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Rowhill School

Rowhill School

Teaching and Learning

**The Teaching and Learning Policy is currently under review**


Mission statement

Rowhill School expects that all students should aspire to be:

  • successful learners
  • confident individuals
  • responsible citizens
  • effective contributors

Aims of Rowhill:

  • maintain a learning environment that provides equal opportunities for all, regardless of ability, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender.
  • enable learners to realise their potential by providing an inclusive and creative curriculum which is accessed via a range of differentiated teaching and learning styles.
  • address barriers to learning for individual pupils by the use of appropriate strategies, targeted work and interventions.
  • ensure that any additional and different provision needs for individual learners are met through Individual Provision Plans, Interventions and Personalised Learning Targets.
  • link whole school learner additional and different provision needs to school target setting and the School Improvement Plan.
  • meet learners personal, physical, social, emotional and mental health development needs and to encourage and reward the acquisition of moral values.
  • promote an environment in which learners are safe, happy, feel valued as individuals and learn to co-operate with others.
  • prepare learners to cope with the demands of Life in Britain in their local community and where appropriate within the world of work.
  • To safeguard pupils from radicalisation and extremism.
  • maximise opportunities for home/school/community liaison and to actively encourage parental and community involvement in the life and work of the school.
  • share advice, support and expertise with other schools, colleges and agencies through the Specialist Teaching and Learning Service and through Ksent.
  • provide members of staff with a comprehensive and supportive programme of Induction, Training, Appraisal and Continuing Professional Development opportunities.
  • build Self-Evaluation practices that raise standards in all aspects of school life and are quite clearly at the heart of all Monitoring, Evaluation and Review systems.


This policy reflects the school values and philosophy in relation to teaching and learning. It sets out a framework within which all staff can operate and gives guidance on practice within school. Its purpose is to impact positively on classroom practice and to ensure that it promotes high expectations of staff and pupils about pupil achievement, teaching standards, and the learning environment.


Through the teaching and learning that takes place at Rowhill School, our aims are:

  • For all pupils to make outstanding progress from their individual starting point.
  • For all pupils to have equality of opportunity regardless of ability, needs or socio-economic background.
  • For all pupils to manage their Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs in a way that supports their learning.
  • For all pupils to gain the highest level of independence possible.
  • For all pupils to be engaged fully as active participants in their learning.
  • For all pupils to be prepared for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of their next stage of learning through to adulthood.

Principles for Effective Teaching and Learning

These principles are based on the Teachers’ Standards (DfE, 2011).

1. Set high expectations which inspire, motivate and challenge pupils.  

Rowhill School expectations are:

  • Lessons are interesting and stimulating to the pupils.
  • Learning is meaningful to the pupils and also fun.
  • High Achieving pupils are identified and appropriate strategies and activities provided.
  • Teaching is age appropriate and based on pupil’s ability.
  • High expectations for pupils’ learning, objectives need to be challenging but achievable.
  • Clear learning objectives and success criteria, the evaluation of which is used to inform future objectives.
  • Staff are positive and inspiring in their body language, speech and attitudes.
  • Learning occurs in an effective learning environment which includes defined areas; meaningful, interactive displays; and age appropriate resources.
  • Diversity is celebrated and receives positive recognition through individual praise, good work assemblies, housepoint celebrations and displays of pupils’ work.

2. Promote good progress and outcomes by pupils. 

Rowhill School expectations are:

  • Staff have in depth knowledge of the levels/stages the pupils are working at and use these to plan next steps in learning.
  • Short term planning includes differentiated teaching and Assessment for Learning (AfL) strategies.
  • Learning objectives and success criteria are shared and evaluated with the pupils, and displayed as a visual reminder for pupils.
  • Assessment is integral to each lesson and is used effectively to assess pupils’ progress, their understanding of their learning and plan next steps.
  • Opportunities are provided for pupils to engage in independent learning, according to their level of ability.
  • Differentiation in objectives and activities that addresses individual needs is embedded within all planning.
  • Learning objectives are delivered through challenging and engaging tasks that keep pupils involved and on task.
  • Effective questioning is central to developing depth of learning, all staff use questioning and, or Key Questions to extend learning and thinking skills supported by appropriate communication systems and giving time for pupil responses.
  • Pupil led learning is encouraged and supported to respond to pupil actions and interests.
  • Visual resources, such as symbols, pictures, photos, objects, are used to aid learning.
  • Variety of teaching and learning styles used to include visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and sensory approaches
  • Class teams have a shared understanding and consistently deliver teaching and learning objectives for the pupils, strategies to be used, and regularly discuss progress and next steps.
  • Discussions with parents include a holistic view of the pupil’s ability and progress.
  • Information and key objectives are shared with parents/carers so that they can support pupils’ learning in the home environment.

