Learning & Teaching Policy

INTRODUCTION

A key part of implementing the learning and teaching policy at Nightingale Academy is to ensure that staff planning is of the highest quality. We will monitor and evaluate the quality of our planning at regular intervals throughout the Academy year. It is our expectation that all staff will plan their lessons thoroughly, in advance, and such plans will be available on the teacher desk.

This document includes:

  • The Learning and Teaching policy for the Academy
  • The Assessment policy at the Academy (which includes the marking policy)
  • Guidelines on the development of schemes for learning
  • The ‘big picture’ of curriculum development from QCA
  • Guidance on the expectations of protocols at the start and end of lessons
  • Guidance on the contextual information that needs to be available for each group taught
  • Lesson planning template


LEARNING AND TEACHING POLICY

Nightingale Academy provides a rich learning environment, dedicated to the affirmation and formation of high standards of achievement for all our learners.  In other words, all learners in the Academy are enabled to make their best better. These principles are the rights of all the learners, both student and staff and should be the guiding principles underlying all Academy policies and procedures.

  • reward success and learn from failure
  • continuously improve on our previous best
  • secure the equal status and value of all members of the Academy community
  • work in partnership with the Academy community to enhance the quality of learning
  • fulfill the needs of all learners and provide genuine equality of opportunity
  • ensure that all learners
  • are happy and secure
  • enjoy learning
  • are excited by the challenge and opportunity to learn
  • make significant progress
  • achieve at high levels and fulfil their academic and personal potential
  • develop responsibility for their own learning and skills for learning
  • encourage ownership of learning so that learners develop the fundamental attitudes, skills and behaviours to become successful independent and interdependent learners
  • provide high quality educational standards for all
  • good teaching and effective learning
  • good behaviour and discipline
  • good levels of attendance and punctuality
  • continually explore and implement new and effective approaches to teaching and learning
  • create a climate which recognises, rewards and celebrates success
  • prepare all learners to continue to succeed and grow in the world beyond the Academy so that they can
  • handle uncertainty and respond to change
  • create and implement new ideas and way of doing things
  • make reasonable risk assessments and act upon them in their personal and working lives
  • develop the enterprise and citizenship capability of all learners through the promotion of
  • Knowledge and understanding – organisation, innovation, risk and change
  • Skills – decision making, personal and social, leadership, risk management and presentation;
  • Attitudes – self-reliance, open mindedness, respect and commitment to making a difference
  • Qualities – adaptability, perseverance, determination, flexibility, creativeness and initiative

Our aims are to:

It is our belief that our mission, vision and aims will be achieved through the creation of a high quality collaborative learning environment where all members of the Academy community feel safe (emotionally and physically), work hard and work fair.


Learning and Teaching and the 2020 Vision Report 1

2020 Vision describes the skills and attitudes and employers value and that our learners need to develop in order to be successful. Specifically, these include:

  • being able to communicate orally at a high level
  • reliability, punctuality and perseverance
  • knowing how to work with others in a team
  • knowing how to evaluate information critically
  • taking responsibility for, and being able to manage, one’s own learning and developing the habits of effective learning
  • knowing how to work independently without close supervision
  • being confident and able to investigate problems and find solutions
  • being resilient in the face of difficulties
  • being creative, inventive, enterprising and entrepreneurial

Nightingale Academy fully supports the 2020 Vision report and our learning and teaching policy is designed to implement the recommendations made.


Learning and Teaching and the framework of personal, learning and thinking skills 11-19 in England 2

As part of the review of the national curriculum, the QCA has produced a draft framework of skills that, together with the functional skills of English, Mathematics and ICT, are essential to success in learning. These are:

  • team workers
  • independent enquirers
  • self managers
  • reflective thinkers
  • creative thinkers
  • effective participators

The collaborative learning environment that we will establish through our pedagogy will provide the platform for the development of these skills.


Learning and Teaching at Nightingale Academy

What will high quality learning and teaching at Nightingale Academy look like, sound like and feel like?

A visitor to the Academy will be able to see:

