SLT drop-ins, pupil achievement and areas related to the teaching standards.