Teaching & Learning
Teaching and Learning Expectations
Purpose and Aims
At Westerings Primary Academy, we aim to provide an exciting and engaging curriculum which will inspire children and nurture a passion for learning. We firmly believe the driving force behind the delivery of an interesting, creative curriculum is a clear focus on teaching and learning which engages children in a range of challenging and meaningful learning experiences. At Westerings Primary Academy, we believe that adults and children learn new things every day and encourage children to develop a sense of ‘lifelong learning’. Through CPD and research, principles of high quality teaching and learning are implemented consistently within school practice.
By adopting a whole academy approach to teaching and learning, we aim:
to provide consistency of teaching and learning across our school;
to enable teachers to teach as effectively and learn from each other;
to enable children to learn and make progress;
to provide an inclusive education for all children
Teaching and Learning at Westerings Primary Academy
At Westerings Primary Academy we set high expectations for every pupil. Through adaptive teaching we aim to deepen the knowledge and understanding of our pupils and appropriately adapt and scaffold learning so that all children can achieve. This ensures that all pupils receive a level of challenge appropriate for them to thrive. For pupils who have special educational needs or disabilities, lessons are planned to ensure that there are no barriers to pupil achievement and progress and that scaffolding and support is in place to support their development.
Within the classroom
At Westerings Primary Academy, we encourage teamwork and a supportive culture. Children change their talk partners weekly to further develop a range of skills, including collaborative learning, teamwork, compassion and leadership. Discussion between children, and between adults and children is used as a learning tool as it encourages skills of explanation, reasoning, reflection and evaluation, ensuring that the children embed what they have learnt. The children are not set in ability groups as we believe that sitting in predetermined ability groups limits the children and what they think they can do, as well as what the teacher expects of them. By eliminating ability groups and using flexible grouping through formative assessment, all children have had those barriers lifted so they are able to access learning and achieve the objective. Within lessons, all pupils are expected to meet the objective through appropriate scaffolding and support where required. Additional extension tasks and challenges are also provided to ensure all abilities achieve and challenge themselves.
Adults use a range of questioning skills and focus on open questions to encourage deeper thinking skills, reasoning and explanation.Teachers adapt their questions throughout the lesson to scaffold the learning process for the children.Learning Support Assistants work with different children and differing abilities throughout the week. The aim is for children to be able to work independently, without over-reliance on an adult. Our learning support assistants also lead a range of interventions to target support children.
Working walls and Interactive Hotboards are used as a learning tool. These are walls that display reminders of methods, vocabulary, good examples and concepts that may help children further their learning. Children use these walls to display their thinking, edit and share their ideas. Learning objectives are set tailored to our progression documents and ensure the skills and knowledge to achieve are embedded through careful consideration of the curriculum.
At Westerings Primary Academy, we strongly believe that adaptive teaching and assessment for learning is key to all pupils achieving. We ensure all children are able to access the learning through appropriate scaffolding and challenge so that children achieve the lesson objectives.
Metacognition and memory strategies are used to ensure not only are lessons taught well, but the children are able to learn more and remember more. When planning, teachers carefully consider the strategies required to ensure the lesson content is acquired and subsequently stored into the children’s long term memory. Signposting and links to prior learning and future learning aid the links between learning and add meaning and value to what is being learnt.
At Westerings Primary Academy, a range of formative and summative procedures take place, in order to identify success and target support. Processes of formative assessment include targeted questioning, analysing written work, marking, observing and talking with the children. Children often self-assess written work against the Learning Objective using a traffic light system (green: I am confident, orange: I need more practice, red: I didn’t understand) to enable further challenge or support. Success Criteria statements are used to help the children achieve their best and to help them assess, taking ownership of their learning. The children often identify the success criteria for a piece of work. Peer assessment is used as a strategy for children to develop skills of explanation and reflection. It encourages them to discuss ways of improving their own work.
Adults assess books focusing on the Learning Objective and suggesting next steps as well as praising for effort. Feedback is valued as a very important tool in helping children to progress throughout the lesson. Some feedback is verbal. Teachers allocate time during the week for children to work on their next steps and to respond to the teachers' next step comments, ensuring that they understand how to improve. As one of the first primary schools in the UK to be completely cloud-based, Westerings embraces new technology. Children use Google Suite where several children can be editing the same text at the same time and where the teacher also has access. Feedback is instant and a key part to the editing process.
Children complete 'Cold Tasks'. These are pieces of work at the beginning of a topic before the children have had any input. It is assessed jointly by peers, the teachers and the children themselves to identify areas of improvement and the teaching focus for the topic. Following the resulting teacher input, the children then produce a 'Hot Task' and compare directly against the cold task to see how much they have learnt. This pupil involvement is a key part of the learning process and used throughout the academy. It allows the children to have ownership of their learning and ensures that they learn the skills they actually need.
Teacher assessments are completed termly and moderated within the academy and with other local schools. Termly summative assessments are collated and matched against the expected progress of individual children. Senior Leaders track the progress of all individual children to ensure that they are making appropriate progress. Senior Leaders and teachers hold Pupil Progress Meetings each term to evaluate the progress of individual children and to plan provisions. All progress towards targets is reported to Academies Enterprise Trust. We use a range of summative assessment tools to track attainment, progress and to provide supporting evidence. These assessments are forensically analysed and used to drive interventions and support throughout the academy.