• Year 4 Classroom
  • Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

Outstanding Teaching & Learning

It is our agreed expectation that overall the quality of teaching in our school is outstanding. We therefore strive to consistently demonstrate that:

  • Our planning is always based on pupils prior skills, knowledge and understanding and is appropriately pitched to meet the more challenging needs of the new Primary Curriculum. Lessons planned are engaging and reflect a broad and balanced teaching approach.
  • Almost all of our children make rapid and sustained progress.
  • Our pupils learn exceptionally well across the curriculum.
  • Our learning time is used very well.
  • The challenging tasks we set encourage high levels of independence in our pupils. 
  • We use varied and imaginative teaching strategies, together with support and challenge that accurately matches our pupils’ needs.
  • Our systematic, accurate and effective ‘assessment for learning’ processes respond to, and anticipate individual pupil needs.
  • We systematically and effectively check understanding through the lesson, which has a notable impact on the quality of learning.
  • Our marking and feedback policy ensures that children are supported and challenged to work towards personalised next steps within all core subjects. Teacher marking is of a consistently high quality.
  • Our learners have high levels of participation, enthusiasm and are confident, resilient learners. We encourage independence.
  • Our Hammond Values are embedded in teaching and learning in order to encourage teamwork, courage, resilience, perseverance, fairness and respect.
  • Teachers have excellent subject knowledge that is regularly updated through timely and effective training.
  • We take every appropriate opportunity to develop, and highlight, cross curricular links within core subject teaching.
  • Every person in our school has consistently high expectations for all pupils.
  • We use our resources including ICT with imagination and good professional judgment.
  • We set appropriate, challenging and regular homework which makes a very effective contribution to pupils learning. The homework is differentiated, but allows children to choose their own level of challenge.
  • Additional adults in the classroom are used very effectively to support and challenge children throughout the whole teaching sequence.

Expectations for Attainment and Progress

It is our agreed expectation that overall achievement in our school is outstanding. We therefore strive to consistently ensure that:

Almost all of our pupils, including those with special educational needs, are making rapid and sustained progress in most subjects over time, given their starting points.

  • Our pupils learn exceptionally well and as a result acquire knowledge quickly and in depth. They are developing their understanding rapidly in a wide range of different subjects across the curriculum, including those in the areas of learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • Our pupils develop and apply a wide range of skills to great effect, including reading, writing, communication and mathematical skills across the curriculum that will ensure they are exceptionally well prepared for the next stage in their education.
  • The standards of attainment of almost all groups of pupils by the end of Key Stage Two are at least in line with national averages for all pupils with many above average.

Expectations of progress and attainment

Hammond Academy uses an assessment framework linked to the new Primary Curriculum Expectations. What is important within this assessment framework is that children’s next steps are identified through an on-going assessment process and this information is used to move their learning on, rather than just being a measure of academic achievement. For the academic year 2015- 2016 the children’s attainment is measured using the following assessment framework:

Early Years Foundation Stage

Nursery

30 -50 B

30-50B+

30-50W

30-50W+

30-50S

30-50S+

B means beginning. At the start of the year most children will be beginning to access the Nursery Early Years curriculum expectations. However some will enter the year group at a lower or higher level and will make at least expected progress from this starting point.

W means within. By the middle of the Spring term all children should be working within year group expectations and many may be working at the higher W+ level.

S means secure. Children are secure in all the objectives for their current year group. This is the expectation for all children at the end of the Summer term.

S+ some children may exceed age related expectations for the year group and be working on deepening their understanding of aspects of the curriculum.

 

Reception

40 -60 B

40-60B+

40-60W

40-60W+

40-60S

40-60S+

B means beginning. At the start of the year most children will be beginning to access the Early Years curriculum expectations. However some will enter the year group at a lower or higher level and will make at least expected progress from this starting point.

W means within. By the middle of the Spring term all children should be working within year group expectations and many may be working at the higher W+ level.

S means secure. Children are secure in all the objectives for their current year group. This is the expectation at the end of the Summer term.

S+ some children may exceed age related expectations for the year group and be working on deepening their understanding of aspects of the curriculum.

During KS1 and KS2 the children will be assessed within their year group using the following assessment criteria. The number that will appear in front of the letter equates to their current year group. For example a Year 1 child could be assessed at 1w+. Parent information given at different times of the year will reflect whether a child is below age related expectations, working within age related expectations and working above age related expectations. Our expectation is that a large majority of children should be secure within year group curriculum expectations at the end of the year. We would expect that the majority of children would at least maintain progress year on year and move through school maintaining or exceeding a secure level year on year. Children who enter a year group below curriculum expectations will be supported to make greater than expected progress to ‘catch up’

KS1 and KS2

B

B+

W

W+

S

S+

B means beginning. At the start of the year most children will be beginning to access the year group curriculum expectations. However some will enter the year group at a higher level and make their progress from this starting point.

W means within. By the middle of the Spring term all children should be working within year group expectations and many may be working at the higher W+ level.

S means secure. Children are secure in all the objectives for their current year group. This is the expectation at the end of the Summer term.

S+ some children may exceed expectations for the year group and be working on ‘digging deeper’ into curriculum objectives to achieve a level of ‘mastery’.

