Our Common Purpose
We hold the conviction that every member of the College community is made in the image of God and as such we all have infinite potential and immeasurable value. Our common purpose is therefore the ongoing discovery and development of this potential in all members of the College community for the good of each individual member and society. Our Teaching and Learning Policy is our roadmap for carrying out our purpose. It is underpinned by our T&L Handbook, team work, feedback, quality assurance and commitment from all.
Teaching & Learning Handbook
Our Teaching and Learning Handbook, created through staff consultation and best practice, is designed to guide all staff involved in teaching & learning to ensure our provision meets or exceeds the expected standards as laid out in the College Improvement Plan. The Handbook is a reference manual to help our team maintain and raise standards.
We recognise the skill and professionalism of our teachers and extend to them the trust and respect to make key judgements in their classrooms as a key principle of our provision. In return we expect our staff to be accountable and responsible for the progress of students and their own professional learning. We seek to recognise and facilitate autonomy, mastery and purpose in driving staff well-being and motivation.
We acknowledge CUREE research that schools that use a whole-school T&L programme achieve stronger outcomes. We use the SSAT’s Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement Programme to:
- Train our teachers to level 1
- Plan learning and secure progress
- Agree on, and develop, effective teacher and learner behaviours 4. Provide a common and precise language for discussing teaching and learning.
We recognise the fundamental importance of creating a strong student culture where learning thrives. We understand the significance of behaviour development; the responsibility of all teachers to explicitly teach effective learner behaviours.
We recognise that collaborative working generates exponential effectiveness and we place a high value on team work. We expect all of our teachers to uphold common practice as outlined in our Teaching and Learning Handbook as a means to ensure a world class education for our students and as a commitment to supporting their colleagues. We seek consistency in our provision to secure stronger outcomes for all of our students and better working conditions and support for all of our staff.
Feedback is a central part of a teacher’s role and is integral to progress and attainment. We expect our teachers to apply the principles of Assessment for Learning in their feedback and marking. Assessment should:
- Be part of effective planning
- Be focused on how students learn
- Be central to classroom practice
- Be a key professional skill
- Be sensitive and constructive
- Foster motivation
- Promote understanding of goals and criteria
- Help students know how to improve
- Develop the capacity for self-assessment
- Recognise all educational achievement
High quality feedback should be driven by professional judgement and should be “meaningful, manageable and motivating” (Lowbride-Ellis, 2017).
We recognises three main types of written feedback and the frequency of each type that is used will vary between faculty/department and key stages:
- Acknowledgement marking – checking that the work has been completed and that there are no obvious mistakes/errors that need to be corrected.
- Quality teacher marking – diagnostic marking with pupil response to feedback
- Quality marking by students – Peer and self-assessment
Staff Professional Development
We strive to ensure our Teaching and Learning Handbook and our teaching practice is underpinned by evidence and research. In turn we encourage and support the CPD of all teachers and their ongoing professional action research. In addition, we recognise the right to access ongoing coaching as an expectation that all teachers are fully entitled to. The Assessment for Learning principles on which the coaching and mentoring provision is based are those that we have come to find most effective in our teaching and our students’ learning.
Our policy includes a commitment from senior leaders to support and challenge middle leaders and their teams in their practice, recognising that they are the ones that secure progress.
Teaching and learning will be assessed through learning walks, performance management observations, lesson drop-ins, student voice, work sampling and internal and external data. The National Teaching Standards apply to all teachers working at St Augustine’s and will be used in assessing our provision.
The purpose of assessing learning is to:
- Maintain an environment of continuous improvement.
- Enable teachers to share good practice.
- Allow SLT to monitor the impact of teaching and learning and coaching and mentoring in order to inform key decision making.
- Support the performance management and wellbeing of all staff.
- Inform the SEF which helps the school to prepare for inspection under the Common Inspection Framework.
The Assistant Head Teaching and Learning has accountability for writing and implementing the College’s Teaching and Learning Policy and for ensuring that standards set out in the Handbook are upheld in classrooms. Both are working documents and will be changed and adapted to suit the College Improvement Plan, the demands of the curriculum, assessment frameworks and new research. Both documents will be reviewed at the end of each academic year and updated copies made available to staff at the beginning of the new academic year.
In summary, we are committed to improving student progress and avoiding unnecessary workload for our staff. This commitment includes ongoing staff training to enhance impact and reduce workload and the avoidance of unnecessary data collection activities.