Teaching and Learning Policy



Responsible People named in this policy

Chair of Governors Felicity Moore

Head Teacher Tracy Kent

Deputy Headteacher Sarah Collins

Date: January 2020


What makes Downs View School Unique?

U – united as a team, pastoral support for all stakeholders

N- nurturing needs across the school

 I -innovative and creative

Q-quality first teaching

U-understanding and inclusive

E-engaging and full of excitement and energy for all


Mission statement:


At Downs View Infant School we inspire curiosity through:

•       Our innovative, creative and personalised curriculum

•       Providing a safe, stimulating and nurturing environment

•       Experiences which develop individuality and self-belief

•       Empowering children to flourish within our school and wider community building a love for lifelong learning.


The School’s creative, exciting and enquiry based curriculum develops children’s curiosity, a love of learning in preparation for their future.


At Downs View Infant School we believe that good quality first teaching means effective learning and that this is what we should be striving for in every lesson. Continued and sustained improvement is dependent upon improving the quality of teaching and learning that is taking place on a daily basis. Our Teaching and Learning policy aims to ensure that the children at our school are provided with high quality learning experiences that lead to a consistently high level of pupil achievement. It sets out clear expectations, provides a standard uniform approach, can be easily monitored and ensures equal opportunity for all of our pupils.


We expect every teacher to deliver good or outstanding lessons –

every child deserves this!


By adopting a whole school approach to teaching and learning across the school we aim:


  • To provide consistency of teaching and learning across our school
  • To enable teachers to teach as effectively as possible through support and CPD
  • To enable children to learn as efficiently as possible
  • To give children the skills they need to be lifelong learners
  • To provide an inclusive education for all
  • To learn from each other through the adoption of a collaborative, enquiry based approach to teaching and learning, where good/outstanding practice is shared


At our school, we provide both high quality teaching and a rich and varied learning environment which allow children to develop their skills and abilities and to be the best they can be at the time.


Our curriculum provides opportunities for children to:

  • to become confident, resourceful, enquiring and independent learners;
  • to be creative and enable their talents to flourish
  • to see all learning as ‘real’ learning, providing opportunities for children to learn life skills which prepare children for the future.
  • to develop their self-esteem and help them build positive relationships with other people;
  • to develop both the children’s self-respect and ability to respect the ideas, attitudes, values and feelings of others;
  • show respect for all cultures and, in so doing, to promote positive attitudes towards other people;
  • enable children to understand their community and help them feel valued as part of this community;
  • to learn in a safe environment where mistakes can be made and learnt from.


Effective learning

We recognise that children learn in many different ways, and when planning our lessons we ensure wherever possible that there is a Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic element to each of our lessons. Effective learning results in:-


  1. Knowing you have succeeded
  2. Feeling you can do more
  3. Explaining what you have learned
  4. Applying it to other situations
  5. Teaching it to someone else
  6. Feeling good about yourself


We encourage children to take responsibility for their own learning, to be involved as far as possible in reviewing the way they learn, and to reflect on how they learn – what helps them learn and what makes it difficult for them to learn.


Effective teaching

It is every teacher’s responsibility to develop and improve the basic skills of each child. Effective learning only arises from effective teaching. As it is the expectation of the school and the Governing Body that all lessons are good or better, teachers are actively encouraged to develop their practice to ensure maximum learning for their classes. When teaching, we focus on motivating and inspiring the children and building on their skills, knowledge and understanding of the curriculum. For effective teaching to take place, there are a number of ‘ingredients’ that we feel are needed. Whilst it is impossible to contain all of these elements in every lesson, we believe that our lessons must contain a number of these listed below:-


  • A well prepared personalised plan which has been written consistently for all classes within a year group but has been adapted for individuals within each class
  • Delivery of a creative curriculum which allows children to find links between different subjects
  • Ensuring continuity progression and coverage of the National Curriculum/EYFS Curriculum, providing a mastery curriculum for all
  • A clear link to previous and future learning
  • Children are given opportunities to actively pursue aspects of their teacher directed learning in child initiated learning time
  • A clear Learning Objective which is both shared with the children and referred to throughout the lesson
  • Steps to Success or Success Criteria developed with the children.
  • Appropriate challenge for all children
  • Clear differentiation to enable all pupils to access learning and foster the involvement of all children
  • Teacher and teaching assistant modelling
  • High quality questioning which is differentiated and used frequently and appropriately
  • A hook at the beginning of a lesson to fully engage pupils
  • Inspires awe and wonder for children
  • Positive interactions between teacher and pupil, teaching assistant and pupil, pupil and pupil and evidence of co-operative learning
  • Pace which is varied according to accurate assessment for learning within the lesson
  • A review of previous learning at the beginning of the lesson and a review of learning within the lesson during a plenary
  • Regular feedback to enhance learning and address misconceptions
  • The use of ICT
  • Assessment for Learning present in all aspects of the lesson where the teacher uses recall and reflection and adapts teaching to meet needs within the lesson and within a sequence of lessons
  • Enthusiastic delivery
  • Elements of Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic learning
  • Consistent classroom management following the school behaviour policy
  • Effective use of additional adults
  • Learning environment used to extend the curriculum
  • Use of the outdoors
  • Peer and independent learning opportunities


We base our teaching on our knowledge of the children’s attainment against the expected standards and differentiate tasks accordingly to provide challenge for each child’s level of ability. When planning work for children with Additional Educational Needs or Gifted and Talented or more able pupils, we give due regard to information contained on the provision map. We have high expectations of all children, and we aim for their work at this school to be of the highest possible standard.

