At WLFS, we aim to provide a climate for effective learning, highlighted in a series of ‘Learning Lights’.
The Learning Environment - ‘Whitley Lodge Learning Lights’.
- Learning is state of mind dependent.
- Learning should be brain and child friendly.
- Every child has an individual learning style.
- Intelligence comes in many forms.
- Thinking skills support active learning.
- Assessment FOR Learning develops independent learners
- Attitudes to learning are important.
- Education is a partnership, teachers, pupils and parents.
Learning is State of Mind Dependent
For children to learn effectively they have to be in the right state of mind. They need to be Relaxed, Alert, Motivated and Positive.
At WLFS, we aim to get children in the right state of mind in the following ways:
- Developing the role of movement in learning - use of Brain Gym activities.
- Encouraging the drinking of plain water throughout the school day.
- Promoting healthy eating.
- Promoting use of music in learning.
- Using appropriate choice of language to promote learning.
- Promoting emotional well-being through Personal, Social and Health and Education
Learning should be brain and child friendly
At WLFS, we aim for learning to be brain and child friendly in the following ways:
- Information is presented in short spurts
- The knowledge, skill or understanding the brain is being asked to develop is
- useful and relevant.
- The lesson ensures progression by building upon previous learning.
- The learning experience is stimulating and multi- sensory - See, Hear, Do.
- The children are challenged but confident they can achieve.
- Key words and concepts are reviewed during the lesson and subsequently.
- Children are given an opportunity to use and apply skills or knowledge.
Every child has an individual learning style
At WLFS, teaching takes into account and caters for the different ways in which children learn. Visual learners prefer the stimulus of picture and the written word. Auditory learners prefer the stimulus of the spoken word and sound effects. Whilst kinaesthetic learners prefer to learn non-verbally by practical, hands on tasks, role-play and drama.
Thinking skills supports active learning and Greater Depth of Learning
In our classrooms, we create a climate where talking and thinking, questioning, predicting, contradicting, doubting is actively pursued. This supports the development of a greater depth of learning.
At WLFS, we achieve this by using strategies described in ‘The Magenta Principles’ (Mike Hughes)
Reduce Change Replace Add Arrange
Connect Assemble Classify Compare Sequence.
These strategies encourage children to be fully engaged and to actively develop and illustrate their understanding.
At WLFS, staff use precise questioning to check procedural and conceptual knowledge.
KWL + Key Word Grids
At WLFS, we use KWL grids to develop and recall knowledge and Key Word grids to promote and check understanding of key vocabulary.
‘Talk for Learning’
When we explain what we have just learned or what we have been thinking, learning and understanding is consolidated.
At WLFS, we use the following strategies to promote ‘Talk for Learning’:
‘Talk 4 Writing’
Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk 4 Writing’ pedagogy, of imitate - innovate, before independent application, is used to ensure that children have a sound verbal knowledge of what they are going to write, before writing anything. They can then implement the structure, independently, in many contexts.
Talk Partners give children the opportunity to think out loud, express opinions and share ideas. It is a supportive strategy to allow children to confirm their thoughts.
Assessment FOR Learning develops independent learners
At WLFS, we believe that independent learners are developed by using formative assessment strategies. We aim to involve pupils with their own learning, establishing key interactions between pupils and teacher to move learning forward in the following ways:
A Learning Intention is a specific explanation of what you want children to learn. Sharing the Learning Intention is the first step in implementing the process of formative assessment.
Success Criteria are the steps children need to take to achieve the learning intention. They are shared verbally and visually along with the Learning Intention.
Feedback to pupils is a response to learning and is intended to close the learning gap and /or extend learning.
Marking communicates progress made and guidance for further improvement. Pupils are encouraged to respond to teacher comments and understand the purpose of highlighted work e.g. great green and think pink. Pupils are given time to respond to feedback and improve their work using a purple proofing pen.
Peer and Self-Assessment
At WLFS, we use the systems of formative assessment - learning intentions, success criteria and feedback, to be the model for developing pupil peer and self-assessment.
Attitudes to Learning
At WLFS, we believe that everyone can be successful by developing the following attitudes:
- Try new things
- Work hard
- Push yourself
- Understand others
- Don’t give up
These attitudes are frequently highlighted, fostered and promoted throughout school.
Education is a partnership, teachers, pupils and parents
Many people are involved in the physical, emotional and mental development of a child. Schools and teachers play a key role in this process but it is essential that the pupils are full partners in the learning process, and that parents fully understand the role they play too.
At WLFS we aim to involve parents/carers in the following ways:
- Parents are invited to workshops and are given guidance and instruction in the type of activities they can be undertaking to help develop their child’s learning.
- Parents are invited into school for assemblies, celebrations.
- We make use of parent’s expertise to enrich the curriculum.
Curriculum Two Year Rolling Programme
At WLFS, we have mixed year classes so it is essential to operate a two year rolling programme of topics. Themes are chosen to provide coverage of all National Curriculum subjects and to support the development and application of cross-curricular knowledge, skills and understanding.
