Teaching and Learning Policy



Responsible People named in this policy

Chair of Governors Felicity Moore

Head Teacher Tracy Kent

Deputy Headteacher Sarah Collins

Date: September 2017 Review date: September 2018


Our vision:
Every child matters, every child succeeds!

Our values:

Altogether we learn, love, respect and have fun!


At Downs View Infant School we believe that good quality first teaching means effective learning and that this is what we should be striving for in every lesson. Continued and sustained improvement is dependent upon improving the quality of teaching and learning that is taking place on a daily basis. Our Teaching and Learning policy aims to ensure that the children at our school are provided with high quality learning experiences that lead to a consistently high level of pupil achievement. It sets out clear expectations, provides a standard uniform approach, can be easily monitored and ensures equal opportunity for all of our pupils.


We expect every member of staff to provide outstanding teaching and learning opportunities within a broad and relevant curriculum to enable every child to make at least expected progress from their baseline.

By adopting a whole school approach to teaching and learning across the school we aim:

  • To provide consistency of teaching and learning across our school
  • To enable teachers to teach as effectively as possible through support andrelevant training
  • To enable children to learn as effectively as possible through a broad andbalanced curriculum
  • To give children the skills they need to be lifelong learners
  • To encourage children to have a growth mindset
  • For children to learn through a mastery approach with no ceiling to their learning
  • To provide an inclusive education for all
  • To learn from each other through the adoption of a collaborative, enquiry based approach to teaching and learning, where good/outstanding practice is shared

At our school, we provide both high quality teaching and a rich and varied learning environment which allow children to develop their skills and abilities and to be the best they can be at the time.

Our curriculum provides opportunities for children to:

  • to become confident, resourceful, enquiring and independent learners;
  • to see all learning as ‘real’ learning, providing opportunities for children tolearn life skills which prepare children for the future.
  • to develop their self-esteem and help them build positive relationships withother people to enable them to work collaboratively;
  • to develop both the children’s self-respect and ability to respect the ideas,attitudes, values and feelings of others;
  • show respect for all cultures and, in so doing, to promote positive attitudestowards other people;
  • enable children to understand their community and help them feel valued aspart of this community;
  • to learn in a safe environment where mistakes can be made and learnt from.


Effective learning

We recognise that children learn in many different ways, and when planning our lessons we ensure wherever possible that there is a Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic element to each of our lessons. Teachers use a range of methods and styles to encourage children to embed their knowledge and skills.

Effective learning results in:-

1. Knowing you have succeeded
2. Feeling you can do more
3. Explaining what you have learned 4. Applying it to other situations
5. Teaching it to someone else
6. Feeling good about yourself

We encourage children to take responsibility for their own learning, to be involved as far as possible in reviewing the way they learn, and to reflect on how they learn – what helps them learn and what makes it difficult for them to learn.

Effective teaching

It is every teacher’s responsibility to develop and improve the basic skills of each child. Effective learning only arises from effective teaching. The expectation of the school and the Governing Body is that all lessons are at least good or better, teachers are actively encouraged to develop their practice to ensure maximum learning for the children in their class. When teaching, we focus on motivating and inspiring the children and building on their skills, knowledge and understanding of the curriculum. For effective teaching to take place, there are a number of ‘ingredients’ that we feel are needed. Whilst it is impossible to contain all of these elements in every lesson, we believe that our lessons must contain a number of these listed below:-

  • A well prepared personalised plan which has been written consistently for all classes within a year group but has been adapted for individuals within each class
  • Delivery of a creative curriculum which allows children to find links between different subjects
  • Ensuring continuity progression and coverage of the National Curriculum/EYFS Curriculum, providing a mastery curriculum for all
  • A clear link to previous and future learning
  • Children are given opportunities to actively pursue aspects of their teacher directed learning in child initiated learning time
  • A clear Learning Objective which is both shared with the children and referred to throughout the lesson
  • Steps to Success or Success Criteria developed with the children.
  • Appropriate challenge for all children
  • Clear differentiation to enable all pupils to access learning and foster the involvement of all children
  • Teacher and teaching assistant modelling which accelerates learning and develop independent skills
  • High quality questioning which is differentiated and used frequently and appropriately
  • A hook at the beginning of a lesson to fully engage pupils
  • Inspires awe and wonder for children
  • Positive interactions between teacher and pupil, teaching assistant and pupil, pupil and pupil and evidence of co-operative learning
  • Pace which is varied according to accurate assessment for learning within the lesson
  • A review of previous learning at the beginning of the lesson and a review of learning within the lesson during a plenary
  • Appropriate and timely feedback to enhance learning
  • The use of technology to enrich the teaching and learning opportunities within the lesson
  • Assessment for Learning present where the teacher uses recall and reflection and adapts teaching to address any misconceptions or to deepen learning when appropriate
  • Inspirational delivery that motivates pupils to engage in learning
  • Elements of Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic learning
  • Consistent classroom management following the school behaviour policy
  • Effective use of all additional adults to accelerate pupil progress
  • Learning environment used to extend the curriculum
  • Relevant use of the outdoors which strengthens learning further.
  • Peer and independent learning opportunities

We base our teaching on our knowledge of the children’s attainment against the expected standards and differentiate tasks accordingly to provide challenge for each child’s level of ability. When planning work for children with Additional Educational Needs or Gifted and Talented or more able pupils, we give due regard to information contained on the provision map. We have high expectations of all children, and we aim for their work at this school to be of the highest possible standard.

