I wish I could tell you how long it took to pull together this video but since I didn’t do it I can’t. Thanks to Liz Horne, Assistant Head teacher, who spent hours and hours on it; we’ve brought alive our Teaching, Assessment & Learning Policy.
The video is for use with staff across the Trust, those already with us and those joining, to help embed our collective approach to improving further the quality of our teaching. It’s interesting to note what is there – planning and assessment frameworks, a focus on the learning, an approach to mindset, what we believe – and what it is not. No detailed instructions on how to teach or what strategies to use. These rightly sit with the class room teacher who is responsible for reflecting on the efficacy of what s/he does; the approaches taken needed to be viewed through the lens of impact on pupils’ progress..
For those who prefer to read rather than watch, below is the transcript:
The Blessed Edward Bamber Catholic Multi Academy Trust believes that all children and young people are gifted and talented in their own unique ways. Each is capable of being successful in their learning. The Trust will strive for excellence within teaching and learning, supported by assessment processes, to enhance pupils’ life chances.
The Trust will remain true to its Christian roots by prioritising the development of the whole child as part of an education for wisdom through which our young people will be enabled to make enriching choices in their lives, for themselves and others. The hallmarks of our pupils will be their respect for people particularly those who are disadvantaged; a depth of knowledge and understanding; a love of and desire for further learning and the ability to benefit society through their positive contribution.
We believe teaching is enhanced by informed collaborative planning and evaluation using teachers’ strong subject and pedagogical knowledge. Our teaching is based on high expectations of what each pupil can achieve and occurs within an orderly class room environment. These processes are enhanced by professional development focused on improving progress and outcomes for pupils.
Our common collaborative planning focuses primarily on the key concepts, models, laws and great works within a subject including how to teach common misconceptions and how pupils tend to approach, think about and learn the subject. That is, our planning and teaching will focus on the best that has been thought or said or done.
Recognising intelligence is malleable, open to change over time; our teaching is based on high expectations of what each pupil can achieve. We define excellence, using specific, extensive and challenging learning intentions and success criteria, exemplified for teachers with pre-planned assessments and pupils’ work. By constructing learning milestones & end points carefully we can structure & sequence our teaching programme into coherent learning pathways to be taught to pupils.
Teaching is enhanced by professional development focused on improving progress and outcomes for pupils. As such, teachers require feedback from colleagues and from assessment data on key aspects of their pedagogy that is highly effective as well as aspects which require further development. The feedback and data supported by research, including opportunities for teachers to engage in lesson study or research communities, help develop expertise.
Assessment must support teaching and promote learning by helping close the gap between a pupil’s current and the expected learning. The use of subject and age specific assessments will help provide information which is meaningful to teachers, pupils and parents. Target ranges, set at the upper range of what is achievable, and identified next steps in learning help raise aspiration and encourage pupils to work hard.
Through analysing assessments and acting on the information provided, teachers should seek to close the gap between a pupil’s current learning and that which is expected; re-teaching or providing targeted feedback for pupils to act on as and when required. Any gaps in learning are best addressed close to the point of first teaching. The analysis of an assessment may also be used to inform the further development of schemes of learning and future improvements in teaching.
Meaningful and manageable assessment involves ascertaining information, at a grain size appropriate to the subject and age of the pupils, which is capable of being analysed and acted on to further learning and to improve teaching.
Learning involves the systematic development of knowledge. To learn pupils will be required to think hard about what they are learning and respond with perseverance to feedback. Pupils will need to take responsibility for becoming increasingly independent and interdependent in their learning. Enriching relationships between pupils and staff are required to support and enhance the learning journey.
An orderly class room environment provides the basis for engaging pupils in challenging work that will require them to think and work hard. Increasingly taking control of their learning understanding that their hard work and willingness to stick at a task in order to achieve their learning goal is crucial to their future success. Pupils’ mental toughness will be enhanced through personal and social development alongside class room approaches that will support pupils with particularly low confidence or who can struggle when faced with challenges by providing targeted support.
With increasing mental toughness, deeper knowledge and understanding and a love of and desire for further learning we all will become increasingly academic buoyant and able to cope with challenging work and bounce back from disappointments seeing them as a new opportunity to learn.