Aycliffe Community Primary School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted. Pupils and the school community learn about children’s rights by putting them into practice every day.

Article 28: Every child has the right to an education. Discipline in schools must respect children’s dignity and their rights.

Article 29: Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment. 

Article 31: Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities. 

Article 13: Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law. 

Article 17: Every child has the right to reliable information from a variety of sources, and governments should encourage the media to provide information that children can understand. Governments must help protect children from materials that could harm them.

At Aycliffe Community Primary School, we place learning at the heart of our vision to Make a Difference to Learning and promote tolerance, caring, passion, reflection and innovation in order to maximise pupils’ achievements. 

We have been embedding the mind frames of Visible Learning to underpin our actions and decisions within our school. These are, 

Teachers believe that their fundamental task is to evaluate the effect of their teaching on pupils’ learning and achievement,

Teachers believe that success in pupils’ learning is about what they as teachers do, 

Teachers want to talk more about the learning than the teaching, 

Teachers see assessment as feedback about their impact, 

Teachers engage in dialogue not monologue, 

Teachers enjoy the challenge and never retreat to ‘doing their best’, 

Teachers believe that it is their role to develop positive relationships in classrooms, 

Teachers inform all about the language of learning.

Our teachers have a clear and shared understanding of effective teaching and learning and the role it plays in motivating and challenging our pupils. Teachers help pupils to develop confident learning behaviours through demonstrating good attitudes to learning and encouraging risk taking. As pupils move from Foundation Stage to Key Stage 2, they will be supported on their own learning journey. Our school has high expectations of pupils’ ability to achieve. We develop this through the development of strong working relationships within the Aycliffe School community. 

We teach our pupils to learn in ways that target the next steps in their development. Pupils are involved in choosing their next steps which they record in their Learning Journey Books. They regularly refer to their next steps and record evidence of having achieved them. We believe that it is vitally important that teaching is clear so that pupils are able to engage in the curriculum and share responsibility for their achievements. In order to achieve this outcome we teach pupils from Y1 to Y5 in Learning Stages for English and Mathematics. Pupils in Year 6 are taught in a single aged class to ensure they are secondary school ready. The school uses Pupil Premium funding to facilitate the Learning Stages, which directly impacts on pupil progress within vulnerable groups. The Learning Stages are currently organised in curriculum year groups, with some high achieving pupils accessing the next learning stage. 

In order to ensure all pupils achieve well, we expect teaching to be consistently good and moving towards outstanding or outstanding. All teaching is developed through observations, feedback and professional development. The Pupil Premium Leader works with all teachers to ensure that vulnerable pupils’ learning is maximised.  

The school uses current guidance from Ofsted when evaluating when teaching is good or outstanding. 

To ensure this high standard of teaching and learning, the school provides care, guidance and support to all pupils. 

Children learn best if their welfare needs are met. Good learning behaviours are taught through the development of positive relationships, pastoral care, PHSE and Behaviour Policy. We have interventions, such as daily meet and greet and learning skills groups, which support pupils’ readiness to learn. Our school makes full use of our Family Liaison Officer, to support both parents and pupils to make a difference to vulnerable pupils’ outcomes. 

We have systems in place that provide interventions to support pupils in their learning and reduce barriers of access to achievement. Our inclusive approach to learning, which is detailed in our Special Educational Needs Policy, ensures additional support is provided so all pupils make good progress.  We seek advice from different sources when we seek to develop our teaching and learning. These sources include Advanced Skills Teachers, the Education Psychologists, Educational Consultants and opportunities within the Aycliffe  EastryPartnership and the Samphire Learning Hub. The school engages in the training of teachers through School Direct, mentoring of Newly Qualified Teachers and is employing Teaching Assistant Apprentices. The school’s teaching and learning policy is shared with all agencies the school works with to ensure all stakeholders understand the school’s teaching and learning approaches.  

To ensure this high standard of teaching and learning teachers ensure planning is rigorous and lessons include features that enhance learning for all pupils.  

