Autumn 2007


The Core principles of Learning and Teaching


Here at Abbey Park First and Nursery School, teaching and learning is about developing secure floors to stand on, and not about creating ceilings on which children will bang their heads!

By engaging the children’s emotions, this will ensure that their learning is deeper!



Abbey Park First and Nursery School
Our learning and teaching statement

These statements reflect the shared beliefs of the teaching staff at our school. It also aims to inform governors and parents about the nature of good teaching and learning at Abbey Park First and Nursery School. As a team of professionals working together we aim to ensure that learning is enjoyable for both children and teacher, with evident enthusiasm from all involved.



The school provides for the professional development of all its staff.
We support each other as colleagues.


Our aim is for every child, whatever their background or

circumstances, to have the support they need to:

 These are known as the five outcomes, and are at the heart of learning and teaching.

 Childrens drawing of one of their teachers





  • Know what they are doing and why

  • Are developing skills

  • Are appropriately challenged

  • Are actively engaged in their own learning

  • Feel safe and happy

  • Are able to develop their own learning styles.

  • Have first hand experiences

Sharing WALT`and WILF (We Are Learning To and What I’m  Looking For)
Modelling and scaffolding,  questioning, observing and encouraging thinking and problem solving.
Questioning, Inclusive planning and differentiation. Using all strengths and weaknesses. Consider higher 
order questioning and mixed age planning.
Encouraging independence and peer support. Create a climate where children feel safe and secure, and can take risks in their learning.
Developing positive relationships.  Using brain gymn.
Providing multi sensory approaches. Using a creative approach to planning and cross curricular themes.
Providing practical and stimulating high quality resources





Learning takes place in an environment which:


We believe at Abbey Park First and Nursery School that the right standards are :


These four are at the heart of what we do.


We use the ‘grab factor’ at the start of our lessons to really enagage the children’s interest and enthusiasm. We endeavour to incorporate unusual lesson openings, and not always giving the lesson objective immediately. We have a flexible approach towards the curriculum and the patterns of the day, if the children are fully immersed in what they are doing.

Brain gym should be used to allow children to refocus mid way through their work, or where the teacher feels this is needed.

The teachers often review and assess the learning taking place throughout the lesson by conducting ‘mini plenaries’, asking questions and observation.. Questions can be  open ended and children should be given ‘ thinking time’ to allow for response. We often use response partners with whom they can discuss questions and answers.

Plenaries at the end of the lesson are be used to revisit lesson objectives and to gauge understanding. We also use a variety of methods for children to demonstrate to the teacher their understanding, e.g traffic light system or ‘ thumbs up or down’

Routines and rules

 Routines and rules in the classroom contribute to a healthy learning environment. To be effective we believe they should be:

Most of our classrooms contain a zone board which promotes and encourages good behaviour. Children whose names remain in the ‘gold ‘ area are rewarded with ‘golden time’ where they choose activities and games.  In the early years rewards are immediate in the form of stickers.


The school philosophy is to encourage and praise any achievement in work or behaviour rather than focus on the negative through punishment and retribution.

To achieve this we promote self esteem by:

Although emphasis is on the positive, there are occasions when a child’s behaviour is unacceptable and discipline is applied in a firm, fair and consistent manner:
reprimanded quietly, calmly and firmly;
asked to complete work;
asked to miss break or lunchtime play;
spoken to by the headteacher;
told that their parents will be contacted;
stopped from attending an after school club.
In extreme cases parents would be asked to take their children home during lunchtimes.


Please see the behaviour policy.



Social, physical, creative and academic achievements are celebrated in many ways as an ongoing process in all aspects of school life, by:
Teachers observe, assess, reflect and review achievements with each child on a regular basis. The child is involved in this process by the encouragement of self appraisal and target setting. Assessment is an integral part of the learning and teaching process


Assessment , recording and reporting

Asessment is necessary to identify what children need have learned and to plan for their next steps in learning. We need to evaluate what we have taught, how the children responded, what they have gained from the experience and what they have retained. From this assessment we can adjust our planning, modify our teaching and decided what needs to be reinforced, consolidated and then plan for progression.

Teachers are encouraged to use a variety of methods for recording their ongoing assessments of children. Mark books, with day to day test results of spelling or mental maths test can be used, or notes taken during the lesson, post it notes stuck onto planning sheets or planning sheets annotated.

