Bring Excellent Teaching and Learning!

St Barnabas MAT Teaching and Learning Policy

Our Bring it! approach to education aims to:

  • Ensure all achieve
  • Enable children to discover their gifts and talents and know that everyone has something to offer
  • Communicate that everyone is capable, everyone matters, and everyone deserves the best.
  • Build community and a sense of belonging
  • Grow personal leadership and responsibility
  • Commit to outdoor education and adventurous learning, using the world outside the classroom to reinforce and give context.


The quality of our education supports a love of life and life lived to the fullest through building:

  • Quality knowledge and conceptual understanding
  • Practical skills 
  • Values
  • Virtues
  • Attitudes


St Martin’s Six Key Principles for Teaching and Learning

Our Curriculum Design document outlines our approach to the various subject disciplines within our taught curriculum.  Our teaching and learning policy supports the implementation of our curriculum in a way that strengthens our aims. 

How we teach supports our aims just as musch as our curriculum design does.

We believe children learn best when the following key areas have equal weighting, are well established and upheld:

  1. Our pedagogy is learning-centred and based on evidenced-based approaches, knowledge of how the brain works and what we know about how pupils learn best.   (Evidence-based pedagogy)
  2. Shared routines and scripts communicate a sense of belonging and urgency: every lesson counts (Consistency)
  3. Learning is well planned for solid progress from nursery to year six in the short, medium and long term.  (Planning)
  4. Teaching and learning activities engage children in ownership of their learning and motivate them to learn: ask questions, grapple, reflect. (Leadership)
  5. Assessment is integral to planning on an ongoing basis: daily, weekly and over the longer term.  Teaching is responsive and adapts for support, repetition and challenge (Assessment)
  6. Learning environments (both physical and emotional) are ordered, safe and purposeful. Relationships (children, parents, teachers) communicate respect, care and a belief that everyone belongs, is valued and can achieve.  (Relationships and learning environments)


1. Evidence-Based Pedagogy

Our pedagogy is learning-centred and based on evidenced-based approaches, knowledge of how the brain works and what we know about how pupils learn best.   

Evidence in practice

  1. Leaders and teachers keep up to date with current research evidence and advice on how children learn best.
  2. The Trust provides regular CPD and time to support the development of pedagogy across our schools.
  3. Learning takes precedence in our school, and time is used well: every minute of every lesson counts.
  4. Children are aware of how they learn; metacognitive and self-regulation strategies are evident.  They demonstrate resilience, independence and creativity in mastering learning.
  5. Progress is strong
  6. Teaching is exemplary

Staff will ensure that

  1. They keep up to date with current research and new ideas around education.
  2. They attend practise sessions to hone their pedagogical skills
  3. New evidence-based approaches and colleagues share expertise via phase leader meetings and in discussion with staff at all levels, including the Trust Times.
  4. They attend and engage in all forms of CPD, including feedback from colleagues at all levels, collaborating to provide the best possible teaching for our children.  They take responsibility for their professional development.
  5. They utilise Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction (i) and the Education Endowment Fund’sTeaching and Learning Toolkit (ii) to help inform decisions around how we teach and develop.

(i) Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction updated by Tom Sherrington


Themes Principles of Instruction
Reviewing Material Daily Review

Weekly and Monthly review

Questioning Ask Questions

Check for Student Understanding

Sequencing Concepts and Modelling Present New Material using Small Steps

Provide Models

Provide Scaffolds for Difficult Tasks

Stages of Practice Guide Student Practice

Obtain a High Success Rate

Independent Practice


(ii) Most impactful strategies for teaching and learning (2020)

Feedback Metacognition and Self Regulation Mastery Learning Peer to Peer Tutoring Collaboration


 2. Consistency

Shared routines and scripts communicate a sense of belonging and urgency: every lesson counts.  They also free up cognitive load for learning by practising the everyday stuff. 

Evidence in practice

  1. There is a shared script to embed culture and learning across the school.
  2. Routines are developed and practices ensure clarity, commitment to our values, a focus on what is essential.

Staff will ensure that

  1. They develop routines and scripts for culture and rigour under the school leadership guidance (appendix TBC)
  2. The same language for instructions and learning is unambiguous, clear and echoed throughout the school.
  3. Actions are used to support the economy of language.
  4. Children are supported to learn the routines early in the year.
  5. They practise routines until they become a habit.
  6. They greet every child around the school.
  7. The behaviour policy is adhered to consistently across the school.


