Teaching & Learning
Teaching and Learning at The Pines
Education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to think.
At The Pines, we believe that our approach to Teaching and Learning is critical to the success and life-chances of our children. Whilst ensuring that the National Curriculum is covered, we recognise the importance of making learning relevant, accessible and engaging for all children. We want our children to develop an intrinsic motivation, to love learning and to have a thirst for knowledge.
Our key aims are to:
- provide a broad and balanced curriculum that is engaging and relevant for all
- provide Quality First Teaching in all subject areas and year groups
- ensure our Curriculum Drivers are the core motivators for all Teaching and Learning
- meet the needs of our pupils and prepare them for their future education and lives as global citizens
- make effective use of assessment information so it has an impact on learning and progress
- ensure that curriculum decisions are based on latest educational research, are for the benefit of the children and are made in a way that keeps workload manageable
Other aims can be found in our Teaching and Learning policy.
Teaching and Learning is the core purpose of The Pines School and we interpret this in its broadest sense, going beyond simply considering the academic standards. We recognise that sustained improvements come from improving the quality of teaching and learning and also that children learn best when they feel happy, safe and valued and when they are motivated by their lessons. Our approach to Teaching and Learning has these considerations at its heart.
Teaching and Learning Principles
As a whole staff at The Pines, we have agreed the features of Quality First Teaching that we believe result in high standards of teaching and learning. These have been developed in phase teams so that all staff have a shared understanding of what high quality Teaching and Learning looks like in their phase.
At The Pines, we have developed our own curriculum cycle for children in Years 1 to 6. This has been carefully devised to include all National Curriculum objectives in KS1 and KS2 (for Science, History, Geography, Music, Computing, Art and DT) and is also based around the priorities identified within our four Curriculum Drivers. Further information on our Curriculum Drivers can be found here: https://www.thepinesschool.org.uk/curriculum-drivers/
All our curriculum units ensure that concepts are covered in a logical order with appropriate progression of knowledge and skills. Each unit has a 'big question' as its focal point and, by the end of each unit of learning, children have covered a variety of learning to address the question. Our teaching in English lessons links to our curriculum units wherever possible and key texts are carefully selected for their relevance to cross-curricular learning as well as to stimulate English learning. Some subjects, such as Maths and PE, are taught discretely and do not usually link to the curriculum units. Further information can be found on individual subject webpages and on our curriculum overview page: https://www.thepinesschool.org.uk/curriculum-overview/
In Early Years, learning is focused around supporting children to develop their cognitive, behavioural, physical and emotional capabilities to ensure they have the foundations on which to build the rest of their education. Through adult-led teaching and interactions as well as child-initiated play, opportunities are provided for children to develop in the seven identified areas of learning and development that form the basis of the Early Years Framework.
At The Pines, we recognise that a child's surroundings, as well as the resources available to them, hugely enhance the learning experience. Classrooms are well-presented and tidy with resources easily accessible. We are fortunate to have a large number of display boards that are used to celebrate completed work, provide information linked to current learning and, in the case of 'Working Walls' provide an adaptable reference point throughout a unit of work. Vocabulary is displayed as a priority across all subject areas and Maths 'working walls' include worked examples and calculations.
We recognise the importance of enhancing children's learning experiences by providing focus days or weeks linked to different curriculum areas or national/international events. We welcome visitors into our school and value the contribution they make to focus days/weeks and we also support charitable work by having Children in Need, Sport/Comic Relief and other days throughout the year.
Continuous Provision and Self-Led Learning
In Early Years and Key Stage 1, our approach to teaching and learning is through continuous provision, enabling children to benefit from both adult-led teaching sessions and a wide range of independent learning opportunities. Across the remainder of the school, we are developing our use of Self-Led Learning days where children have greater choice and flexibility around their learning. Further information on both these approaches can be found here: https://www.thepinesschool.org.uk/continuous-provision/
Assessment and Feedback
Effective feedback is an important part of Teaching and Learning and we recognise that feedback can be provided in a variety of different ways. It has the greatest impact when given during lessons or immediately after the learning has taken place. The sole purpose of feedback should be to further children's learning. Our approach to Feedback and Marking can be found in our policy below.
Assessment is an integral part of Teaching and Learning and the main purpose is to inform teachers of the current abilities of the children they are teaching so they can address any misunderstandings and can adjust future planning accordingly.
Most assessment is carried out informally during lessons and is a result of observations, discussions and the learning process. This formative assessment is used 'in the moment' to support children's learning, adapt teaching and plan subsequent lessons. Summative assessments are used to assess children's learning and understanding over a longer period of time. The outcomes of the tests used from Year 1 upwards are used to track children's progress and to inform teaching during the following term of academic year.
Children in Reception complete the Reception Baseline Assessment and then in Year 1 take the statutory Phonics Screening Check. In Key Stage 2, children take the Multiplication Tables Check in Year 4 and then statutory SATs tests in Year 6.
Further information can be found on the assessment page of the website and in our assessment policy.
Please open the following documents to find out more about Teaching and Learning at The Pines.
At The Pines, our Teaching and Learning centres around our preparing our children for the future and ensuring they are ready for the learning opportunities they will have at secondary school and beyond.
Our high quality Teaching and Learning and carefully orchestrated Curriculum Offer ensures that:
- the proportion of our children who achieve or exceed the expected standards for their age across all subjects is at least in line with local and national data
- our children have positive attitudes towards learning
- our children develop increasing independence, resilience and self-motivation
- we provide children with the necessary cultural capital to be successful in the future
Teaching and Learning is monitored by all leaders in school and professional development is offered to ensure that all staff have the opportunity to improve and develop their own skills.