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Teaching and Learning Policy

Start children off on the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn

from it. Proverbs 22 verse 6


Teaching and Learning Policy


Date of policy    April 2023

Date reviewed by the Governing Body

Member of staff responsible in Cerne Abbas CE VC First SchoolCatherine Cresswell
Review dateApril 2025


‘Since we cannot know what knowledge will be needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and who learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned.’


John Holt (1965)






Our core values of Friendship, Peace, Trust, Forgiveness, Courage and Joy and our vision ‘to be the best we can be’, underpins every aspect of school life including the teaching and learning.


We believe that pupil progress is the measure of teaching and learning, and every child has the right to be taught well.  We would normally expect every child in our school to be making at least good progress.


Underpinning our teaching is the shared agreement that children only get one chance at primary schooling, and that it is our duty to provide the very best we can with the teachers and resources available to us.  To do any less than this will be to fail our pupils.


Teaching and support staff at our school have high expectations of all children.  We will not be limited by a ceiling of low expectation.


Teaching is our main activity; to make this as effective as possible it must be set within a framework – a culture – of what we believe very good primary practice to be.  We describe this under the following headings.




We believe that it is vital to instil a sense of worth and self-esteem in all pupils. We want every child to be the best they can be.  Displaying their learning in a careful and sensitive way demonstrates that we value it and that they can take genuine pride in it.


Children must experience an environment where independence and confidence in the use of resources are encouraged, and where they are safe.


The school and classroom environment will reflect our Christian ethos both through the visible use of signs and symbols and our Christian values of Friendship, Peace, Trust, Forgiveness, Courage and Joy which we adhere to on a daily basis.


Teachers will respect all children and will teach children to respect one another.


We believe that for teaching to be really effective:

  • There must be a positive relationship between all learners built upon mutual respect and which is conducive to good learning. Relationships are essential.
  • The classroom must be a tidy, purposeful, welcoming and well-ordered place that is visually stimulating and motivates learners
  • Displays must be current, engaging and reflect and reinforce the  learning of the children in each class
  • Resources must be clearly labelled and accessible to pupils in order to promote independence




We believe that:

  • If teaching is good, then children’s attainment will be good
  • Targets for individuals and the whole class must be thoughtfully set and monitored
  • There must be evidence of all children making good progress over a period of time
  • Attainment for the classes must be at least in line with the national expectation




We believe that good planning builds upon the assessment of previously learned knowledge and skills, and is a pre-requisite to good teaching.  We believe that it is especially important that:


  • There is a planned structure to the lesson
  • The teacher plans clear, challenging yet attainable objectives that are communicated to the children
  • Materials for each lesson are ready and prepared well in advance
  • The planning is appropriately adapted and differentiated, and the learning requirements of those with special educational needs are incorporated within the teacher’s planning
  • The planning is shared in advance with teaching assistants and any other adults helping in the teaching lesson




We believe that good subject knowledge is vital to progress learning.  All teachers need to have knowledge of previous and subsequent learning for the children.  Teaching needs to be well researched and planned with clear objectives.  Teachers need to use a range of resources, including subject leaders, to ensure that their knowledge is up to date and appropriate.




We believe that the gaining of these dispositions define a good learner.  We use growth mindset strategies and encourage children to see their brain as a muscle that grows particularly when learning is challenging. The following list contain some learning dispositions:


  • A co-operative attitude
  • Has a healthy self esteem
  • Has confidence
  • Demonstrates perseverance
  • Asks questions
  • Reflects
  • Is able to tolerate uncertainty
  • Enjoys a challenge
  • Concentrates well
  • Is motivated to learn
  • Has a positive attitude
  • Demonstrates good listening skills
  • Puts in a lot of effort
  • Behaves appropriately to allow learning to take place




We believe that assessment is an integral part of learning.  At Cerne Abbas CE VC First School two types of assessment operate; assessment of learning and assessment for learning.  Children should be active participants in formative assessments that create opportunities for meaningful feedback and learning, leading to creating opportunities for progression.  Summative assessment is vital in establishing levels of attainment of our children to allow them to become successful and for the school to know where to go next in their learning.  Within a lesson, a clear learning objective is discussed with the children and success criteria are often used alongside peer and self-assessment. 




