Policy and Procedures for the Curriculum, Teaching, Learning and Assessment
Our mission is to inspire, nurture and challenge our children to achieve their full potential by enabling them to learn with enthusiasm, broaden their minds, feed their imaginations, develop their creativity, discover their talents and do their best in whichever path they follow. (School’s Mission statement)
The Avenue School provides a broad, creative and engaging curriculum encompassing the formal requirements of the National Curriculum and a planned range of extra-curricular and enrichment activities. Throughout this, we aim to inspire, nurture and challenge our children, and consider that they most often learn best by doing. Our curriculum is underpinned by our commitment to supporting children’s development as independent and active learners through focussing on the range of dispositions, attitudes and skills they need to achieve this.
Organisation of the curriculum
Our curriculum is organised into a 2 year rolling programme of whole school topics that create links between subjects and provide opportunities to learn and develop a breadth of knowledge, understanding and skills. Discrete learning is also planned where appropriate, particularly for English, mathematics and ICT and we ensure that pupils are given opportunities to practice key skills and transfer learning from these areas into their cross-curricular experiences.
Planning teaching and learning
Teachers work together to agree the content and sequence of learning for the term’s topic. Overarching objectives and lesson outcomes are planned with a continuing focus on knowledge, understanding and skills development. A range of material is used to inform planning including National Curriculum frameworks, Wiltshire RE Syllabus and teachers own creative thinking. This process ensures that there is both continuity and progression with each topic taught at a level appropriate to the learning needs of groups of pupils and that pupils of the same age enjoy the same curricular experiences regardless of the class they are in.
Each individual teacher plans the weekly lessons and activities for their class, targeted to the particular needs and attainment levels of their children. Learning objectives are set that enable children to make good or better progress. The learning is differentiated to include challenge for all, and support where necessary, in particular for those who have Special Educational Needs and those whose first language is not English. Outcomes of each day’s learning are evaluated and planning modified as necessary to ensure that the needs of every individual are met.
We believe that our pupils are entitled to the highest quality teaching and aim for all teaching to be good or outstanding. We know that people learn differently so use a range of strategies to give pupils opportunities to learn in ways that best suit them and the particular objective being taught; for example through investigation, research, problem solving and practical experiences, through individual, paired, group and whole class working and through questioning, ICT, fieldwork and visits.
The learning objectives of all lessons are shared with pupils, and teachers explain to them how they can show that these have been met by using Success Criteria. We believe that learners need feedback related to their learning objectives. Success Criteria enable teachers and children to assess progress, by making it very clear what needs to be understood and practiced to achieve success with the Learning Objective. This also makes clear what needs to be done next, to further develop learning. Our marking procedures support this (see policy).
Marking has a crucial role in our assessment procedures by providing a regular stream of evidence of the progress and attainment of individuals. Teachers intensively mark each child’s recorded learning at least once a week. Three times a year (Autumn, Spring and Summer) teachers make a summative assessment of children’s attainment in reading, writing and maths, and these are used to track and monitor children’s progress. Both statutory and optional SATS (Standard Assessment Tasks) are used to measure the attainment of pupils in Year 2 to Year 6 in reading, writing and mathematics, and these complement teacher assessment.
We understand the importance of accuracy in assessing pupils’ progress and attainment so, to ensure that we have a whole school view and that all teachers are confident in their judgements, moderating sessions are a regular feature of our professional development meetings.
Target setting and tracking
We want all of our pupils to achieve their full potential and from September each year every pupil from Year 1 onwards is set an end of year target in reading, writing and mathematics. Targets are based on all the evidence available from assessment and age related expectations. We aim that they are aspirational and achievable. Throughout the year the progress of pupils towards their targets is recorded and tracked. Pupil progress meetings are held three times a year so that class teachers and senior leaders can monitor the progress and attainment of each child. As an outcome of these rigorous procedures we are able to identify pupils who are vulnerable to underachievement and modify learning opportunities appropriately to meet their needs.
Leadership and management
The headteacher is responsible for the day to day organisation of the curriculum and its associated procedures and monitors planning, with the support of his senior leadership team, to ensure that all the above is being put into practice.
All class teachers other than NQT’s, who at some point during their first year are likely to begin shadowing an experienced colleague, take on the role of leading and managing at least one aspect of the curriculum. Their role is to monitor standards and achievements and to provide a strategic lead and direction for their area, working with senior leaders to make significant contributions to the school’s self- evaluation and development planning. They support and advise colleagues on all matters relating to their area, for example giving planning guidance and demonstrating effective teaching as well as ensuring efficient resource management and keeping up to date with current thinking, developments and initiatives.
Our governing body’s Curriculum Committee has responsibility for monitoring the way the school’s curriculum and associated procedures are implemented. It monitors standards and achievements of pupils and evaluates the impact of developments on raising standards. There is a named governor for each area of the curriculum and governors work with subject leaders to fulfil their roles in monitoring and evaluating.
The role of parents/carers
We firmly support the view that parents/carers should be partners in their child’s education and ensure that we provide ample information about what and how their child is learning. Strategies to achieve real partnership include parent/carer workshops and sessions about how we teach specific subjects, termly information outlining topics to be covered, parent/carer and teacher discussions and annual reports. We suggest ways in which parents/carers can support their child with learning at home and welcome all opportunities to develop partnerships.
Enrichment and extra-curricular activities
We are committed to providing every child with the opportunity to engage in as full a range of activities as possible, in order to help them discover their talents, stimulate their curiosity, encourage their aspirations and inspire them to learn.
We encourage friends and relatives of pupils , members of the wider community and staff to share their experiences and interests, skills and talents wherever appropriate, plan visits to link with aspects of learning and invite visitors into school, for example authors, musicians, artists, dancers, theatre groups, to provide good quality, stimulating experiences.
Thanks to the willingness of staff and volunteers to give freely of their time we are able to offer many extra-curricular clubs for pupils to join. These clubs will vary depending on the available expertise and interests of the leaders.
Policy review arrangements
This policy and associated procedures are reviewed annually so that we can take account of new initiatives, changes in statutory requirements, developments in technology and changes to the physical environment of the school.For more information about our curriculum, please ask your child's teacher.