Bellahouston Academy Learning and Teaching Policy

Bellahouston Academy Learning and Teaching Policy

Learning and Teaching Policy

“Our aspiration is to enable all children to develop their capacities as successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors to society.” Curriculum for Excellence (2004)

The Teaching Process Quality Indicator 5.2

“The essential quality was expressed by someone as “being there for you”. Their highest praise was reserved for teachers who “have faith in you”, “make you feel clever” and “really care for your opinion”.”

(Schools speak for Themselves: Towards a Framework of Evaluation, a report for the NUT by the Centre for Quality in Education, Jordanhill Campus, University of Strathclyde, 1996)

“The best kind of teacher is one who helps you to do what you couldn’t do yourself but doesn’t do it for you.”

(Child, aged 8, quoted in Robert Fisher, Teaching Children to Think, 1990)

At Bellahouston Academy we acknowledge that teaching will be most effective where:

The learning climate and teaching approaches

  • a range of teaching approaches, including ICT, AifL strategies, is matched to pupils’ needs
  • teachers keep abreast of current curriculum and educational developments as part of a structured and negotiated CPD programme
  • account is taken of prior learning, variation in learning styles, knowledge and lack of knowledge
  • lessons are pitched and paced so that work is appropriate yet challenging
  • homework is well-planned and linked to class work as outlined in the School Homework Policy
  • the physical learning environment has been adapted so that it is conducive to learning and teaching

Teacher/pupil interaction

  • teachers’ enthusiasm for the subject is conveyed to pupils and the purpose and

relevance of lessons is shared with them

  • teachers have high expectations of pupil achievement
  • instructions and explanations are clear and consistent and pitched at an appropriate level
  • praise is used effectively and pupils’ contributions are recognised and valued

Clarity and purposefulness of dialogue

  • teachers’ questioning is skilled and flexible, care is taken to involve all pupils

and responses are listened to and used effectively

  • barriers to effective learning are recognised and appropriate action is taken

Learners’ ExperiencesQuality Indicator 2.1

“What a child does in cooperation with others, he will learn to do alone.”

(Lev Vygotsky, Mind and Society, 1978)

“No educational objective is more important for students than learning how to learn, and how to function as an independent, autonomous learner.”

(Michael J. A. Howe, Psychology of Learning, 1998)

At Bellahouston Academy we encourage pupils to learn more effectively by aiming to create an environment where:

The learning environment and pace of learning

  • teachers strive to develop good personal relationships with pupils
  • the school discipline policy is adhered to within the classroom and a Merit

Scheme introduced

  • the classroom environment is safe, stimulating and challenging with

resources well organised and easily accessed

  • where possible, contexts for lessons reflect pupils’ interests and learners are motivated and eager participants in their learning
  • pupils’ efforts and achievements are celebrated, for example by displaying pupils’ work
  • pupils have self confidence and a sense of worth

Personal responsibility

  • pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for and be active in their own learning
  • opportunities are provided for well-structured revision and review
  • pupils are aware of their strengths and developmental needs as learners
  • pupils are encouraged to set realistic short term outcomes
  • pupils are responsible and contribute actively to the life of the school and the wider community

Interaction with others

  • opportunities are provided for pupils to work collaboratively and supportively in a variety of circumstances, involving pairings and groups of differing composition and size

Meeting Learning Needs Quality Indicator 5.3

“The issues I have in mind are to do with the fate of all marginalized groups and with understanding of what it is about the education system that creates marginalization”

(Alan Dyson, The Wrong Debate, Spring 2001)

“The teachers regarded their plans as almost infinitely flexible and implementation was crucially influenced by conditions which impinged on their teaching.”

(Sally Brown and Donald McIntyre, Making Sense of Teaching, 1993)

At Bellahouston Academy we acknowledge that we will best meet pupils’ needs when:

Choice of tasks activities and resources

  • the range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds of our pupils is seen as a rich and positive resource
  • tasks, activities and resources are well-matched to the needs of individual pupils and take account of a range of preferred learning styles
  • learning and teaching approaches help pupils to identify and achieve next steps in their learning
  • an holistic approach to teaching and learning encourages pupils to see links between learning opportunities
  • opportunities for cross curricular work are recognised and encouraged

Provision for pupils of differing abilities and aptitudes

  • staff take account of information issued through SfL Red Folder and EAL yellow


  • differentiation is deployed in a range of strategies appropriate to the needs of

individual pupils or groups of pupils of differing abilities, aptitudes and

educational background

  • account is taken of the needs of all pupils in terms of gender, cultural and social

background, language experience and religious conviction

  • teachers are flexible and prepared to adapt content and methodology to meet

pupils’ needs

  • appropriate Additional Assessment Arrangements are in place for those pupils for whom there is entitlement. These arrangements are agreed with SfL, pupils and parent(s)/carer and fulfil the SQA Quality assurance criteria.

Identification of learning needs

  • all staff take responsibility for identifying and addressing specific learning needs and/or barriers to learning
  • all staff follow the procedures for referring pupils through use of the pupil referral form
  • support staff and agencies are used flexibly, co-operatively and effectively to identify and support specific learning needs

Assessment for Learning Quality Indicator 5.4

“It is the application of accumulated skill, wisdom and expertise in the circumstances of the class-room which defines much of the teachers’ professionalism – a teacher’s capacity to make informed judgments in the rapidly shifting environment of the classroom.”

(Michael Fullan and Andrew Hargreaves, What’s Worth Fighting for in your School?, 1992)

“Opportunities for assessment to occur not only have to be planned but have to be seized as part of the normal everyday teaching process, rendering assessment as close as possible to a ‘natural’ teaching situation.”

(Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison, Teaching Practice, 1998)

At Bellahouston Academy we acknowledge that assessments will be most useful when:

Methods and arrangements for recording

  • each assessment has a clearly identified purpose
  • a range of approaches to assessment is used in making judgments about progress
  • there is an effective and systematic way of recording assessment
  • assessments reflect national guidelines for different stages
  • AifL strategies are encouraged

Judgments made in the course of teaching

  • assessment is ongoing and used to confirm and monitor individual pupil progress and to identify next steps in learning
  • systems are in place to support, moderate and validate teachers’ judgments

Use of assessment information

  • pupils are involved in dialogue about their progress and next steps
  • discussions take place to negotiate attainment levels and assess where pupils are on track
  • their views and individual achievements are valued
  • electronic tracking, assessment records and summaries are used periodically to inform pupils and parents and to ensure continuity and progression from stage to stage
  • assessment information is used to evaluate teaching and learning and to inform any resultant changes