3. Planning

Learning is well planned for solid progress from nursery to year six in the short, medium and long term.  (Planning)

Evidence in Practice

  1. The St Barnabas Trust curriculum includes the knowledge curriculum, Power Maths, RWinc, Talk for Writing, No Nonsense Spelling and Grammar and Charanga to support teacher work-load
  2. Children understand what they are learning, why and can articulate how new knowledge links to previous learning.
  3. Progress is evident in exercise books, marking comments, targets, assessment data, pupil conversations, and learning attitudes.

Staff will ensure that

  1. Assessment data and long-term planning are used to create their pace sheets (medium-term planning) before the term begins.
  2. Planning is designed backwards.  Teachers identify high expectations, goals or endpoints for the end of the half-term unit then break learning down so that these are achieved in the time given.
  3. They use pace sheets (medium-term planning) to map out learning progression across each half term (or longer), week by week, lesson by lesson.   These show horizontal, vertical and diagonal opportunities for recap, review, recall and repeat
  4. Links are made explicit for the children through metacognitive talk/dialogic teaching.
  5. They use the  5-Minute Lesson plan to ensure the Rosenshine principles and key drivers for learning, as identified by the Education Endowment Fund (EFF), become a part of their practice.
  6. Learning objectives are in place for every lesson.  These are data and curriculum-driven so that teaching is adapted to individual class needs.
  7. They create exit tickets alongside each learning objective, so it is clear how they will measure success by the end of the lesson.  Data from this will inform the next lesson in the teaching sequence by identifying children who find the knowledge too easy or too difficult.
  8. Tasks are exciting and linked to children’s interests, providing opportunities for collaboration (peer to peer teaching)
  9. They plan together to capitalise on each other’s expertise, considering pedagogical content knowledge, including anticipated misconceptions.

4. Leadership

Teaching and learning activities engage children in ownership of their learning and motivate them to learn: ask questions, grapple, reflect.

Evidence in Practice

  1. Children talk about their learning, progress and interests.  They engage with blended and flipped learning, bringing in things from home to share with their learning community.  
  2. Children engage in self-assessment and use metacognition to plan their learning, targets and goals, showing pride and joy in their achievements.
  3. They learn from others and in collaboration – giving and accepting feedback from teachers and peers.
  4. Children skip into school and show a love of learning.
  5. All are expected to engage; there is no opt out

Staff will ensure that

  1. They talk out loud to model the learning process, giving children access to expert thinking.
  2. Encourage metacognitive strategies and self-regulation whilst working towards learning.
  3. Share descriptors with children and guide them in assessing their progress and setting their targets.
  4. Provide opportunities for children to share their interests and link this to lessons
  5. Develop the children’s ability to ask questions in lessons and through techniques such as hot seating, drama and the use of curiosity cubes
  6. Engage with current events and points of interest through Picture News and National Days etc
  7. Name and praise the development of values and virtues so that these are explicit for the children, following the Trust timetable of values/Collective Worship.
  8. Providing some element of choice in either subject matter or approach to a task.
  9. They see themselves as the leader of teaching and progress for their class.


5. Assessment

Assessment is integral to planning on an ongoing basis: daily, weekly and over the longer term.  Teaching is responsive and adapts for support, repetition and challenge.

Evidence in Practice

  1. Learning objectives are data, as well as curriculum, driven.
  2. Fisher Family Trust Curriculum Tracker is used to track the learning journey in years 1 to 6 and Development Matters/Tapestry in the Early Years, identifying gaps and links to pace sheet (medium-term) planning.
  3. Checking for understanding is a feature of every lesson to identify who is not making adequate progress. There is an appropriate response to make sure they do (e.g. surgeries, pre-teach sessions, links between exit tickets and subsequent lessons.
  4. Strong progress evident in formative (books, conversations, curriculum tracker) and summative assessments; including quizzing
  5. Children become fluent readers by the end of year one and continue to build competence through shared reading and quality texts linked to the curriculum: children display an interest and a love of reading.
  6. Formative and summative assessments in the core subjects are aggregated termly. The analysis contributes to evaluating progress for individual children, classes, year groups and disadvantaged groups (pupil premium and SEND). Teachers and senior leaders attend a pupil progress meeting to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement for cohorts, subjects and across the whole school.

