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Principles and Practice

Teaching and Learning

Children are active agents in their own learning but they need adults ho are informed advocates who enable childrento take control, take risks, overcome failure, consolidate skills and understanding, think creatively and imaginatively and, above all, learn positive attitudes about themselves as learners

Bennett and Henderson, 2013

Children only get one chance to experience childhood and they have an absolute right to the highest quality of education

Lyssy Bolton

Executive Headteacher, The Mead Academy Trust

Principles into practice – our repertoire of teaching strategies:

Time is organised flexibly to cater for the children’s changing interests, levels of concentration and energy during the day. Children should have to ‘be’, to persist and to sustain high levels of involvement

The environment 
Children are entitled to an irresistible, rich, well-organised environment – one that provides for independence, choice and a wealth of sensory experiences

Adults and children are equally responsible for leading learning. Learning is designed to provoke dialogue, active listening and sustained shared thinking between all participants

Planning is responsive to the children’s interests and fascinations and is targeted to identify gaps in skills and understanding. Planning connects curriculum areas holistically, ensuring learning contexts are authentic with an appropriate balance of comfort and challenge

Problem solving 
Meaningful experiences enable children to find answers to puzzles, dilemmas, issues and quandaries through a process of creative thinking and enquiry

Feedback is continuous, specific, relevant and provides clear pathways to future success learning

Documentation makes visible the knowledge of the children, their journey of discovery and through mutual interpretation informs planning for next steps in learning

Questioning promotes discussion, intellectual curiosity and thought, encouraging children to hypothesise, create new lines of enquiry and predict outcomes

All teaching encounters involve adults modelling specific skills and learning behaviours to encourage children to recognise, understand and emulate

Children are organised in ways that best facilitate their learning and maximise their wellbeing


Excellent learning and teaching is characterised by:

Reciprocal relationships

Playing & exploring

Creative enquiry

Active learning

Thinking critically