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Effective Teaching & Learning

At The Holt Primary School, we embrace a pedagogy of Quality First Teaching: an approach which expects all teachers to create an environment, and deliver a well-matched curriculum, that allows all children to make good progress and reach their full potential, including achieving national expectations and producing quality outcomes. High aspirations of progress apply equally to children working above, at, or below age-related expectations, including those who have been identified as having special educational needs.

 

We encourage our children to actively participate in their learning journey, to accomplish fulfilment and recognise success. Teaching and learning is characterised by clear learning intentions and distinct teaching points. Through timely and effective assessment, progress can be monitored, targets set, and intervention provided, to maintain an ambitious journey for all pupils from their starting points

 

Our curriculum is arranged into topics which are generally inspired by History, Geography and Science foci, as the main drivers. Where learning objectives are not part of a topic, they will be taught discreetly. Years 3 and 4, and Years 5 and 6, share a two-year rolling programme.

 

As part of a weekly timetable, the children take part in our enrichment cycle. In Key Stages 1 and 2, this involves Computer Science, Music and Outdoor Learning. In Key Stage 2, this also incorporates Art. The children work with different staff who can use their skills and experience to provide an enhanced curriculum opportunity.

 

We acknowledge that people learn in different ways and we recognise the need to develop pedagogies that enable all children to learn in ways that suit them.

We offer a range of activities for children to learn in different ways.  Such examples include the following:

  • Investigation and problem solving
  • Open-ended tasks
  • Project work
  • Creative tasks
  • Cross-curricular activities

 

At the Holt Primary School, we are moving away from traditional differentiation strategies, such as different tasks or sets of expectations. Today, the more effective teaching practices at The Holt Primary School see teachers expecting everyone to succeed by offering higher levels of support, or extra challenge for those who need it, so that the majority of pupils can access the learning at the expected year group standard.

 

Quality First Teaching

  • Clear learning intentions, with distinct teaching points for every lesson
  • High expectations of pupil participation and engagement with their learning
  • High levels of interaction for all pupils
  • Appropriate use of teacher questioning, modelling and explaining
  • Emphasis on learning through dialogue and vocabulary development
  • An expectation that children will develop resilience and accept responsibility for their own learning and work independently
  • Regular use of encouragement and praise to motivate children

                                                      

Assessment for Learning

  • Individual children’s progress tracked, and strengths and weaknesses identified, supporting planning, teaching and intervention
  • Children have regular opportunities to discuss their progress, through feedback with the teachers and teaching assistants
  • Teachers actively involve children in reviewing their progress and establishing their next steps
  • Parents and carers are regularly updated on their child’s progress
  • Assessment for Learning (AfL) evident across the school - learning objectives, success criteria, self and peer evaluation

 

Formal Assessment

  • Rigorous assessment and tracking of children’s performance takes place, as per the whole school assessment schedule, to inform classroom practice, allowing children to make good progress and close attainment gaps
  • Processes run across the whole school, to ensure consistency, and are regularly evaluated by the SLT, to ensure that the needs of all children are being met, through pupil progress meetings

 

Intervention

  • Individuals and groups who are not making sufficient progress are identified through pupil progress meetings
  • Provision for intervention is mapped according to need 
  • Interventions are evaluated and relevant adjustments are made

 

Learning Environment

  • Organisation of the classroom/learning environment is adapted to the children’s learning needs
  • The use of learning resources is developed to allow children to work independently and successfully
  • Effective use of other spaces is made – outdoor environments, hall space
  • Displays to be a mixture of celebration of children’s work, supportive resources and information.

 

Curriculum Organisation

The curriculum is designed to cater for the needs and interests of a full range of learners:

  • Learners with learning difficulties, including those with speech, language and communication needs
  • Boys and girls
  • Learners with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • Disadvantaged pupils, including the use of allocated funding

Flexibility is built into the curriculum organisation and delivery, to ensure greater coherence from the children’s perspectives.

 

Extended Curriculum

The Holt Primary School offers a range of after activities and clubs which enhance and extend the basic curriculum. Access to other services is provided or arranged, including Health and Social Services.

 

Supporting Children’s Wider Needs

The Holt Primary School maintains close communication with parents and carers. We develop and maintain multi agency links to support vulnerable children and those with additional needs. We employ an emotional and behavioural support service as a first point of contact for supporting our pupils and parents, without the need for delays in making referrals.

 

Our Curriculum

EYFS Curriculum

In Reception, we follow the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, published in March 2014 by the DfES. This Framework specifies the requirement for learning and development in the Early Years, and provides specific areas of learning we must cover in our curriculum:

  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  2. Physical Development
  3. Communication and Language Development
  4. Literacy
  5. Mathematics
  6. Understanding the World
  7. Expressive Arts and Design

 

A vital aspect in the development of essential knowledge and skills is the use of continuous provision. This means that children are using and developing certain skills throughout the year on a daily/weekly basis.

Continuous provision practice and principles begin in Early Years Foundation Stage, and support children to develop key life skills: independence, innovation, creativity, enquiry, analysis, and problem solving.

 

Curriculum Enhancement

We are committed to providing the broadest range of educational experiences we can for our pupils and achieve this through school trips, visiting specialists, and themed days and weeks. The programme is planned throughout the year.

 

Trips and Visits

We plan a series of educational visits, throughout the year, for each year group. The visits are directly linked to our topic work: for example, the ‘Passport to The World’ topic may include a trip to Twycross Zoo, in order to allow children to explore rainforest environments and animals. We organise residential visits for our Year 3, 4 and 6 pupils. Year 3 pupils spend two nights away on a farm, learning about the journey ‘from farm to fork’, as well as caring for animals. Year 4 spend one night away, camping in a natural woodland environment, and Year 6 visit an outdoor education centre in Norfolk, to engage in a comparative beach study and take part in outdoor and adventurous activities. We also take part in local sporting activities, such as multi skills and cricket festivals, and ensure each class has at least one opportunity a year to take part in such an event.

 

Visitors

To supplement the curriculum further, we invite a range of outside agencies into school to support the children with their learning. For example, the fire brigade visits our pupils during ‘The Great Fire of London’ topic, and a local nurse runs a workshop, when studying Florence Nightingale. We also invite other agencies in to deliver their workshops, when appropriate: ‘e-Safety’ and ‘Moving On’, for Year 6, and ‘Seatbelt Safety’, for Years 5 and 6.

 

Themed Days and Weeks

We also have themed days and weeks throughout the year: e.g. Science Week, Roald Dahl Day, World Book Day. Themed days are also incorporated into curriculum. These may be designed to fit with national initiatives or to match with events in the UK: e.g. World Book Day, Comic Relief, Children in Need, and general elections.  We also hold themed days to highlight our curriculum subjects: e.g. Science Week.

 

The Role of Governors

Our Governors are involved in monitoring the consistent approach to Teaching and Learning at The Holt Primary School, as well as new developments. Teaching and Learning is a standing item on every agenda. Governors monitor practice in the following ways:

  • Reports and presentations received at Governors meetings
  • School visits to observe classroom practice

 

The Role of Parents

We believe that parents have a crucial role in helping their child to learn. We do all that we can to inform parents about the progress of their child:

  • Sending home a termly newsletter which includes a knowledge organiser with details of the learning for the term ahead
  • Holding regular Parent Consultation Evenings
  • Inviting parents in to the school to share in their child’s learning: e.g. ‘Come and Read with Me’
  • Holding parent workshops where we explain teaching and learning strategies: e.g. RWI, RSE
  • Target sheets sent home twice a year and one annual report at the end of each academic year
  • Ensuring regular attendance
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