The Synaptic Trust The Synaptic Trust West Thornton Primary Academy West Thornton Primary Academy The Woodside Academy The Woodside Academy Shirley Children's Centre Shirley Children's Centre West Thornton Teaching Alliance West Thornton Teaching Alliance
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Teaching and Learning Policy

Our School Vision statement is reflected in this policy.

We are committed to fostering a welcoming and supportive atmosphere, in which all children feel valued and are inspired to achieve their full potential and highest academic standards.


We aim to put our children at the centre of their own learning and place great emphasis on nurturing key skills and attitudes such as resourcefulness, resilience and co-operation. We recognise the importance of making learning irresistible, meaningful and memorable. For this reason we teach through a creative challenge based approach to enable children to make connections and link ideas and areas of learning.

Our Teaching and Learning policy aims to ensure that the children at our school are provided with high quality, concrete learning experiences that lead to a consistently high level of pupil achievement.

Our Teaching and Learning policy is at the heart of all we are doing at Forest Academy. It sets out clear expectations, provides a standard uniform approach, can be easily monitored and ensures equal opportunity for all our pupils.


We believe that people learn best in different ways. At our school we provide a rich and varied learning environment that allows children to develop their skills and abilities to their full potential.

Through our teaching we aim to:

Our understanding

We acknowledge that people learn in many different ways, and when planning our lessons, we take into account these different forms of intelligence ensuring wherever possible that there is a visual, auditory and kinaesthetic element to each of our lessons.

Effective learning results in:-

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 learning requires effective teaching. When teaching we focus on motivating the children and building on their skills, knowledge and understanding of the curriculum. We use the school curriculum plan to guide our teaching. This sets out the aims, objectives and values of the school and details what is to be taught to each year group. This is currently being developed for KS2.

For effective teaching to take place there are a number of ‘ingredients’ that we feel are needed.

Our responsibilities

We will ensure that our curriculum is memorable, relevant and wherever possible, possesses the ‘wow factor’. Through our planning, delivery, creative use of resources and personnel, professional development and training, we will aim to make teaching and learning at Forest Academy outstanding.

Our approach to effective teaching and learning

Forest School at Forest Academy

As part of our strong outdoor and environmental ethos, we have a progressive integrated outdoor learning programme, woven into our challenge curriculum. We also run a Forest School Programme that all Reception children attend throughout their Early Years (Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children regular opportunities to appreciate and enjoy their local woodlands).

Our School nurtures an understanding and respect for natural places. Our children experience nature at first hand through a series of engaging and achievable tasks. The children’s experiences bring learning to life and improves an individual’s ability to work co-operatively while offering the opportunities to take risks, make choices and initiate learning.

Teaching staff facilitate this learning, using the opportunity to assess and evaluate learning outside.

Our Learning Environment

We believe that a stimulating environment sets the climate for learning, and an exciting classroom promotes independent use of resources and high-quality work by the children. Our classrooms are attractive learning environments. Each classroom has well ordered clearly labelled resources. We change displays regularly to ensure that the classroom reflects the topics studied by the children. We ensure that all children have the opportunity to display their work at some time during the year. All classrooms have ‘boy friendly’ book corners with a range of dictionaries and fiction and non-fiction books, as well as ‘working walls’ relating to literacy and numeracy. Books corners are stocked with a selection of books that represent all our cultures.

We aim for our learning environment to:

Our learning environments are organised or ‘zoned’ to ensure that the children have the opportunity to learn in different ways. These include:

All our classrooms have a designated ‘Wonder Wall’ which tracks the children’s learning over a theme.

The Wonderwall has three main areas – what the children already know, what they want to find out and what they have learnt. This could incorporate key vocabulary, photographs, children’s quotes/questions and work samples.

Routines and Behaviour Management Strategies

Routines and our positive behaviour management strategy in the classroom contribute to a healthy learning environment. To be effective they should be:


We take every opportunity to celebrate achievement through:

The Role of Governors

Our governors determine, support, monitor and review the school policies on teaching and learning.

In particular they:

The Role of Parents and Carers

We believe that parents have a fundamental role to play in helping children to learn. We inform parents about what and how their children are learning by:

We believe that parents have the responsibility to support their children and the school in implementing school policies. We would like parents to:

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