  • The creation of a collaborative learning community in each classroom, based on mutual respect , positive relationships and trust
  • Teachers working with students to establish rules and routines for the classroom, which are negotiated with every class member and form the basis of a class contract
  • Students frequently working in pairs, small groups and teams and occasionally whole groups
  • Students assigned task roles to aid successful group process
  • Teachers sharing the success criteria and learning outcomes with the students, providing the ‘big picture’ to aid successful learning
  • Teachers and students reflecting on the learning from previous activities/lessons, connecting it to the current activity and enabling students to transfer the learning from one area to another
  • Students setting the quality criteria for their work, with their peers or/and with the teacher
  • Students exhibiting their learning to each other, including teaching each other where appropriate
  • Assessment for learning techniques throughout the lesson, including feedback and debrief with learning partners
  • Students reflecting on the product and the process of learning
  • Reflection and think time built into the lesson
  • Use of effective questioning techniques, including providing opportunities for students to ask questions
  • Students actively solving meaningful problems
  • Extensive use of ICT as a tool for learning
  • Teachers role includes teaching, guiding, coaching and facilitating the learning process
  • Opportunities to develop skills and attitudes as well as knowledge
  • Positive behaviour is recognised, affirmed and praised
  • Teachers model enthusiasm for learning and emotional and social intelligence
  • Students are encouraged to take risks with their learning
  • Learning will be experiential, and cater for multiple intelligences and variety of learning styles
  • Work will be interconnected, enabling cross curricular connections to be made explicit wherever possible
  • Students have choice over how they learn, and are encouraged to develop their creative thinking
  • Lessons will build on, and celebrate prior learning, from other areas of the formal curriculum or beyond.
  • Consistency of language across each area of learning to ensure continuity and high quality of provision
  • Displays for learning will support the activities in the classroom, and changed regularly to acknowledge the learning that is taking place
  • All lessons will be underpinned by the Academy specialism of Literacy and Physical Education
  • Lessons will be designed to meet the needs of all the learners in the classroom; contextualised planning will occur and appropriate support offered


Creating high quality classroom environments at Nightingale Academy

In order to ensure that we use the classrooms as the basis of high quality learning and teaching, every classroom in the Academy will be:

  • Physically comfortable
  • Welcoming (including a welcoming sign as well as an adult welcoming the students by name as they approach the classroom)
  • Relaxing, with appropriate use of music
  • Attractive and cheerful
  • Reassuring and emotionally safe – with affirmations such as a question box by the door so that students can ask questions without embarrassment
  • Stimulating and motivating – with motivational posters
  • Informative, with key words and key information around the room (some experts believe that 99% of learning is subconscious)
  • Interactive – with displays for learning to ask questions and stimulate thought (these should be regularly changed and renewed to match the learning activities in the classroom)
  • Novel – change the displays and layout at regular intervals
  • Neat and tidy – to ensure appropriate messages are received about learning 3


Learning, Teaching and Progression

Nightingale Academy will raise standards of achievement for all our learners, by creating a curriculum that will prepare our students for the 21st Century. The revised National Curriculum enables a curriculum design that is creative, fit for purpose, and places as much importance on the development of dispositions and skills as well as knowledge.

The learning environment at the Academy will provide our students with the opportunity to develop skills of problem solving, creative and critical thinking, decision making, communication, organisation, management and leadership, as well as the dispositions of ownership, self-direction, quality, character, collaboration, community and curiosity and wonder.4 These skills and dispositions are essential to develop if our students are to be prepared in their role as active and responsible citizens and are key to the development of successful learners. Students will assess the development of these skills and dispositions throughout their time at Nightingale Academy and will be able to articulate their progress against success criteria that they will generate through negotiation with their teachers and peers.

Nightingale Academy will utilise the latest research and practice to inform the development of our pedagogy. We will build on the collective understanding, knowledge, experience and skills of all our staff to implement high quality learning and teaching across the Academy. This will include learning taken from:

  • Education from Design (Critical Skills Programme)
  • Accelerated Learning
  • Building Learning Power
  • Assessment for Learning
  • Successful Learning Model
  • Multiple Intelligences
  • RSA Opening Minds
  • CAME and CASE
  • Investors in Excellence
  • Learning Styles Analysis
  • Personalising Learning


Personalising Learning at Nightingale Academy

The learning and teaching at Nightingale Academy is underpinned by the theories of Personalising Learning.

Deep Learning includes:

  • learning to learn
  • assessment for learning
  • student voice

All three ‘gateways’ to deep learning are a key feature of the learning and teaching at Nightingale Academy.


Learning to Learn

In order for students to achieve at the Academy, we need to create an environment where they can become successful learners.5  This will include:

  • the diagnosis and profiling of learning styles, aptitudes ,dispositions and preferences supported by the development of meta-cognitive understanding – this will be led by the learning guide who will work with their home teams to support the understanding of learning styles on progress and achievement
  • the development of a ‘cognitive curriculum’ – in other words, using strategies such as problem solving, analytical thinking, creative and critical thinking, organization, memory, persistence, negotiation and choice – the  personalising learning training will show staff how this can be implemented in the classroom
  • the development of social learning skills – for example, listening, co-operation and collaboration, small group learning, team learning and negotiation – staff will experience this through their own training and will be encouraged to use this methodology with their students.
  • Extending choice in the curriculum by focusing on learning processes rather than formalised content
  • Use of ICT to ensure continuous access to learning – Nightingale Academy is an ICT rich environment. Students will use ICT as a natural tool for learning, and it will enable learning to take place beyond the traditional ‘taught’ day
  • Building flexibility into the Academy experience so that there is choice as to what, where, when and how something is learned – this is a key factor to affirming learning that takes place beyond the school day, and honours the preferred learning styles of our students. It recognises ‘informal’ learning and accredits other experiences that our students are involved in, enabling them to transfer the learning to the school environment