Staff will ensure that

  1. They are clear on outcomes for each lesson, checking on the progress of children within their class.
  2. They set active and engaging learning tasks that allow insight into how the children are progressing with their knowledge, asking appropriate questions to delve deeper into what and how the children are learning
  3. They track ‘ows and wows’ : Children who struggle with each learning objective and those who find the subject matter unchallenging, responding in a timely fashion to make sure every child continues to achieve and deepen their learning – where possible within the lesson, or by adapting subsequent lessons.
  4. Use Trust Summative assessments three times a year to standardise and test the teaching effectiveness in the core curriculum (reading, writing and maths) using PiRA, PuMA and in year groups two and six, past SAT papers.
  5. They judge attainment annually for individual subjects to assess individual progress and progress across the curriculum.  This provides information to subject leaders on areas of strength and areas for improvement.
  6. In reading, assessment is ongoing.  RWInc is summarised each half term and upon completion of each phonics unit.  STAR tests within Accelerated Reader are taken after each text read, providing a reading age and progress measures.  The PiRA test is used each term to track progress over time and to provide a measurement against national age-related expectations.
  7. Each full-term uses summative and formative assessments to award a teacher judgment on children’s attainment and progress.  This is analysed at child, class and subject level at pupil progress meetings with senior leadership and identifies areas of strength, good practice and areas for improvement and support.
  8. No child is left behind.


6. Relationships and Learning Environments

Learning environments (both physical and emotional) are ordered, loving, safe and purposeful.

Evidence in Practice

  1. An atmosphere of purpose and mutual respect is evident.
  2. Children enjoy collaborative tasks and learning.
  3. Children speak and act freely, enjoying freedom from bullying and harassment that may include prejudice-based bullying related to particular educational need, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion and belief, gender reassignment, disability or social class.
  4. Children feel valued, loved, safe and secure and display high self-esteem.
  5. Children know who to approach if they need help with something or if they are worried.
  6. Children show resilience; happy to take risks and learn from their mistakes. 
  7. Classrooms and communal areas are clear of clutter and promote our high standards and expectations.
  8. Learning outside of the classroom takes place regularly.
  9. Children’s learning outcomes are displayed around the classroom and the school for others to appreciate and admire
  10. Displays support, challenge and celebrate children’s learning.  They inspire children to engage in learning and have high standards reflected in their demeanour, books, attitudes to learning, and relationships.
  11. There are strong, mutually respectful relationships between home and school.
  12. Parents and caregivers know how their children are doing and what the next steps for learning are.  They feel comfortable approaching school.

Staff will ensure

  1. They teach children how to behave well.
  2. They follow the behaviour policy and uphold the school rules (and consequences) at all times.
  3. They embody the expectations by dealing with conflict calmly and fairly, negating the need to shout or lose their temper.
  4. Listen to children always, providing opportunities for children to talk to them without interrupting teaching and learning.
  5. Praise attitudes and effort in the classroom and assemblies
  6. They update the displays regularly and repair immediately should damage occur.
  7. They encourage children to help themselves, accessing support materials around the room to scaffold learning if required.
  8. They provide opportunities for collaboration, peer assessment and peer support.
  9. They encourage children to take ownership of their learning journey.
  10. They use agreed scripts and routines consistently.
  11. They embrace outdoor learning opportunities.
  12. They set and encourage purposeful homework.
  13. They welcome and communicate with parents regularly regarding children’s progress, achievements, struggles and concerns.
  14. Parents are informed about any changes, trips, clubs etc. promptly.
  15. They report to parents at least three times a year via parent evenings and the annual school report.

Aims for each lesson

Teaching starts where high expectation in the curriculum and individual ability meets.

Lessons hang on well-planned learning intentions that are both assessment-driven and curriculum-driven.

Small, progressive steps in learning enable mastery.

The learning is explicitly shared with the children, and its relevance and purpose explained.  We use shared language: We are getting better at…so that…

Learning is cohesive.  Links are made explicit within-subjects, across subjects and over time.  There are opportunities for review, recap and recall, building conceptual understanding and knowledge.

Our approach is collaborative and aims to ensure that every child is actively learning through collaboration and peer work. 

Checking for understanding happens at each small step.  This is a mixture of teacher, peer and child-led and tasks designed to make learning visible, cold calling or deepening questioning.

Teacher talk models grappling with the learning and models, images and scaffolds are gradually removed as children gain mastery and confidence.

‘Exit tickets’ are designed to check for understanding on a lesson to lesson basis for every lesson objective.

We recognise that performance and learning are not the same but support one another.

We use agreed routines and scripts throughout our schools to create a culture of high expectation and respect for learning. 

We recognise the power of continuous recall, recap, review and revise.  Each week, we ensure we quiz (e.g. four from before).