Teachers give pupils a clear learning outcome that drives the lesson and success criteria (steps to success) so all pupils know what and how they have achieved. Teachers understand that all pupils need to be able to understand and classify language so key vocabulary is identified, taught or explained and displayed within learning walls. Before pupils are expected to choose tasks that are challenging the teacher clearly models the learning so pupils are able to build on previous understanding. Pupils are encouraged to take risks, extend their learning and apply skills in a range of contexts. Throughout the lesson mini-plenaries are used to consolidate and extend understanding and evaluate learning either by the teacher, pupil or learning partner. Teachers are persistent about achieving the learning outcomes and catch pupils in the moment when they are experiencing difficulties and address misconceptions.

To ensure this high standard of teaching and learning teachers use a variety of forms of teaching to ensure effective learning.

Learning which involves the pupil collaboration is promoted. Collaborative opportunities are taught as a class, within groups or with a learning partner. Collaboration is used to discover new learning or evaluate skills, knowledge and understanding. Teachers encourage learning skills, which can be applied across the whole curriculum, such as research, investigation and problem solving with real life applications. Pupils are given opportunities to be practical, creative, reflective, inquisitive and physically active. Outdoor learning is valued, including the use of the school’s woodland areas, as are educational visits.

To ensure this high standard of teaching and learning teachers provide a learning environment that provides a springboard for development

Every classrooms displays and reinforces the school’s learning values (Resilience, Participation, Reflectiveness, Purpose, Resourcefulness and Perseverance), learning words (Wonder, Explore, Question, Think, Share and Connect) and a ‘Blob Tree’ as a tool for learning reflection. Each classroom has at least one English and one Mathematics learning wall that provides pupils with information on current learning, models to apply in lesson and vocabulary to reference. Our classrooms have visual prompts that support all learners, including visual timetables, key vocabulary, task boards and classroom rules, which promote learning behaviours. Classrooms also have an interactive Science table which promotes independent learning. Pupils are involved in decision making about what they would like to learn in theme and all classes display visual learning journeys so that pupils are able to draw on prior learning, making connections with what has been learnt in theme in the previous weeks. We create a vibrant school atmosphere, displaying all pupils’ work in a way that shows a progression of learning throughout the school and sets high expectations of the achievement for all groups of pupils. Our classrooms are arranged and resourced so pupils are able to work independently and access resources in an efficient manner.

To ensure this high standard of teaching and learning, parents are encouraged to work in partnership with the school. 

We value and recognise the role of parents in their pupils’ education. Our school shares information with parents to enable them to support their child. At the start of each term parents receive an outline of the curriculum their child will experience during the term. Pupil targets are shared with parents on a termly basis. Formal and informal consultations are promoted to ensure parents are empowered in being part of their child’s learning journey. Parents of the most vulnerable pupils in our school take part in termly structured conversations to maximise parental partnerships. Through all of this information we aim to enable all families to engage with their child’s personal development.

Aycliffe Community Primary School believes that homework should be used to practise pupils’ learning or prepare pupils for future learning. Our school encourages home learning through homework and project work.

Homework builds on work done in the classroom. When a teacher sets homework, there is an expectation that this will be completed by the set date. Pupils will be given clear instructions about the activity to be undertaken. The amount of time taken on a piece of homework will vary and increase as the child gets older. The following shows what homework is provided across the school:  

Year R 

Daily reading, recorded in reading record book

Weekly writing and mathematics task 

Years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Daily reading, recorded in reading record book

Weekly spelling and multiplication table practice

Weekly writing and mathematics task

Year 6

Daily reading, recorded in reading record book

Daily English and Mathematic task

Weekly spelling and multiplication tables practice  

We ask parents to support and encourage their child by giving time and a home environment in which homework can be done. Children benefit enormously from being able to discuss what they have done with their parents. Constructive comments enable the child to develop a better understanding of the work and reinforce what is taught in school.  

Above all other subjects, reading is a crucial aspect of homework and needs to be encouraged at all times so that pupils develop a love of reading. A love of reading will support pupils in all areas of the curriculum.

To ensure this high standard of teaching and learning, governors monitor the implementation and impact of this policy. The impact of teaching and learning is a standing item within all Governing Body meetings.

We recognise that all pupils are equal regardless of cultural or ethnic background, religion, social circumstances, gender, sexual orientation, ability and disability. The curriculum and whole ethos of the school demonstrates that diversity is understood, is welcomed and appreciated within the school. Equal opportunities means that all children have the right to a broad and balanced curriculum with which all pupils can engage and achieve.

John Dexter June 2016