Teaching and Learning Policy

Teaching and Learning Policy

Teaching and learning is central to the work of The Vale Federation.  Each learner has a unique learning style and motivation which is addressed in our teaching.


This policy is underpinned by the following principles.  Teaching should be:

  • Well planned – with a clear structure to all planning processes.
  • Interactive – involving pupils and young people in their learning.
  • Motivating – engendering enthusiasm for learning in the pupils and young people.
  • Differentiated – to meet the needs of individuals and groups of learners.
  • Informed – by prior attainment, what the students know, understand and can do, and in addition priorities identified on the School Improvement Plans and School Self Evaluation forms (SEF).

Teachers recognize that:

  • Each learner is unique and has a preferred learning style.
  • Building and maintaining learner self-esteem optimises learning.
  • Learners make great progress in an environment rich in appropriate language and interaction.
  • Learning is effective in a safe and secure environment which includes consistent approaches towards the management of challenging behaviour, and opportunities to celebrate pupil achievement.
  • Long term learning is aided by appropriately structured peer learning opportunities.
  • Learning is more effective when there are a variety of short, structured tasks.
  • Formative assessment is an essential part of teaching and learning.


Planning for teaching should include:

  • Clear teaching activities, which show progression.
  • Activity-related vocabulary as appropriate to individual needs.
  • Activities differentiated for individuals and groups of pupils and young people.
  • Assessment opportunities for individuals and groups of pupils and young people.
  • Key questions to develop learning as appropriate to individual needs.
  • Resources to support and reinforce learning.
  • Homework that reinforces/extends the child or young person’s learning, as appropriate to their individual learning needs. This can be through sharing individual targets with parents which can be reinforced through activities at home i.e. practicing skills learnt in the home context or more specific individual activities related to lessons e.g. collecting objects to bring into school for a topic.

Planning for learning should include:

  • Clearly identified learning objectives, outcomes and evaluation.
  • Opportunities for co-operative working in pairs or groups.
  • Opportunities for supported learning
  • Opportunities for independent learning.
  • Making cross-curricular links.
  • Opportunities for pupils to ask questions and contribute to peer group discussion.
  • Opportunities to explore, investigate and research.

Lesson Structure

Long term plans give an overview of curriculum coverage.  Medium term plans indicate the time needed to deliver the curriculum and decisions made about blocked and continuing schemes of work.

Short term (lesson) plans should show

  • A clear structure with a beginning, middle and end.
  • An appropriate amount of time for a range of activities within each lesson.
  • The deployment of classroom staff and any appropriate adaptations to the learning environment.
  • Reference to Health and Safety issues, risk assessments and behaviour management plans.
  • The effective use of open and closed questions.
  • Planned opportunities for discussion in pairs and groups.
  • The effective use of the plenary session to allow pupils to explain their thinking and to celebrate achievements.
  • A variety of activities that stimulate pupils’ thinking and curiosity which will encourage debate.
  • A mix of strategies to motivate and encourage enthusiasm for learning, including a variety of activities, a range of teaching styles and the use of resources and artefacts.
  • Clear indication of recording/evidence required for assessment/accreditation as appropriate.


Teachers should employ a variety of strategies for differentiation; these should include differentiating by:

  • Resources – using a variety of media, communication aids, ICT and specialist areas.
  • Response – using clear objectives, relevant strategies and explicit assessment criteria.
  • Support – using equipment, classroom staff and other pupils and young people effectively.
  • Task – using a variety of activities matched to pupils’ abilities and levels of development.

The Use of Assessment

  • Assessment is an integral part of the every day work of teachers within the Vale Federation. Please see the Assessment, Recording and Reporting Policy.

Monitoring & Evaluation

Teaching and learning is monitored by members of the Senior Leadership Team and subject leaders.