Summative assessment (assessment of learning) is used to inform attainment, future planning and set targets.
At WLFS, summative assessment consists of the following:
- Foundation Stage Profile
- KS1 SATS
- KS1 Y1 Phonic Screener
- Pre and post assessments: We use ‘cold’ (pre) and ‘hot’ (post) tasks in literacy and mathematics teaching, to provide an assessment of where the children are in their learning, at the start and at the end of a unit of work, to evidence progress and inform both medium and short term planning.
- ‘I Can’ target statements (used to inform end of term assessments in English and Maths).
We use ‘Cold and Hot Tasks’, in both literacy and mathematics teaching. This provides an assessment of where the children are in their learning, at the start of a unit of work - the ‘cold task’, (completed on blue paper) and to evidence progress at the end of a unit of work - the ‘hot task’ (completed on yellow paper).
Recording and Evidence
- Information from on-going teacher assessment together with summative assessments, contribute to the attainment information used to track progress.
At WLFS we ensure that:
- Progress against key learning intention informs future planning.
- Pupils are involved in recording comments on their own work.
- Samples of assessed work exemplify agreed standards and to model success.
Using Assessment Information to Monitor Progress
At WLFS, we use the information to:
- Use data to identify key learning intentions and to set appropriate targets.
- Track progress of individual pupils’.
- Monitor performance of specific groups e.g. Pupil Premium, SEND.
- Monitor year on year trends.
- Use national and local data to provide a comparison with other schools.
Parents need to understand information given to them about their child’s attainment and progress.
At WLFS, we aim to:
- Provide reports that outline strengths and indicate areas for development.
- Provide opportunities for teachers, pupils and parents to talk together.
- Set targets that are shared with parents.
- Allow children to contribute to the reporting process.
- Parents are invited to attend three consultations a year. Parents receive a written report in July, summarising the year’s work and setting targets for the future.
- In addition, parents of reception pupils also receive a summary of the Foundation Stage Profile in July. Year 1 parents receive a report of their child’s performance in the statutory Phonics screening and Year 2 receive a summary of National Curriculum attainment.
SEND (See also SEND Policy)
At WLFS, we believe that every teacher is a teacher of every child, including those with additional needs. The staff work together as a team with collective responsibility to:
- promptly identify and assess needs
- to implement agreed targets and monitor and review pupils’ performance and progress
- to work in partnership with parents/carers and outside agencies
A Graduated Approach to SEND support
The “Graduated Approach” is a four-part cycle of action: ASSESS, PLAN, DO and REVIEW, where each stage is continuously revisited, refined and revised. At the centre of this cycle is the child, parents or carers and class teacher, with the SENCO to advise and support (See SEND Policy for further detailed information).
Many strategies and resources initially recommended for children with specific needs have been adopted as good practise from Nursery to Year 4. These include visual timetables, the use of table top “tool-kits” and the use of ‘Communicate in Print’ symbols alongside text, as well as the introduction of multi-sensory programmes such as Numicon, Talk for Writing, and Read Write Inc. This provides a strong framework to support all children in their learning journey, as well as adding a robust “safety net” additional support for those children with additional needs.
Precision Teaching Technique
At WLFS, we use ‘Precision Teaching’ to provide a quick and easily administered intervention. It is a technique for collecting detailed information on progress and evidences what progress a child is capable of within a specified resource. It also enables the teacher to evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching strategies used.
Precision teaching asks 6 questions:
- Is the child working on the right task?
- Is the child learning?
- Is the child learning quickly enough?
- What can I do if the child is not learning quickly enough?
- When can the child move on to a new skill?
- Is the child retaining their learning?
Class Provision Maps
At WLFS, we use class provision maps to record interventions undertaken for groups and individual pupils. These provision maps outline precise intervention targets and record both entry and exit data. This enables us to measure and review the success of strategies used in relation to outcomes.
Communicate in Print
At WLFS, we use ‘Communicate in Print’ resources to support writing with symbols/pictures as an aid to literacy. This is used in the ARP and integrated into school as evidenced in visual timetables, worksheets for intervention groups and annotated displays.
At WLFS, we develop the use of a mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics.
We use a CPA - Concrete - Pictorial - Abstract approach to teaching mathematics in all key stages, alongside the use of efficient methods.
Objects and pictures are used to represent abstract concepts, essential for achieving mastery. Children are expected to represent the same concepts in a variety of ways as evidence of a mastery approach.
The use of ‘Numicon’ resources supports this approach.
‘Maths Meetings’ are used to focus on communication, using correct mathematical vocabulary and to build confidence in the articulation of mathematical ideas.
We develop the use of ‘Stem Sentences’ to support pupils to articulate mathematical statements.
We use specific ‘Rapid Recall’ resources of calculations across all year groups.
Mathematical reasoning is developed by using a strategy of ‘Explain it, Convince it, Prove it, Use it’.