Teaching Methods

Methods and Approaches to Learning and Teaching

Children learn in very different ways and at vastly different rates. St. Mark’s aims to offer an inclusive curriculum that meets the needs of all learners. The learning environment should be managed in such a way as to facilitate different styles of learning, with particular regard to the specific educational needs of the children and the ways in which they learn best.

By understanding how children learn best we are able to include many styles of learning in our teaching. An inclusive curriculum provides opportunities for children to learn in a variety of ways through high quality learning experiences  based on:

  • auditory learning (listening)
  • visual learning (looking)
  • kinaesthetic learning (moving/touching/active)

Work is planned for individuals and groups based upon excellent knowledge of the children and ongoing assessments of their understanding and specific needs. For children with specific learning needs, we involve the use of additional staff and appropriate resources. Differentiated learning tasks and activities will support all children, including those experiencing specific challenges as well as extending and enriching experiences for higher attaining children.

We strongly believe that learning should be fun and engaging  and that children should be encouraged to take increasing responsibility for their own learning as they progress. To this end, all staff are committed to the following practices:

  • Teachers will work to ensure a positive, calm and supportive ethos and have high expectations of work and behaviour.
  • There will be a high level of interaction with pupils at all times, utilising such strategies as:

–     the use of deep, probing questioning to assess children’s understanding

–      talk/response partners

–      non-verbal whole class response strategies, eg. thumbs up/down

–      use of personal whiteboards

–      children sharing learning strategies

  • The teacher will share and explain the learning intention(s) with the children, as well as their expectations
  • Lessons will be appropriately paced to help maximise learning 
  • The teacher will demonstrate excellent knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subjects taught
  • Every adult in the classroom will encourage and support every child, giving positive reinforcement to help maximise progress
  • The teacher will involve every child, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and those for whom English is an Additional Language (EAL)
  • Teaching will be differentiated to ensure appropriate levels of challenge for all groups of children.
  • Lessons will include a range of open ended, creative tasks as well as more closed tasks as appropriate.

We do not advocate a particular style of teaching nor do we insist on the use of specific strategies. We believe that our teachers are best placed to understand what works best for their class and individual children based on their levels of ability and future needs. Fundamentally, we ensure that our children from point of entry in our school, make as much progress as possible in their learning.