‘Be the best you can be’
At Farsley Springbank we aim to provide a caring and nurturing environment which fosters a love of learning in all our children and provides them with the skills needed to learn and discover, enabling them to become life-long learners. We want all our children to become confident individuals and successful learners who can work collaboratively and communicate effectively. Through responsive and reflective teaching and a curriculum which is engaging, relevant, challenging and fun, our children are able to develop skills of independence, resilience, perseverance and self-reflection, encouraging them to be openly aware of their current strengths and areas for development. We promote British values, the importance of respect and community and aim for our children to become responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society and show respect towards all others. It is our overarching aim for everyone at Farsley Springbank to ‘Be the best you can be’.
As a school we follow the principles of developing a Growth Mindset – this is evident in both children and adult learners. Challenge is embraced and persistence and effort are rewarded. We are inspired by the success of others and learn to be ‘critical friends’ so that we can provide others with effective feedback and also respond to that feedback when it is given to us. Each class has developed 4 superhero characters which represent the key principles of Growth Mindset – Challenge, Perseverance, Effort and Feedback – and reinforces these throughout the school.
Our principles of effective teaching are developed through our knowledge of what makes good learning and we continue to access new research on the principles of learning. We pride ourselves at Springbank on our supportive yet aspirational atmosphere where positive relationships and a culture of mutual respect and kindness are embedded.
Our teaching is always tailored to best suit the needs of our children and encompasses a wide variety of aspects in order to ensure continuous effective learning:
Secure subject knowledge from the adults
An atmosphere which encourages learning through the promotion of risk taking and making it ‘safe to fail’
High expectations for all children which are accessible through different levels of challenge
A clear focus for where the learning is going, which is understood by the children
Learning which builds on previous knowledge and understanding with opportunities for children to respond to previous learning misconceptions where appropriate
A variety of AfL strategies to ensure teaching is continually adapted to suit the needs of all children and the rate at which they are progressing and thinking
Enthusiasm and passion for the subjects conveyed through teaching
Innovative and creative approaches to how learning takes place
Thoughtful and open ended questioning, used well by adults and children to encourage further/deeper thinking and provoke discussion
Opportunities for immediate feedback, self-assessment/evaluation and reflection
No ability grouping or setting – children’s learning depends on the challenge level they are working at for that particular session based on prior learning and/or baseline tasks. Any groupings are fluid and aim to enable ‘catch up’ in relation to particular objectives or aspects
A range of ‘active learning’ strategies in place which maximise children’s involvement in their learning and encourage them to take responsibility for their own learning, fostering independence
Learning taking place either collaboratively (in pairs or groups) or individually depending on the suitability of the task
Classrooms are attractive and engaging with clearly defined areas and easily accessible resources, allowing children to independently access what they need to further their learning. Learning walls represent what the children are currently learning and contain information which is the children can use to inspire and aid them. Tidy and organised classrooms ensure children’s learning can be maximised and sets a good example.
Continuous AfL takes place throughout teaching, providing children with specific and timely feedback on how to improve and develop in order to further their learning. The teacher, along with other adults in the room, will have a continual overview of where the children are in their learning and will act to address any misconceptions that arise in a timely and effective manner, continually ensuring that the children’s learning is maximised
Children complete pre-learning ‘baseline assessments’ where relevant to ensure each child can begin their learning at an appropriate level of challenge.
Feedback in books praises effort and provides specific detail on possible improvements. One word marking is used throughout pieces of work. Direct ‘actions’ may be given for the child to complete which demonstrates if the point for improvement has been understood and can be carried out
For more detail see the Marking and Feedback Policy
A key aspect of the teaching and learning at Farsley Springbank is our Learning Challenge Curriculum which underpins our effective teaching. This creative and imaginative curriculum builds on the children’s interests and curiosities, creating an atmosphere of enthusiasm and excitement whilst allowing them to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding.
Our key drivers for Learning Challenge topics are usually science, history, geography, DT or Enterprise and we encompass other subject areas such as art within these. Literacy can be linked with learning challenge topics or a key text and maths is mainly standalone.
Each Learning Challenge topic begins with an immersion session beforehand in order for the children to find out some basic information about the upcoming topic – this could be in the form of a school trip/visitor but isn’t always. There are two main purposes of this with regard to learning. One is that any simple ‘Google’ questions can be quickly answered and the other is that once children have some knowledge of the upcoming topic they can ask questions and make conjectures which will feed into the main topic and their further learning. Children develop these questions through the use of Bloom’s taxonomy which allows for richer questioning and a more in-depth, higher level learning experience. Each topic is headed by a ‘big question’ rather than a topic name so as to engage children from the start and following weekly questions are revealed along the way – created and adapted in accordance with children’s questions, thinking and interests as the topic develops. Each topic ends with a purposeful outcome which again impacts on the learning taking place throughout the topic and there is a final aim for all the learning which has taken place. These may be an assembly for parents, an exhibition, a sale or a drama production for example.
Teaching and learning is monitored through a variety of different ways. Unannounced ‘drop in’ observations take place regularly so that a picture of ‘everyday’ teaching and learning can be gained. Teachers are provided with specific feedback following these observations. Teaching and learning is also monitored through learning walks, lesson studies, book scrutiny, joint observations with other members of SLT from different schools, data analysis and performance management.
Teaching and learning is monitored and supported by governors in terms of:
Adopting and reviewing the whole school policy on teaching and learning
Monitoring the effectiveness of teaching and learning through analysis of pupil attainment
Meeting with subject leaders (a governor allocated to each curriculum subject) at the beginning and end of the academic year to discuss the subject improvement plans actions and impact
Carrying out learning walks with members of SLT and being taken through observation procedures of lessons
In order to support their child’s learning we believe it is important that parents:
Have a positive attitude towards school and learning, supporting and working with school
Make sure their child has the best attendance record possible
Support children in the completion of home learning, including reading and times table practice
Make sure their child is equipped for school, e.g. with correct uniform and P.E. kit
Attend parents’ evenings
Approved by the Teaching and Learning committee on 26th February 2017
This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.