Exciting topics, real-world adventures, the great outdoors and our wider community – we use all these and more to inspire curiosity and wonder. We build the confidence to ask questions, challenge ourselves, use initiative and become eager to seek out more. Read on to find out how we help children discover a love of learning.
S Safe and supportive learning environment.
We know that children only learn when they feel safe and happy and the adults in the classroom are key in promoting positivity where children are able to take risks and embrace challenge. The physical environment plays a crucial role in learning, ensuring displays are supportive in learning, as well as celebrating success and the general up-keep of the school has priority for our children.
P Powerful learning
Children need to know what they are learning and why they are learning it. If this is explicit, powerful learning happens! To be able to articulate this, and reflect on this success of the learning session, contributes to responsible, motivated learners.
A Active grappling.
Learning is an exhausting process – it’s a physical process which requires new neurological connections happening in the brain. It’s not ‘work’ the children are completing, but it is ‘learning’ the children are actively grappling with and getting ‘stuck in’ – it’s exciting, challenging and ultimately rewarding!
C Challenge and Curiosity
Challenge and curiosity forms the basis of all learning. Children get excited by challenging learning, and develop an insatiable desire to learn new skills, gain new knowledge or gather a greater understanding, through the exciting, stimulating and motivating curriculum at TMS. We encourage curiosity and want to children to unleash the questions that keep us awake every night – this shows true learning!
E Explore now and next
Exploring and reflecting on the learning is crucial. To properly learn new knowledge, skills and understanding, it needs to be embedded, to be deep. Children are encouraged to evaluate their learning and to reflect on how to deepen their understanding, as well as think about how this particular learning fits in with their learning journey – what comes next?
From September 2018, TMS are embracing the work of Professor Guy Claxton as we go on his learning journey of ‘Building Learning Power’. This strategy focuses on the learning potential of all individuals, and makes them better learners – learners for life. All learning is learnable, and the school has a duty to ensure pupils have a skillset they will be able to apply in all aspects of life, now and in the future.
Our Building Learning Power champions are Mrs Vale, Miss Davies, Miss Bowen and Mrs Murt.
“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
Professor Claxton suggests there are four major learning dispositions:
Perseverance is key to the learning journey. It is vital that pupils are able to get to grips with the knotty emotions of learning, and can view and use them positively as aids to the journey, not as setbacks.
At its least sophisticated, collaboration is little more than being cooperative. At its most sophisticated and complex levels it goes beyond learning ‘in a team’ and becomes learning ‘as a team’. It is an invaluable life skill.
The desire to ask questions to satisfy innate curiosity is alive and well in very young children, as any parent of a 3 year old will readily confirm! Explore how we can ensure that questioning remains alive and builds into a full blown inclination to explore and learn about the world.
Pupils need to learn how to deal with change, emotionally and practically. With an inflexible frame of mind they are unlikely to recognise the need to change their ideas or the way they do something. They also need to know what ‘good’ looks like; how to keep an eye on how things are going and evaluate how things went against external standards.
The amount of support that a child has with their learning at home has a huge impact on the rate of their progress. By supporting your child with home learning, you will be helping to consolidate and reinforce the skills they’re learning in school and boost their understanding, particularly in maths and English.
It’s important to us that we build an effective partnership with you so that together we can give your child the best possible start to their life of learning.
You can make a huge difference! Parents are the most important educators in a child’s life – even more important than their teachers – and it’s never too early to start reading together.
Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. In fact, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.
We encourage children to read at home every night, either to themselves or to an adult, whichever is appropriate. We also believe it is important that children are read to frequently – it helps develop their language skills, and gives them quality, calm time with a family member whilst enjoying a book.
For children in the lower school, we suggest you practice spellings based on the phonic sounds they are practising in school, as well as tricky and common exception words (words which cannot be sounded out).
In the upper school, each term, we give out a guide to the words we are learning in school for you to practice at home.
Being able to understand and recall number facts forms the basis of mathematics. They are the foundations on which all building blocks of maths understanding is formed. If these are wobbly, then as you can imagine, the subsequent learning may be tricky. Number facts we learn throughout the school include:
Practice, practice, practice, and you will reap the rewards!
In years 3, 4, 5 and 6 we also give out a termly home learning grid, which has a range of different activities to complete at home. The activities are linked with that term’s STAR learning topics and use a range of different skills so that children can do activities that use their strengths. This way children get to practise strengths they have that are not always seen fully in school – whether it be design, art, poetry or music – and we get to celebrate it too!
If you complete any additional learning with your child, please bring it into school so that we can celebrate. Why not visit our discovery page for ideas and inspiration, or see your teacher for any other support or resources.
For more on your child’s home learning, spellings, number facts and termly topics, visit their year group page:
The more families are involved in the learning process, the greater the chance of our children succeeding.
Our family workshops equip you with knowledge of the subjects and the processes that our children use to learn. We also know that parents showing interest in our children’s learning, strengthens relationships and builds on a positive attitude towards learning.
We aim to have five family workshops each term. They will be on Mondays as 2.30pm and, when possible, they will be repeated in an evening, depending on the availability of the staff. We know that some families are nervous about coming in for fear of their lack of knowledge being ‘exposed’ – but don’t worry, the workshops are not intended to be a ‘lesson’ or to test your knowledge, but to be a friendly, informal session where you can find out how to support your children’s learning, ask questions and learn something new! Everyone is welcome, just let the office know if you’d like to come along.
See this term’s family workshops in the diary.
If you’re unable to attend a workshop, we’ll also post a summary and a link to the PowerPoint in our news section.
Experiential learning is hugely valuable to our children’s success, so where possible, we arrange educational visits to give children a better understanding of the subject area and bring our STAR learning alive!
A visit may be a trip to somewhere outside of school, such as a museum or historic site, or a visit from an adult who has real-world experience of a topic and is able to come in to school and share their stories with the children.
We do ask for voluntary contributions towards the cost of visits outside of school; however, these visits will only go ahead if enough families support them. We negotiate prices for all visits and, if we are going ahead, we plan the day so that we get maximum mileage from the experience.
These visits are so important to the children’s learning and we want to make sure the opportunity is there for ALL children. We’ll let you know as far in advance as possible of any planned visits and the cost involved.
To increase the wellbeing of both children and staff, every Friday afternoon, we do a ‘Welly Walk’ around the extensive school grounds. It’s a relaxing time where staff and children can socialising with children from different year groups – enjoying the wildlife, being outside and having fun!
We started our welly walks in the summer term 2018 and we’ll continue to evaluate and adapt the way we do them to meet the children’s needs as their understanding of wellbeing grows.
We go out whatever the weather so children will need to bring in a change of shoes and a waterproof coat on Fridays – rainy welly walks are the most exciting!