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Teaching & Learning

Here at Northfield, we aim to ensure that children experience high quality teaching that instils a love of learning, promotes our three core values of respect, honesty and resilience and allows for opportunities for pupils to succeed. It underpins our core purpose of always improving classrooms.

The three underpinning principles of our teaching and learning strategy are retention, skills and challenge. We have explained each one below in more detail:

Retention - we plan our lessons to ensure deep learning takes place through revisiting and connecting prior knowledge. That means we provide many opportunities for pupils to learn the same concept, over time and in different contexts. We assess the pupils' recall of critical knowledge regularly in fun ways to ensure this is added to pupils' long-term memory. Every lesson at Northfield begins with a retention task: an activity that revisits prior critical knowledge so that pupils can check their recall.

Skills - pupils are given opportunities in lessons to develop their skills in communication, literacy, numeracy, ICT and collaboration. We carefully plan, teach and then assess skills so that we can develop these over time.

Challenge - we care about the progress of all our pupils, which is why learning in lessons is chunked with carefully planned support or activities to stretch learners. We ensure that our planning takes into account individual starting points so all pupils are able to make progress, regardless of ability or target grades. Whilst teachers use a variety of strategies within lessons to help challenge pupils, there are two common approaches adopted by all teachers: ‘Push Your Thinking’ (PYT) tasks – tasks focused on eliciting deeper levels of thought and challenge; and breaking tasks up into three layers of challenge, in the form of: ‘Critical’, ‘Enhanced’ and ‘Advanced’ – a concept focused on empowering pupils to challenge themselves in lessons, by selecting the task they feel is most appropriate and beneficial to them.