3. Demonstrate good subject and curriculum knowledge 

Rowhill School Expectations are:

  • Teachers will demonstrate their subject knowledge through enthusiastic, reflective and inventory delivery of learning.
  • Teachers will keep up to date with local and national initiatives in their subject or curriculum area.
  • Teachers will keep abreast of current research and development of pedagogy.
  • Teachers will share their specialist knowledge or skills with colleagues.
  • Teachers will identify their areas for development and seek advice, support and guidance to address these.
  • All teachers will promote high standards in literacy, mathematics and the correct use of English across all subject and curriculum areas.
  • All teachers will have an understanding of, and use phonics to promote reading across all subject and curriculum areas.

4. Plan and teach well-structured lessons 

Rowhill School expectations are:

  • All lessons have a clear focus with differentiated learning objectives, activities and resources matched to the individual abilities of the pupils.
  • All staff should have a knowledge and understanding of pupils’ specific learning needs including pupils with ASD and SEMH needs. All staff should incorporate a variety of strategies to support these needs.
  • Teachers evaluate each lesson using the assessment outcomes to inform and modify future planning.
  • Teachers and Teaching Assistants are positive role models, demonstrating enthusiasm for learning during lessons.
  • Learning objectives and success criteria are shared at the start of the lesson along with any additional individual objectives. Activities are clearly explained, often through the use of demonstration or modelling. Plenaries and mini plenaries are used to discuss pupil achievements, reward good work, recap and reflect and inform pupils of the next step for the next lesson.
  • Planning ensures an appropriate pace is maintained to engage pupil attention and enthusiasm for learning.
  • Pupils are given time to process information and respond to questions, instructions and tasks.
  • Teachers systematically check pupils’ understanding throughout lessons and intervene with changes promptly.
  • Lessons are structured according to the needs of the pupils through the use of class timetables, individual timetables, ‘now and then’ boards and other individual strategies.
  • All adults in the classroom are clear about their role within a lesson, know which pupils they are working with, understand the pupils’ learning objectives, success criteria and use appropriate and effective strategies to support learning.
  • Teaching and learning should take place beyond the classroom utilising other areas of the school and the grounds and within the local community environment.
  • Teaching and learning is interactive with pupils actively involved through the use of technology and multi-sensory approaches.
  • The learning environment reflects the learning needs of the pupils; it should be purposeful and effective and include appropriate and attractive resources and interactive displays.
  • Displays should reflect pupils’ work with an acknowledgment of their name, progress made, their achievement and their next steps in learning.

5. Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils  

Rowhill School Expectations are:

  • Teachers have in depth knowledge of the level or stage the pupils are working at which contributes to differentiation in teaching strategies; AfL strategies; learning objectives; activities; success criteria, questioning; level of support; and pupil outcomes.
  • Teachers have a clear understanding of the different needs and approaches to learning for pupils who have BESD, SEMH, ADHD or ASD, which is demonstrated in the learning environment and the learning styles used.
  • Learning activities are matched to the developmental levels of the pupils which may include sensory; play based; skills based.
  • Appropriate resources are used to suit all learning styles; visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and sensory.
  • A range of teaching strategies are used including individual, small group and whole class learning.
  • Communication systems used in class reflect all the needs of the pupils, this may include the use of speech and PECS symbols.
  • Pupils are given time to process information and respond.
  • The plenary is used to celebrate pupil achievements, give time for pupil self-assessment on what they have learnt during the lesson, to consider what they have done well and what they could do better, according to their level of ability.

6. Make accurate and productive use of assessment 

Rowhill School expectations are:

  • Teachers will maintain accurate assessment records which inform the termly assessment updates onto the school’s chosen assessment tools. This data will be entered into SIMS assessment six times a year.
  • Teachers will analyse assessment data in preparation for Pupil Progress Meetings to identify barriers to learning and interventions to overcome these.
  • Assessment is used to inform weekly planning, identify barriers to learning and monitor the impact of interventions to ensure they are effective in enabling accelerated learning.
  • Pupils’ progress towards learning objectives is assessed during each lesson and recorded on short term planning. These assessments contribute to planning for subsequent lessons as to whether learning objectives need further work or identifying next steps for learning. Observational assessments are used to record incidental learning.
  • Teachers systematically and effectively check pupils’ understanding throughout lessons, anticipating where they may need to intervene and doing so with notable impact on learning.
  • Lesson objectives are SMART and based on accurate assessment of prior learning so that progress can be measured and evaluated. Success criteria are clear and pupils are made aware of their successes throughout the lesson.
  • Objectives are discussed by class teams so that there is consistency in understanding what is required for a pupil to be considered to have mastered a target.
  • Feedback is provided to pupils in a number of ways. Immediate feedback is given through praise or rewards appropriate to the department. Written feedback will be consistent with the expectations of the department. All work is available for parents and pupils to review.
  • Good work is celebrated during the weekly (Primary) or once every two weeks (Secondary) celebration assembly.
  • Teachers in KS4 plan and deliver accredited courses that enable pupils to prepare for the next transition (moving into College or to further education or training)
  • Targets are presented to the pupils in a form that they can understand.

