Teaching and Learning

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

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 Connect
  • Change Assemble
  • Replace Classify
  • Add Compare
  • Arrange 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

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:

Learning Intentions 

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
  • Concentrate
  • Push yourself
  • Imagine
  • Improve
  • 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.