We set targets for the children in each academic year and we share these targets with both children and their parents. We review the progress of each child termly and Pupil Progress Meetings are used to discuss with senior leadership team members, the progress of individuals and the whole class.


Recognising the importance of efficient use of staff to foster pupil progress, we deploy Teaching Assistants as effectively as possible. Sometimes they work with individual children and sometimes they work with small groups. We also do all we can to support our staff in the further development of their skills through support and CPD, so that they can continually improve their practice.


The Learning Environment

The surroundings in which children learn can greatly influence their academic performance at school. The environment should be an extension of the curriculum. The  school’s presentation should always be of a high standard to inspire all staff and children. Classrooms and learning environment make pupils feel that their achievements and how they are perceived is important.

Across our school, we aim to ensure that all classrooms, group learning areas and whole school areas are spaces that everyone can use and be proud of.


  • All areas must be kept tidy and organised- resources clearly labelled and stored appropriately
  • Surfaces to be used as extensions of the curriculum
  • Displays to be interactive, stimulating and interesting- high quality displays through the school to extend learning. They must be a learning resource and should be language rich with questions to challenge children’s thinking and develop vocabulary
  • Classrooms must be bright but not overwhelming, well organised learning spaces, free from clutter. Pupils should be encouraged take on responsibility for ensuring their classroom is a pleasant and safe place to learn
  • Pupils need to know how to access resources and respect the environment
  • Pupils are taught to respect equipment and resources
  • Book areas need to invite children to read and enjoy book
  • Role play areas should be changed regularly and give opportunities for imaginary play which is relevant to the topic
  • Doorways to classrooms are decorative and link to the Year group topic. These are changed termly


Routines and Rules

Each of our teachers makes a special effort to establish good working relationships with all children in the class. We treat the children with respect. We treat them fairly and give them equal opportunity to take part in class activities. To help to create an effective environment for learning, all our teachers follow the behaviour policy and all learning policies. We set and agree with children the class code of conduct and expect our pupils to comply with these rules that we jointly devise. We praise children for their efforts and, by so doing, we help to build positive attitudes towards school life and learning in general. If children misbehave, we follow the guidelines for sanctions as outlined in our School’s Behaviour Policy.


To be effective, the class code of conduct / rules are:

  • Relevant, agreed by the children and clearly understood
  • fair and consistent
  • realistic and positive
  • kept to a minimum but enforced


All rules should result in the children knowing the boundaries of behaviour and should be set within the terms of the Behaviour Policy.



Recognising the importance of celebrating achievement, effort and progress, we ensure that the children receive:

  • verbal or written praise by teachers, peers, Head teacher and parents;
  • work displayed in class and around school
  • opportunities to perform or share;
  • positive notes or comments in their home/school record


There is also a weekly achievement assembly where children are chosen to receive rewards for reading, being active, manners in the dinner hall, good behaviour and attendance. Twice a year there are ‘Downs View has Talent’ assemblies where children audition and perform their talent to the rest of the school and their parents.  Class assemblies take place three times a year to parents for Key Stage 1 pupils to enable further celebration.  In term 5/6 EYFS present their achievements in the same way. Book look days, weekly newsletters and Open Evenings also celebrate the achievements of our pupils.




Role of Parents

Parents have a responsibility for ensuring that:


  • Their children attend regularly and punctually
  • Support the school’s ‘Good Behaviour’ policy
  • They participate in discussions concerning their child’s progress and being realistic about their abilities, offering encouragement and praise
  • They support and address their child’s learning targets at home, understanding and reflecting with their child the progress which he/she is making.
  • They share and show an interest in what their child is learning
  • Attend school workshops and information sessions about the curriculum
  • Support their child with home learning and read and learn phonics regularly,



  1. The Role of Governors

Our Governors determine, support, and review the school policy on Teaching and Learning. In particular they:


  • support the use of appropriate teaching strategies by allocating resources effectively;
  • ensure that the school buildings and premises are best used to support successful teaching and learning;
  • monitor teaching strategies in the light of Health and Safety regulations;
  • monitor how effective teaching and learning strategies are in terms of raising pupil attainment;
  • ensure that Staff Development and Performance Management policies promote good quality teaching;
  • monitor the effectiveness of the school’s teaching and learning policies by receiving reports from subject leaders and the Head teacher’s report to Governors as well as a review of the in-service training sessions attended by our staff.


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