Learning Environments

It is our agreed expectation that the learning environment in our school is outstanding. We therefore strive to consistently ensure that:

  • We create a stimulating learning environment where our pupils have the ability to excel through being able to refer to on-going learning prompts and highly effective working walls.
  • Our classrooms are organised learning environments where children can access resources effectively and become independent learners. All resources are clearly labelled to enable independent access.
  • Our displays are regularly changed to reflect children’s learning and progress as well as to aid them in their learning.
  • Our displays contain a mix of teaching aids and high quality children’s work and always relate to current topics. The pupils’ work is display mounted with a clear learning objective and context for a title.
  • Within the classroom there are word supports for the children in the form of child generated wow words, openers and connectives.
  • Every child has a visible writing target card that is accessible for each lesson.
  • Our reading areas have a selection of books and are comfortable and interesting.
  • All of our classrooms have blue pocket charts and Speed Sounds charts to support phonics and spelling across the school. These are updated to support children’s on going learning.
  • Our engaging role play areas in the classroom link to current topics and have a range of materials within them to facilitate children exploring different aspects of learning.
  • The behaviour ladder is accessible to all children and is consistently applied across the school.

Guided Learning

  • We believe that targeted small group guided learning supports pupil progress and enhances attainment. Each guided learning session has a set structure that enables the teacher to undertake a learning check followed by a teaching opportunity. Progress is checked throughout the session following independent working time. The next step in learning is always signposted at the end of the session. Evidence of guided learning is recorded in the children’s books.
  • This occurs everyday in both maths and literacy lessons during the independent learning time. Groups of children are identified through formative and summative assessments and are recorded in each class teacher’s assessment book. 
  • Teachers plan to work with these children in a small group on a separate learning objective in order to correct any misconception, reinforce learning or extend the more able pupils.   
  • Following guided learning, if the teacher is confident that the child no longer requires support with this area of development they are highlighted off the AFL grid in the assessment book. The spread of children receiving guided learning is recorded in a separate tally to ensure a fair coverage however some children below national norms, off track or have not made expected progress will have more sessions.
  • Children are given the opportunity to act as ‘Excellent Experts’ during the lesson in order to coach and support other children. 

Learning to support and challenge all pupils

At Hammond Academy we ensure that children are supported and challenged in all aspects of the lesson. By frequently using teacher assessment within teaching we ensure that no pupil’s learning is ‘capped’ and that children are given the opportunity to choose their own level of challenge throughout the lesson. Children who find some aspects of learning more difficult are provided with carefully chosen support resources and, if needed, additional adult support.

The learning opportunities are carefully considered so that variation in task is not purely based on outcome or quantity of work produced.

  • At least three separate learning tasks are specifically planned using assessment book information, but these can be adapted depending on the needs of the children within the lesson.
  • Higher order questioning is used throughout teaching to scaffold and extend learning. Blooms taxonomy question stems ensure that questioning is varied and challenging.
  • Different learning opportunities can include:
  •  Variation in the method of pupil response
  • Use of pupil generated success criteria that challenge and support different groups and individuals
  • A range of higher order targeted questions
  • Use of regularly changed talking partners
  • Use of a wide variety of media to present information
  • Self-selected resources
  • Additional adult support
  • Self and peer directed challenge and extension activities.

Marking, Assessment and Feedback

The term ‘assessment’ refers to all those activities undertaken by teachers and by their students in assessing themselves. This provides information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged.

Formative Assessment (assessment for learning)

  • This is an on-going assessment process that happens every day. Teachers assess children’s understanding throughout the lesson and during the marking process to determine appropriate next steps and to give effective feedback. They adjust their teaching rapidly and effectively to ensure that children make sustained progress.

Summative Assessment (assessment of learning)

This form of assessment takes place half termly and provides teachers with a system of measuring attainment against age related expectations for the time of year. It can be used to communicate assessment information to parents.  It is not, however, a purely test based assessment, but instead a careful judgment based on a child’s ongoing portfolio of work.

When using both forms of assessment teachers use a range of strategies, which can include -

Pupil conversations within lessons.

  • Use of whiteboards to enable children to share learning with the teacher
  • Lollipop sticks for selection of children.
  • Child generated success criteria
  • A ‘traffic light’ child self-assessment linked to the success criteria for the lesson. In KS2 this is backed up with a sentence from the child explaining how they found the learning within the lesson.
  • Teacher marking following a ‘traffic light’ system linked to the success criteria, which feeds into the assessment book APP/AFL grids.
  • Optional end of term tests in maths
  • A thorough three day edit and improve writing process is used to support the children in assessing their own and a peer’s work. This is highly effective in generating improvements and the next steps for learning.
  • Use of Happy Handwriting chart to formally level handwriting.

Marking

The teacher marks all books daily using ticks and crosses to indicate correct or incorrect responses. In all subjects spelling and grammar omissions appropriate to the child’s age are corrected and the child then practices up to three spelling corrections the next day.  These are re-marked by the teacher. In addition books are marked on a rota system to enable a personalised teacher response at least twice a week in English and maths. This response includes praise and a ‘next step’ target that is completed by the child the next day in a timetabled feedback for learning session. In this session the teacher has the opportunity to work with individuals or groups to further explain the learning – particularly if the child needed more support to achieve the learning objective. Next step targets are also marked by the teacher and all areas for development noted in the marking are annotated daily in the teacher assessment book.