Please refer to the Home Learning Policy.


Home learning at its best includes:


  • Practising known facts eg number bonds / doubles and halves / times tables
  • Problem solving activities and investigations for the family
  • Consolidation activities for areas they are struggling with in lessons
  • A research project over a longer period of time
  • Games and puzzles eg phonic games
  • Reading with parents at an appropriate level


To help the parents there should be:


  • Clear explanations
  • Examples of strategy used to solve problem or approach needed


The children said that they would like their parents to:


  • Let us have a go first
  • Help us to plan a time to do my learning
  • Be patient with us - we might not get them all right
  • Do it with us


Top Tips for Home Learning


  • Make it fun
  • Working together with family
  • Provide a quiet area
  • Give it an appropriate amount of time
  • Let the teacher know if there are any problems




The purpose of home learning is to continue the learning started in school at home.  It helps teachers and parents to work together to support the child.  Home learning will always be looked at by the teacher.


How Reading is Taught


We use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give children the best possible start with their literacy. 


What is Read Write Inc?


Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy programme which helps children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.  We begin the programme in FS1 and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.

RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at


How will RWI be taught?


All children are assessed regularly by our RWI lead teacher so they work with children at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons.



When appropriate, children will be introduced to the initial sounds in short five minutes sessions.


In Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down.



The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
  • read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
  • work well with partners
  • develop comprehension skills in stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions



The children:

  • learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
  • learn to write words by using Fred Talk
  • learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write 



The children

  • They work in pairs so that they:
  • answer every question
  • practise every activity with their partner
  • take turns in talking and reading to each other
  • develop ambitious vocabulary


Year One & Year Two

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for one hour.  Once children become fluent speedy readers they will move on to the Read, Write Inc Spelling Programme in Year Two.


Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions:  

Purpose – know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so they know the one thing they should be thinking about

Participation – ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning

Praise – ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not ability

Pace – teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning

Passion – be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally.



Teaching Reading in Key Stage 2


In Key Stage 2, the class follows a Read, Write Inc Comprehension programme which involves the pupils being exposed to a new high-quality text extract each week. This may be a childrens' classic novel, a non-chronological report, a poem or even a song. Through a variety of tasks, the children are challenged, not only to recount their understanding of the text but to consider the effects on the reader and the writers' choice of vocabulary and structure. The texts and activities are pitched accurately based on each child's reading level and challenge the children appropriately to achieve objectives set out in the KS2 reading curriculum as well as targeting specific Assessment Focuses such as inference. In addition, the class also study one novel per half term which is linked to their non-core topic e.g. a Geography or History topic and the children immerse themselves in this text throughout the half-term by writing about it in English as well as having daily discussions and making well thought out predictions.


Read write Inc Spelling


In Year 2, if the children are ready they begin the spelling programme. This continues into Year 3 and 4.


Although the teaching of phoneme-grapheme correspondence underpins this programme, it also develops children’s knowledge of word families, how suffixes impact upon root words, and provides mnemonics to remember the trickiest spellings.


The teaching revolves around instruction (with the help of online alien characters), partner and group practice, and competitive group challenges that help children commit new words to memory.


Maths Teaching and Learning


We teach Maths using a mastery approach. This embeds a deeper understanding of maths by utilising a concrete, pictorial, abstract approach so that pupils understand what they are doing rather than just learning to repeat routines without grasping what is happening. This is started in the Reception Class and continues throughout the school.


Sticky Knowledge

Sticky knowledge is effectively knowledge that will stay with us forever. In other words, an alteration has happened to our long-term memory. Teachers ensure that they use various strategies to ensure the children remember more as they move through their year and classes.





A positive, purposeful and enthusiastic atmosphere

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