At Skegness Infant and Junior Academies, we embrace a pedagogy of ‘Personalised Learning’; an approach which expects all children to reach or exceed national expectations, to fulfil their early promise and develop latent potential.
High expectations of progress apply equally to children working above, at, or below age-related expectations, including those who have been identified as having special educational needs. There is an expectation of participation, fulfilment and success; and teaching and learning is characterised by ambitious objectives, challenging personal targets, rapid intervention to keep pupils on trajectory and rigorous assessment to check and maintain pupil progress. There are clear plans to support those who are struggling to maintain trajectory. The teacher’s priority is to support children so that they can keep up with the pace of learning and make good rates of progress.
Traditionally it was expected that teachers would differentiate by task or expectation and many different levels of success were accepted, this approach often ran the risk of lowering expectations. Today, the effective teaching practices at Skegness Infant and Junior Academies sees teachers expecting everyone to succeed by offering higher levels of support or extra challenge for those who need it, so that all pupils can access the learning at the expected year group standard.
Key Foci for Effective Teaching:
1. Quality first teaching • Highly focused lesson design with sharp objectives;
• High demands of child engagement with their learning;
• High levels of interaction for all children;
• Appropriate use of teacher questioning, modelling and explaining;
• Emphasis on learning through dialogue;
• An expectation that children will develop resilience and accept responsibility for their own learning and work independently;
• Regular use of encouragement and praise to motivate children.
2. Target setting
• Individual children’s progress tracked;
• Strengths and weaknesses identified supporting planning and intervention
• Data collected on a regular basis and shared with staff and children;
• Children have regular opportunities to discuss their progress. Teachers actively involve children in setting and reviewing their progress towards their targets;
• Teaching, interventions and revision programmes are adjusted in the light of progress children make;
• Parents and carers regularly are regularly updated on their child’s progress;
• Processes run across the whole academy to ensure consistency and are regularly evaluated by SLT to ensure that the needs of all children are being met.
3. Focussed assessment
• Rigorous assessment and tracking of children’s performance takes place to inform classroom practice allowing children to make good progress and close attainment gaps. We use the PiXL assessment materials during the year to inform future planning in a very bespoke manner.
• Day to day, Periodic and Transitional assessments used effectively;
• Assessment for Learning (AfL) evident across the academy – learning objectives, learning outcomes, success criteria, self and peer evaluation
• Individuals and groups who are not making sufficient progress are identified; • Provision for intervention is mapped according to need; • Detailed plans are put into place; • Learners are enabled to perform beyond the norms expected for their year group where appropriate; • Interventions are evaluated and relevant adjustments are made; • Year group teams regularly meet to discuss current and future interventions engaging in dialogue around the impact of interventions, potential barriers and further actions required. • Use of PiXL supports the delivery of interventions including regular reviews.
5. Learning environment
• Organisation of the classroom/learning environment adapted to the children’s learning needs;
• The use of learning resources and ICT developed to allow children to work independently and successfully;
• Make effective use of other spaces – ‘outdoor classroom’, ICT suite, hall space;
• Displays to be a mixture of celebration of children’s work, supportive resources and information.
• Displays have impact in corridors and class environments and support children learning by acting as prompt or interactive displays to stimulate learning
6. Curriculum organisation
• The curriculum is designed to cater for the needs and interests of a full range of learners including:
➢ Gifted and talented
➢ Learners with learning difficulties, including those with speech, language and communication needs
➢ Learners who are learning English as an additional language
➢ Boys and girls
➢ Children who are in care
➢ Learners with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties
• Flexibility is built into the curriculum organisation and delivery to ensure greater coherence from the children’s perspectives.
7. Extended curriculum
• The academy offers a full range of ‘out of hours’ activities and clubs which enhance and extend the basic curriculum;
• We ensure access for all;
• Parents and carers, as well as the wider community, are involved in extended provision; Access to other services is provided or arranged, including health and social services.
8. Supporting children’s wider needs
• The academy maintains close communication with parents and carers;
• We develop and maintain multi agency links to support vulnerable children;
• Employ an ‘Education Welfare Officer’ and a ‘Family Support Worker’ as points of contact for parents and carers.
We acknowledge that people learn in different ways and we recognise the need to develop pedagogies which enable all children to learn in ways which suit them.
We offer ways for children to learn in different ways including:
• investigation and problem solving;
• open ended tasks;
• research and finding out, with independent access to a range of resources;
• group work, paired work and independent work;
• effective questioning;
• presentation and drama;
• use of IT;
• visitors and educational visits;
• creative activities, designing and making;
• use of multimedia, visual or aural stimulus;
• participation in physical or athletic activity;
• extra-curricular clubs and activities.