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:
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
Assessment for Learning
The curriculum is designed to cater for the needs and interests of a full range of learners:
Flexibility is built into the curriculum organisation and delivery, to ensure greater coherence from the children’s perspectives.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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: