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Teaching and Learning at The Harefield Academy (website overview)

Quality first teaching is the driving force behind curriculum planning, behaviour for learning and student outcomes at The Harefield Academy.  In our drive towards ensuring that all students reach their full potential, we train staff to ensure that the ‘daily diet’ for our students is consistently good or better across all lessons and all key stages.  The learning ethos at The Harefield Academy embodies a ‘we can’ attitude so that students are consistently made aware of our relentlessly high expectations of their learning and therefore show resilience and independence in tackling the challenging tasks and targets that we set. Our clear and consistent learning routines reinforce the expectation of students’ attitudes to learning and high aspirations.  Driving standards in Teaching & Learning is our core business; students and staff alike are leaders of learning at The Harefield Academy.

Personalised learning enables our students to have frequent opportunities to become successful.  We take into consideration the starting point and individual needs of all students when planning for inclusive quality first teaching.  In addition to this, we set aspirational targets for our students and take responsibility for helping them to meet these through our design of personalised resources and tasks.  All Academy students will receive personalised feedback from each of their teachers, so that they have clear individual next steps for further progress.

Excellent marking and assessment are not just an expectation, but an entitlement that every student has as part of their lessons and learning.  The purpose of The Harefield Academy Marking Policy is to support us in developing a system of feedback that will secure student progression.  It will also develop a dialogic process so that students are actively responding to the marking and feedback they are receiving and improving their knowledge and skills in light of the development needs that we identify.   We know that effective student engagement with feedback will have the highest impact on attainment, therefore as an academy we have a whole school policy to use STAR and Red Pen Response. This means that any feedback given either verbally or written is acted upon; students indicate this with a STAR next to their own comment, correction, continuation or response to a ‘challenge question’ in red pen in their books. While extended pieces of work will be marked throughout the term using this approach, class and homework will also be marked using peer and self-marking and effort grades.