Teaching and Learning
Our Teaching and Learning Toolkit:
At St James Church of England Primary School, we ensure that all pupils reach their full potential and gain the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare them for the next stage of their education. Our bespoke 'Teaching and Learning Toolkit' provides a toolkit of evidence-informed strategies and techniques that strive to ensure high-quality teaching and learning takes place in all classroom settings and meets the Eductation Endowment Foundation recommendations.
An underlying assumption is that across our school, before an educational professional can implement any research, the complexities of our individual school community (referred to as ‘social capital’ incorporating the innate factors of functioning social groups (Webb, 2008)), which are personal to our school and its local community) have been considered. This ensures that our staff are not just deploying ‘what works’ (Biesta, 2010) solely due to contextualised evidence-based results; instead adopting an 'evidence informed approach' (Brown and Zhang, 2016), whereby staff can utilise appropriate evidence in conjunction with practitioner autonomy to deploy the most effective teaching and learning strategies.
Described by Lekha Sharma (2020) as an 'art not a science’, teaching can be defined as engagement with learners to enable their understanding and application of knowledge, concepts and processes. It includes the design, content selection, delivery and assessment of carefully sequenced material. Comparatively, learning can be identified as the activity or process of gaining this knowledge through appropriate study, practice or experience.
Before effective 'teaching and learning' can indeed take place, it is vital to note that careful consideration has been placed upon successful curriculum design, defined as how ‘knowledge can be structured as a narrative over time.’ Each individual subject’s curriculum is planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught previously and sequentially links to future learning. Subject leaders have ensured that the subject curriculum contains content which has been identified as most useful and that this content is taught in a logical progression.
With the end point of our curriculum, how all of our pupils are able to "know more and be able to do more" (OFSTED, 2019), our evolving teaching and learning toolkit provides an evidence-informed approach to ensure that this pre-determined knowledge becomes sticky and is effectively retained over time for all learners. Below is the introudction to our toolkit which is then followed by our six principles of effective teaching and learning.
Our six core principles are the central components to effective teaching and learning, allowing for professional autonomy amongst staff. Our highly trained staff are able to decipher how these principles are best implemented to present subject and lesson specific materials in the most effective way to meet the needs of all their students.
Each of the six principles are fully explained, such as the example of questioning below.
Once staff understand the principle, a number of 'WalkThru' strategies are suggested and explained. Implementation of these techniques are supported through extensive informal and formal coaching cycles which take place across the year. Shown below is the example of questioning, withIn designing the content for the Teaching WalkThru, the professional development focusses upon strategies that commonly offer solutions to tackling students' learning problems. This is a purposeful approach to supporting both teaching and learning as each WalkThru is generic and context free. Therefore, each WalkThru is not a rigid checklist, instead a reference point for deliberate reflection. With this underlying professional autonomy, teachers are expected to ADAPT (Attempt, Develop, Adapt, Practise, Test) the WalkThrus so that they can be successfully utilised within their classroom. One questioning example is cold calling below.
Standardised Lesson Format:
Our QUEST lesson structure is utilised across many subejcts (including History, Geography and Science) to support children's learning.
Continued Professional Development:
To support our teaching and learning, St James support staff in continued professional development. As LDST are proud to be one of the delivery partners for the Church of England NPQ Programmes, many staff have taken part in the NQP programmes, including NPQSL, NPQLT and NQPLL. This commitment to our staff's professional development ensures that staff:
- Gain a nationally recognised qualification;
- Learn from a rich programme centred on evidence-based practice;
- Are able to transfer your learning as and when you change schools;
- Complete learning in a flexible way- both virtually and in regional face to face groups
For more information read: https://www.ldst.org.uk/npq-delivery-partner/