Formal assessments are carried out through out the year. All children from year 2 to year 4 take a reading test ( NFER) in October and in June. Spelling tests are taken weekly, progress against the Maths key learning objectives are ongoing and recorded at the end of each term, and children’s writing is also formerly assessed on a termly basis.

Years 2 – 4 take SATS tests in the Summer term ( May).

These assessments enable us to gauge children’s progress towards set, end of year numerical targets in reading, writing, maths and science.



Parent evenings are held in the Autumn and spring terms. These are occasions when children’s long and short term targets  can be shared and discussed with parents, along with results of any relevant assessments.

A report on each child is written by the class teacher and sent to parents in the Summer term. The school operates an open door policy, where parents can come and discuss their child’s progress or any concerns they may have, at any mutual convenient time.


The school building

The school building accommodates five classes in modern classrooms around a quadrangle; we also have an early years unit, which houses the nursery and the reception class.

The classrooms

All classrooms are equipped and furnished to a high standard. The rooms are light and airy, and each fitted with an interactive whiteboard. Each class has three flat screen computers, and the nursery two, with internet access and arranged on a purpose built bench. Resources are easily accessible and drawers and cupboards clearly labelled. Around school each curriculum area has its own cupboard or space accommodating clearly labelled resources. Each classroom has a sink and designated craft/ design area.


Displays in and around the classrooms are colourful, interesting, appropriate, stimulating, and also act as support for children’s developing literacy and numeracy skills, and promoting learning  and teaching.

The library and ICT suite

The school has an I.C.T suite, and an open plan library with a wide range of non fiction and fiction books, which the children can access during the day or during library sessions.

Also by the library there is a small teaching room used for music tuition, a learning area to support children and a room for teachers to plan and prepare lessons.

Multi purpose room

In the early years unit we have a multi purpose room which is used for playgroup sessions, and for whole school use too. It contains a kitchen where the children are taught food technology, art and design and technology lessons. It also has an interactive white board.

The Hall

We have a large hall that is used for PE, drama, assemblies and as a dining hall.

Outside areas

We have separate play areas for the nursery and reception children, a large playground with shaded areas for the main school, a gazebo and adventure playground, surrounded by a large field. We also have an environmental area where we run forest school sessions, and an area by the early years, containing a pond and plants that attract wild life. This provides many opportunities for first hand experiences and taking the classroom ‘outside,


Approaches to teaching

There is a good balance of individual, group and whole class teaching, and teachers will choose carefully the style of teaching which is most effective, and groups will differ in composition and size for different activities. Some groupings are ability based, or mixed ability or friendship based. There are also many intervention programmes for specific groups of children, often taken by teaching assistants or trained parents.

Teachers’ plan teaching and learning in depth and detail, liaising closely with others working in the same key stage.

Children have free access to fresh cooled water throughout the day, via water dispensers. We have achieved healthy school status, and children are encouraged to only eat fruit at break times, which is provided daily through the fruit scheme we have signed up to.

Supply teachers

To ensure continuity, teachers leave written guidance and suggested activities for all planned absences. The teachers’ planning is always available showing lesson plans, timetables and curriculum documents.

Cover supervision

In some absences the teaching assistant who normally works with the class teacher will be taking the class. In this case, if at all possible the teacher will discus in detail the work to be covered, and the teaching assistant will be left with work to introduce ( grade 3 work ). Mostly the teaching assistant will be supported by another colleague. Depending on the nature of the work, the marking of the work will be left for the class teacher on his or her return to the class.

Specified work

On some occasions where the class teacher will be absent from the class the head will plan for a suitably qualified teaching assistant to take the class, sometimes with support from another teaching assistant. If it is specified work then the teaching assistant will plan the lesson, and also mark the work. This is grade 4 work.  

School policies

School polices are set out in a large policy file kept in the heads office; in the staffroom, and in the subject co ordinators file. It is the duty of each teacher to be familiar with all school policies and to apply them.


Equal opportunities

All children have the right to equal opportunities. Teachers’ expectations of behaviour and performance by all children should be the same. All children are given their entitlement to all aspects of the curriculum, regardless of any special educational need, disability, gender, or social and cultural background.


Resource finance

Curriculum areas are allocated money according to the needs identified in the school development plan and the accompanying school budget plan.