Teaching and Learning
At Elaine Primary School, we provide quality learning experiences for all ages and stages of learner. We seek to engage and empower learners by ensuring that the knowledge, skills and values are delivered through rich, memorable learning experiences. We believe that all learners are capable of excellence and ensure that our pupils experience excellence.
In the Early Years, children will learn through a mixture of short structured activities as well as having the opportunity to immerse themselves in active and creative experiences in both the inside and outdoor provision. We know our youngest children learn best through hand-on experiences with their peers. Our quality learning environment allows them to have early learning experiences through play-based collaborative interactions and exciting provocations, such as digging for treasure in the large sandpit, exploring alchemy in the potion station or developing a curiosity for the natural world in the forest school.
In Key Stage 1, we ensure a secure start to formal learning by carefully planned transitions which allow children to seamlessly access independent learning. Through active sessions that promote oracy, the children access our broad and balanced curriculum through a range of trips, visits and first-hand experiences.
In Key Stage 2, the children at Elaine develop their maturity and character skills in readiness for a start to their secondary education. Our pupils are regarded as confident, articulate citizens who have an awareness of their ability to contribute positively to their community and the wider world.
Placing relationships at the heart of our school, we ensure that collaborative learning experiences allow children to master skills and develop character. Through carefully crafted learning sequences, we ensure that children are engaged in active learning, promoting problem solving, making connections, debating, reasoning and evaluating; throughout their day, the children at Elaine Primary School will be actively engaged in their learning allowing them to build a deeper connection to their learning as well as building relationships with their peers.
In order to create a deep connection to the learning, all of our well-presented classrooms are consistently and purposefully organised to represent all curriculum areas. Topic tables, doorways to learning and learning walls are updated termly, contextualising the learning for pupils and provoking critical thinking with curious artefacts, questions and images linked to the unit of learning.
Oracy is the ability to articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage with others through spoken language. In school, oracy is a powerful tool for learning; by teaching students to become more effective speakers and listeners we empower them to better understand themselves, each other and the world around them.
Through a high quality oracy education students learn through talk and to talk. This is when they develop and deepen their subject knowledge and understanding through talk in the classroom, which has been planned, designed, modelled, scaffolded and structured to enable children to learn the skills needed to talk effectively.
Growth Mindset & Character Skills
We recognise that the relationship between success and soft skills is equally as important as the tangible skills and knowledge gained from a quality education. With this in mind, we ensure that Character Skills are explicitly taught, providing children with the skills needed to be successful members of the local and global community in the 21st century.
The five overarching skills, Wonder, Integrity, Leadership, Relationships, and Mindset are woven into lessons to ensure pupils develop strength of character through our values based curriculum. We believe that all children have the capacity to achieve and actively teach a growth mindset, encouraging resilience and a can do attitude.
At Elaine, research in action ensures that leadership at all levels is innovative and inspirational, supporting a learning-led culture across the school/partnership. Teachers work collaboratively to drive innovation by linking current research to school priorities to bring about positive change on teaching and learning.
We develop practical strategies to improve quality of teaching in all year groups; deepen teachers’ subject knowledge; expand purposeful application of pedagogical theory and direct training programmes based on evidence to ensure higher quality lessons. By framing teachers as researchers and promoting clear and rational practices, research-led learning permeates school culture to promote positive outcomes for all.
The principles that underpin our assessment system are:
- Every child can achieve: teachers at Elaine have the mindset: What do I need to do next to enable a child in my class to achieve?'
- Learners will be assessed against Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) for each subject
- Well planned, teaching sequences across the curriculum will be carefully scaffolded drawing on the National Curriculum objectives, leading to assessment of the KPI's
- Children will make age-appropriate progress; the focus will be on moving learners through each year group at the same rate to ensure learners leave each year group at age-related expectations
In order to be ‘secondary ready’, children need to meet statutory assessment judgements at the end of KS2. We use KPI’s to assess outcomes for children at the end of each curriculum year, for example:
A child that has achieved all the KPI’s set out for Year 3 for English would be said to be working at the expected level for English at the end of Year 3. A child achieving half of the mathematics KPI’s for Year 5 would be classed as working towards the age-related expectation for maths.
- Ongoing assessment in lessons through mini-plenaries, carefully planned questioning and reasoning opportunities (including the use of learning reflection postcards and depth prompts) will be effectively used to ensure the correct scaffolding is built into lessons to ensure all children achieve
- Children will know what they are learning and more importantly, why; they will become increasingly confident when discussing their learning (including their useful learning mistakes)
- There will be regular feedback, both written and verbal, between the teacher and learner based on the Inspire Partnership Feedback Toolkit
- A KPI document allows the teacher and learner to know what has been achieved and the child's next learning steps
- Triangulation of data, evidence in books and pupil voice will be used to ascertain each individual child's progress
- Children who have achieved all KPI's for their year group will not move onto the next year groups curriculum, but instead will focus on deepening their learning and applying it in different contexts
Children in Nursery and Reception will continue to be assessed against the prime and specific areas of learning in the EYFS profile. Assessments will be based on observation of daily activities and events. At the end of Reception, for each Early Learning Goal teachers will judge whether a child is meeting the level of development expected at the end of the Reception year.