Teaching & Learning

At Buxton School, the curriculum is designed to engage our pupils and encourage life- long learning. We aim to inspire ambition, develop personal empowerment, build resilience and stimulate creative and critical thinking. We strive to develop cultural knowledge and provoke learners to have a curiosity about the world that they live in.

Our work is centred on the principle that teaching should enthuse pupils and engage their interest and enthusiasm for learning in a nurturing and positive environment. Learning is about making connections. This drive for outstanding learning is reflected by the training and development that we offer to staff. Currently we have several staff completing Masters level qualifications in education as well as a number of staff who have completed the ‘Outstanding Teacher Programme’. Additionally all staff work in a variety of groups to develop Teaching & Learning across the school.

Evaluating how well we are teaching and pupils are learning is done in a variety of ways, including lesson observation, learning walks, peer observations, book monitoring, pupil discussions, and our Governing Body play an active role in this process.

We believe that learning is effective when:

  • All pupils are engaged, all of the time
  • Pupils ask more questions than teachers
  • Questions are valued over answers
  • A variety of learning models are used
  • Learning objectives are pitched appropriately and challenge even the highest attaining learners. They are diverse, transparent and co-created with pupils when appropriate
  • Learning tasks allow our pupils to achieve to their full potential
  • The use of resources, including adults, is maximized in all lessons
  • There are constant and creative opportunities for practice and growth

Pupil Feedback

At Buxton we recognise the importance of feedback as an integral part of the teaching and learning cycle, and aim to maximise the effectiveness of its use in practice. We are mindful also of the research surrounding effective feedback and the workload implications of written marking, as well as research from cognitive science regarding the fragility of new learning. Our policy is underpinned by the evidence of best practice from the Education Endowment Fund and other expert organisations

Key Principles:

  • The sole focus of feedback should be to further pupils’ learning
  • Feedback should empower pupils to take responsibility for improving their own work
  • Written comments should only be used as a last resort for the very few pupils who otherwise are unable to locate their own errors, even after guided modeling by the teacher
  • Pupils should receive their feedback either within the lesson itself or in the next appropriate lesson
  • We expect pupils to respond to comments made by the teacher, showing how their learning has moved forward
  • Teachers use ‘next step’ style questions and prompts to provoke thought, instigate explanation and develop critical thinking. Pupils respond to these in the time provided. Feedback is an actionable learning dialogue between the pupil and the teacher
  • Feedback is part of the school’s wider assessment processes, which aim to provide an appropriate level of challenge to pupils in lessons, allowing them to make good progress
Formative Assessment:
  • We use a range of questions to develop breadth, depth and accuracy
  • We believe that all children should have opportunities to answer
  • Teachers plan for mini-plenaries in lessons to celebrate good work and address misconceptions
  • We use a range of Assessment for Learning strategies to engage and challenge the learners in our schools
  • We provide on the spot support as a result of ‘knowing’ how well pupils have done in their learning.
Summative Assessment:
  • Assessments completed at key points in the year, inform teachers of gaps in pupil knowledge, skills and understanding and inform them of areas for development
  • Teachers use assessment information to inform their planning, using time effectively to address common gaps and misconceptions
  • Data is analysed to measure pupil attainment and progress throughout the school year.


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