Our Approach to Teaching, Learning and Assessment
At Ravensbury Community School, we believe all our pupils can achieve their very best in whatever they choose to do. We believe they will soar! Lessons are stimulating and pacy and pupils are active in making decisions about how and what they learn.
Our bespoke curriculum is designed with the expectation that pupils will secure their year group’s learning and have plenty of opportunities to deepen and stretch that learning. We plan so our pupils can make meaningful and exciting connections between their experiences and develop an understanding of the world in which we live. We build upon what we believe is a natural curiosity to question, explore and make sense of the world and each other. Our teaching and learning is ACTIVE, COLLABORATIVE and COGNITIVE.
We have established key principles which we whole heartedly and unanimously believe enable all pupils to learn as effectively as possible and enable each teacher to teach and assess as effectively as possible. Staff are passionate about teaching; modelling and monitoring learning continually with high expectations for each and every pupil.
Our principles are non- negotiable and underpin all our teaching and learning policies. How they are then translated into practice is varied, dynamic, individual and reflects the expertise and creativity of the staff in our school.
At Ravensbury Community School, we believe that the best learning takes place when:
- Pupils are empowered to develop skills of autonomy and independence. From a very young age we consistently develop their skills, attitudes and habits as effective learners. Our pupils are taught to understand how they learn. We have embedded our own pupil friendly approach to securing skills and how to deepen this learning through practice and application.
- Pupils learn best when learning is purposeful and task based, this reflects the principles of creativity (invention, imagination and communication). Our activities foster curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. We ensure that all our learning offers opportunities for collaboration.
- Pupils are carefully and appropriately challenged. Our pupils want to be challenged and our staff ensure they always are.
- Pupils learn best when they can make connections between learning and experiences, this helps to deepen understanding and helps develop knowledge that will stay with them forever.
- Pupils learn best when teaching reflects four key aspects of highly effective learning – Feedback, Autonomy, Challenge and Engagement.
- Pupils learn best when assessment feeds back into teaching. This principle is threaded through every lesson, across sequences of lessons and across each yearly programme of study. There is provision for support, repetition and extension of learning for each child, at each starting point of learning.
- Pupils learn best when the learning environment is ordered, the atmosphere is purposeful and children feel safe and emotionally ready for learning.
- Pupils learn best when there is a strong link between home and school where pupils’ Home Learning activities are purposeful, effective and contribute to their progress.
A mastery curriculum
At Ravensbury, we believe that ALL pupils can understand a particular concept or skill or achieve an expected standard. Some pupils are capable of going beyond. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that no pupils are left un challenged. All pupils are taught the objectives for the National Curriculum for each subject for their particular year group. Lessons ensure that all pupils secure, or master, these objectives so that they are:
- flexible (seen and used in different contexts, different representations)
- committed to the long term memory (as a result of practice and use)
- secure so the learner can reason with it and apply it to solve problems
Pupils spend time becoming true masters of content, applying and being creative with new knowledge and skills in lots of different ways. Learning is taken at a steady pace and is memorable to deepen understanding, ensuring that no child is left behind, as well as providing for children who are very capable of achieving higher than the national expectation for their age group.
We do this by making sure that:
- Teachers plan lessons and weekly sequences to develop detail and depth and build on exisiting knowledge.
- Lessons have excellent pupil support through feedback and speedy interventions to make sure that all pupils are keeping up on a daily basis.
- That all lessons allow pupils to make decisions about their learning and have opportunities to be extended and challenged further and more deeply.
- That pupils have the space and time to understand, practice, apply and experience their learning.
- That all learning opportunities ask pupils to be active, collaborative and cognitive.
- All pupils who need additional support to ensure that they do not fall behind or if they are capable of going deeper get it.
- Learning has resources that support all children to make progress from initial understanding through to deeper learning and application- both within school and at home.
We assess in broadly two ways:
- On a daily, on going basis (formative assessment). This is important for teaching and learning as it tells both teachers and pupils how they are progressing through a particular lesson, or group of lessons. Learners know what they have done well and what they need to do next to move learning on. Teachers feedback and assess continually as they teach so that they can slow down or speed up, challenge or repeat as necessary. 'NOW' feedback in lessons means that pupils’ learning needs are met quickly and effectively. Pupils continuously assess their own learning and are active in choosing whether they need to continue to practice, or to move onto the next depth.
- We also assess how our pupils are progressing through the programme of study for their year group (summative assessment). We do this at 4 points throughout the year, at the end of the Autumn 1 term, the end of the Autumn 2 term, the end of the Spring term and the endof the Summer term. The teacher judgements at these assessment points are based on progress tests and work in pupils’books. Our tracking system then records all pupils’ attainment and progress. This helps the teachers and leadership to ensure that we have a consistently clear and accurate picture of how our pupils are learning and progressing. We can then compare this to the national picture.
Our pupils also take part in Nationally standardised summative assessments which include:
- Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) profile at the end of reception
- Phonics screening check in year 1
- National Curriculum tests and teacher assessments at the end of Key Stage 1 (year 2) and Key Stage 2 (year 6)
- Multiplication times table check (MTC) in year 4
Nationally standardised summative assessments take place during the summer term