We set targets for the children in each academic year and we share these targets with both children and their parents. We review the progress of each child termly and Pupil Progress Meetings are used to discuss with senior leadership team members, the progress of individuals, specific groups, whole class and year group.

Recognising the importance of efficient use of staff to foster pupil progress, we deploy Teaching Assistants as effectively as possible. They are deployed appropriately depending upon the needs of the pupils which will vary from lesson to lesson. Staff are supported in the further development of their skills through support and CPD, so that they can continually improve their practice.

The Learning Environment

The surroundings in which children learn can greatly influence their academic performance at school. The environment should be an extension of the curriculum. The school’s presentation should always be of a high standard to inspire all staff and children. Classrooms and learning environment make pupils feel that their achievements and how they are perceived are important.
Across our school, we ensure that both inside and outside environments to enrich teaching and learning.

  • All areas must be kept tidy and organised- resources clearly labelled and stored appropriately
  • Surfaces to be used as extensions of the curriculum
  • Displays to be interactive, stimulating and interesting- high quality displays through the school to extend learning. They should be language rich with questions to challenge children’s thinking.
  • Classrooms must be bright but not overwhelming, well organised learning spaces, free from clutter.
  • Pupils need to know how to access resources and respect the environment
  • Pupils should be encouraged take on responsibility for ensuring their classroom is a pleasant and a safe place to learn
  • Pupils are taught to respect equipment and resources
  • Book areas need to invite children to read
  • Roleplay areas should be changed regularly and give opportunities for imaginary play which is relevant to the topic/life skills
  • Doorways to classrooms are inspiring and link to the year group topic. These are changed termly

Routines and Rules

All staff establish good working relationships with all children . Children are treated with respect, treated fairly and given equal opportunities to take part in class activities. To help to create an effective environment for learning, staff follow the behaviour policy and all learning policies. Teachers set and agree with children the class code of conduct and expect our pupils to comply with these rules. We praise children for their efforts and, by doing so help to build positive attitudes towards school life and learning in general. If children misbehave, we follow the guidelines for sanctions as outlined in our School’s Behaviour Policy.

All rules should result in the children knowing the boundaries of behaviour and should be set within the terms of the Behaviour Policy.

To be effective, the class code of conduct / rules are:

  • Relevant, agreed by the children and clearly understood
  • fair and consistent
  • realistic and positive
  • kept to a minimum but enforced


Recognising the importance of celebrating achievement, effort and progress, we ensure that the children receive:

  • verbal or written praise by teachers, peers, Senior Leaders
  • work displayed in class and around school
  • opportunities to perform or share
  • positive notes or comments in their home/school record

There is also a weekly achievement assembly where children are chosen to receive rewards for reading, being active, manners in the dinner hall, Star of the week and attendance. A termly Art Award is also given to a pupil from each class. Twice a year there are ‘Downs View has Talent’ assemblies where children audition and perform their talent to the rest of the school and their parents. An annual award in remembrance of a Governor is given to a year 2 pupil to recognise overall substantial achievement during their time at Downs View School. Class assemblies take place three times a year to parents for Key Stage 1 pupils to enable further celebration. In term 5/6 EYFS present their achievements in the same way. Book look days, weekly newsletters, exhibitions and Open Evenings also celebrate the achievements of our pupils.

Role of Parent/Carers

Parent/carers have a responsibility for ensuring that:

  • Their child attend regularly and punctually
  • Support the school’s ‘Good Behaviour’ policy
  • They participate in discussions regarding their child’s progress
  • They support and address their child’s learning targets at home, understanding and reflecting with their child the progress which he/she is making.
  • They share and show an interest in what their child is learning
  • Attend school workshops and information sessions about the curriculum regularly
  • Attend achievement assemblies and performance to celebrate their child’s successes
  • Support their child with home learning regularly

The Role of Governors

Our Governors determine, support, and review the school policy on Teaching and Learning. In particular they:

  • Ensure that the Headteacher and Senior leadership team use the budget appropriately to address key priorities on the school plan
  • ensure that the school buildings and premises are safe and best used to support successful teaching and learning;
  • monitor teaching strategies in the light of Health and Safety regulations;
  • monitor how effective teaching and learning strategies are in terms of raising pupil progress and attainment
  • ensure that the school’s appraisal policy promotes good quality teaching andlearning and addresses the priorities on the school plan
  • monitor the effectiveness of the school’s teaching and learning by receiving SEF and School plan which is updated termly, including reviews from all curriculum leaders reports from subject leaders and the Headteacher.

This policy has been written in conjunction with our Equality Scheme, underpins all curriculum policies and behaviour policy.

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