Teaching and Learning Policy Statement

Context

At Rye College, all our teachers are committed to ensure every student succeeds and thrives. To secure bright futures for all of our students, teachers must use the best pedagogical approaches to engage, challenge, and stretch. They must plan learning to build on what is already known and to instil a passion for their subject and learning in general.

There is no prescribed approach or expected structure to lessons at Rye. However, there is a set of principles that underpin our approach to teaching and learning, and an expectation that teachers evaluate the impact of their teaching and constantly strive to secure rapid progress. We use Barak Rosenshine’s ‘Principles of Instruction’ as the underpinning for our approach to teaching.

Principles of Instruction

Aims

Rye College aims to ensure that every student fulfils their potential and develop independent learning through the highest quality teaching. Teaching and learning at Rye College seeks to ensure that all students achieve their FFT20 indicator no matter what their starting is.

Action plan

Teachers must refer to the Teachers’ Standards: these define the minimum level of practice expected. In summary, teachers must:

  • Set high expectations which inspire, motivate and challenge students;
  • Promote good progress and outcomes by students;
  • Demonstrate good subject and curriculum knowledge;
  • Plan and teach well-structured lessons;
  • Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all students;
  • Make accurate and productive use of assessment;
  • Manage behaviour effectively to ensure a good and safe learning environment;
  • Fulfil wider professional responsibilities.

At Rye College, we can achieve excellence through SMART teaching and learning:

  • Structured teaching and learning
  • Modelling excellence
  • Assessing and providing feedback
  • Routines that reinforce learning
  • Tilting our teaching to secure rapid progress

Structured teaching and learning

Planning at a long term level provides clear structures for knowledge and skills development and ensure that students progress rapidly. Curriculum plans outline the learning objectives, tasks and assessment opportunities for each sequence of learning. These curriculum plans are developed by the faculties in line with the National Curriculum, statutory requirements and subject specific assessment criteria. Each faculty uses a shared approach to planning and every teacher must follow the scheme of work laid down in the faculty plans, while adapting the delivery and content of each lesson to support the needs of their teaching groups and scaffold learning. New learning within a lesson is presented in small scaffolded steps.

Modelling excellence

Students are novices and require clear examples of what we want them to achieve. We provide them with instruction and demonstrate what excellence looks like. Teachers are the experts, both in terms of the specific subject knowledge and the skill of applying knowledge. As the expert in the room, we use modelling to guide students through each stage and explain the rationale of each stage, prior to the student’s independent attempt.

Teachers at Rye College, plan lessons to incorporate both live and pre-prepared modelling. Teachers will model ‘how to’ using small steps. This approach reflects our understanding that students, as novices, require information and instruction to be ‘chunked’ down to avoid cognitive overload. In addition, teachers model their thinking about how they are solving a problem or completing a task. This provides students with a model that they can replicate.

Assessing and providing feedback

Teachers at Rye College regularly assess their students’ work: to generate summative and formative information on the impact of the curriculum, teaching and learning and student progress. This information informs a range of stakeholders and future planning.

Most importantly, however, it will inform the feedback given to the student to identify the next steps they need to take to improve/progress. Feedback at Rye College will comment on the effort shown by the student, the attainment, target for improvement and the required student response to secure progression. Feedback can be given in a variety of forms: verbal and/or written; whole class and/or individual; via peer or self-assessment. But its purpose is to secure progression.

Routines that reinforce learning

At Rye College, we plan, teach and reinforce routines. Routines provide structure to support our students’ learning. Routines creates an environment that is learning focused, where learning is reinforced and embedded, and where students can feel confident when challenged to exceed their expectations. Teachers focus on planning lessons where every minute counts and where students feel safe and confident to become increasingly independent practitioners.

Tilting our teaching to secure rapid progress

Best progress is the result of effective teaching and learning. To ensure that every student, no matter what their starting point is or what barriers affect their learning, fulfils their potential, teachers at Rye College tilt the focus of their effective practice where it is most needed. In particular, students who are disadvantaged, are advantaged through: identification, direct questioning, no opt-out, settle and check, and priority marking.

Continuous Professional Learning and Development

Rye College is committed to fulfilling every students’ potential through providing the highest quality of teaching and learning. Our CPLD programme is designed to embed high quality teaching and learning through development of the ten principles of instruction, and self-reflective professionalism. Rye College teachers’ professional development is personalised, subject specific and continuous.

Policy Monitoring

The impact of the teaching and learning policy is monitored principally via student outcomes whether in public examinations or through the internal tracking system.

In addition, monitoring of the quality of the teaching and learning at Rye College is carried out through the Appraisal system. This includes lesson observations, book looks and work scrutiny, student voice, self-appraisal, outcome and tracking analysis, faculty area deep dives and external advisors.

In the first instance, it is the class teacher’s responsibility to monitor and evaluate the quality in their lessons. The faculty lead will monitor the impact of teaching learning across their specific faculty team. The Assistant Headteacher – teaching and learning, will co-ordinate and support quality assurance across the whole college.

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