Assessment for Learning

Involving students in high quality, consistent, assessment for learning is the key to successful learning. Creating a learning environment where students are involved in:

  • Sharing the learning intentions/success criteria
  • Effective questioning
  • Effective feedback
  • Peer/self evaluation

At Nightingale Academy, we will use our ICT rich environment to:

  • Gather data on student progress that is accessible to all
  • Work with staff and students so that they understand what the data means, and what they need to do to move to the next stage/level
  • Enable learners to develop ‘e-portfolios’ that recognise their achievements and build on their learning and talents
  • Provide students with appropriate interventions to break down any barriers to success, using other agencies to provide such support where necessary
  • Enable students to lead the feedback on their progress to their parents, through review sessions where they present their learning and achievements to their parents and learning guides.
  • Lessons will be designed to include the key features of assessment for learning so that student learning is high quality
  • Assessment for learning techniques will also be used with the staff so that they experience the impact on their own learning and performance.

Student Voice

The creation of a sophisticated monitoring, consultative and participatory strategies to ensure student engagement in learning, and student voice in the development of learning-centred schools is the key to development of deep learning at Nightingale Academy. Our specialism of Literacy and Physical Education places students at the heart of everything we do. Therefore, student voice has a huge role to play in the development of high quality learning and teaching at Nightingale Academy. Students will:

  • Receive training in lesson observation so that they can monitor and evaluate the quality of learning and teaching
  • Be involved in the development of schemes for learning, working with lead practitioners and Directors of Personalising Learning
  • Receive training in educational research, so that they can monitor and evaluate the impact of other developments/policies on the quality of learning
  •  Conduct research and questionnaires from other student bodies within the Academy to inform the Academy development plan, SIP and other evidence for internal and external evidence
  • Provide feedback on the quality of learning resources in the Academy
  • Support the development of displays for learning
  • Suggest whole Academy events such as contextualised learning themes, helping to organise and develop such events.

Monitoring and Evaluation of learning and teaching at Nightingale Academy

Learning and teaching will be monitored and evaluated alongside the Academy monitoring cycle:

  • In the Autumn term, we will judge the standards of learning and teaching against results achieved by our students. A detailed analysis of standards against learning styles profiles, lesson plans and lesson observations will provide a picture on the quality of learning and teaching and its impact on standards. Heads of Faculty/Departments will need to monitor and evaluate the quality of learning and teaching against their curricular targets and provide evidence of the work they have done to improve the quality of learning in their areas
  • In the spring term, we will monitor and evaluate the learning and teaching, to ensure that the curriculum we have designed is fit for purpose and meets the needs of all our learners. This includes analysing Schemes of Work and lesson planning to ensure that we are meeting our curriculum targets. We will negotiate a shared understanding of what high quality learning and teaching looks like, sounds like and feels like and triangulate the evidence of this impact of our success criteria by observing lessons, taking the view of students and teachers, and monitoring Schemes of Work and lesson plans. We will use the Ofsted criteria to judge standards of learning and teaching, using internal and external observers as the basis of our research
  • In the summer term, we will analysis the improvements that we have made, review our learning and teaching strategies and ensure that our students have reached the targets set for them at the beginning of the year. This will include an analysis of any targeted groups to ensure that the interventions made were fit for purpose. We will also analyse the effectiveness of CPD on learning and teaching and whether the learning was transferred to the Academy and improved the quality of learning and teaching using the proforma below:

Name of Course:

Attended by:

Venue:

Date:

Cost:

What did you learn on the course?

Why did you go on this course? Relevance?

How was the course presented/ How did you learn?

What impact has the course had on your own learning?

What impact has the course had on the learning of your students?


Conclusion

At Nightingale Academy, we believe that we will create an organisation that puts learning at the heart of everything that we do. Every person attached to the Academy will be viewed as a learner and we will encourage everyone to develop themselves as a lifelong learner. Learning should be challenging, real, applicable, transferrable and fun. Our learning environment, by its design, will ensure that all our learners are enabled to make their best better. This is will be the key to our success.


References

(1) The report of the Teaching and Learning in 2020 Review Group (Christine Gilbert – 2006)

(2) A Framework of Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills 11-19 in England (QCA July 2007)

(3) Strategies for Closing the Learning Gap (Mike Hughes and Andy Vass – 2001)

(4) Skills and Dispositions listed in Critical Skills Programme (1999 Antioch University)

(5) Personalising Learning – John West-Burnham and Max Coates (2005)