7. Manage behaviour effectively to ensure a good and safe learning environment 

Rowhill School expectations are:

  • Teachers will organise classrooms and routines within lessons which contribute to management of pupils’ behaviour for example using a structured teaching approach to support ASD pupils with reference to the ASD register.
  • All staff will promote a positive atmosphere within school and positive language is used to encourage the pupils.
  • The learning environment should be purposeful, predictable, and calm.
  • The timetable is displayed in an appropriate way for the class. Individual symbol timetables are displayed in the classroom and around the school to support movement and transition of pupils from lesson to lesson.
  • Pupil achievement is recognised and celebrated through immediate praise during lessons, praise and feedback during plenary, receiving the appropriate reward for the department and receiving certificates and medals during celebration assemblies.
  • Motivators are used to reward pupils, including stickers, reward charts, being given specific responsibilities such as getting the register and golden time activities.
  • Pupils contribute to the development of their class rules and are aware of the school expectations of behaviour.
  • Concerns around pupils’ behaviour should be recorded onto SIMS and followed up appropriately. Outcomes and strategies should be shared with tutors and Heads Of Departments.
  • Planned trips and visits must take account of any concerns of pupil behaviour needs within the risk assessment.

8. Fulfil wider professional responsibilities 

Rowhill School expectations are:

  • Teachers will be supportive of colleagues and will contribute to the development of pedagogy through collaborative work.
  • Teachers will take responsibility for their own professional development which may include seeking advice and support from colleagues, in school training, keeping up to date with current information and attending external courses.
  • Teachers will deploy TAs effectively in order to make a positive contribution to pupil learning.
  • Teachers will share expectations and planning with TAs and value their feedback on how pupils were able to access their learning.
  • Teachers will communicate effectively and positively with parents sharing and celebrating achievements and raising any concerns promptly.


Rowhill uses targeted interventions to support pupils who are not making the expected rate of progress. Teacher assessment data is evaluated and pupils are then referred for a specific and targeted intervention to address the pupils area of concern. Teachers work closely with the intervention provider to evaluate pupils’ progress and the impact of the intervention. Each intervention will be reviewed and new data and an outcome will be shared with the class or subject teacher. The Deputy Headteacher monitors each intervention by observation, discussion and the Impact Intervention Sheet (Appendix1)

Monitoring and Evaluation

Rowhill School expectations are:

Maintaining the quality of teaching is central to ensuring outstanding pupil progress. The school expects100% of lesson observations to be good or outstanding.

  • Teachers will be formally observed in the classroom by a member of the Senior Leadership Team six times per year. Further informal observations may take place for example learning walks and drop in observations.
  • Teachers will receive verbal and written feedback promptly.
  • In order to ensure that quality is maintained relative to other similar establishments, external professionals, such as LA School Improvement Officers, and senior leaders from partner special schools, will be used to provide an external measure of quality assurance.
  • If a lesson is graded as Requires Improvement a support plan will be developed. If a teacher continues to have lessons graded Requires Improvement they will be moved to informal capability and the support package strengthened for up to 6 weeks. Notice of a move to Formal capability procedures will be given where there is a failure to improve the quality of teaching after 2 to 3 observations.
  • The SLT will carry out work scrutiny at regular intervals to monitor the quality of marking and feedback to pupils.
  • Rigorous moderation will underpin the monitoring of assessment. Moderation will take place at department, whole school and inter-school levels.
  • External moderation validation will take place as directed by the Local Authority supported by the KASS group.

Equality and Diversity

Rowhill School is committed to equality of opportunity for all pupils and staff in which people treat each other with mutual respect, regardless of: age, disability, family responsibility, marital status, race, colour, ethnicity, nationality, religion or belief, gender, gender identity, transgender, sexual orientation, trade union activity or unrelated criminal convictions.  We strive to educate, promote and celebrate the wider diversity of society within our school community.

Health and Safety

It is the duty of all staff to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and others that may be affected by their actions. Individual subject policies outline health and safety considerations relevant to that particular subject.