How We Learn

At John Ball we aim for every child to be engaged and excited by learning, to become an effective learner and to begin to understand how they learn best. Our learning and teaching policy is at the heart of all we do. It sets out clear expectations, provides a standard uniform approach, a minimum entitlement for every pupil and can be easily monitored ensuring equal opportunity for all our pupils.

As a school we are moving from a focus on the question, “Am I teaching well?” to “Are the children learning well?”


Aims of our policy

  • We aim for every class at John Ball to be an effective learning community where our young people will begin their journey as lifelong learners.
  • We aim to ensure that the children at our school are provided with high quality learning experiences that lead to a consistently high level of pupil progress and achievement.

Through the application of our learning and teaching policy we aim to achieve the following outcomes for our young people:

What capacities do we want to develop in our young people?

  • Confident and resilient youngsters
  • Successful in their learning
  • Contributing effectively to the school, local and global communities
  • Being a responsible citizen within them

We want our young people to develop strong values that relate to:

  • themselves, as individuals capable of spiritual, moral, social, intellectual and physical growth and development
  • their relationships, as fundamental to the development and fulfillment of happy and healthy lives, and to the good of the community
  • their society, which is shaped by the contributions of a diverse range of people, cultures and heritages
  • their environment, as the basis of life and a source of wonder and inspiration that needs to be protected

What skills will our young people need for life in the 21st Century?

  • Literacy skills
  • Numeracy skills
  • ICT skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Personal and Social Development – resilience to cope with change

What are the beliefs and values that underpin learning and teaching in John Ball?

We recognise that we learn best when:

  • We can relate to, feel comfortable with, like and feel liked by the person we are learning from
  • We can make learning our own by relating it to our own experience and understanding
  • We feel included and active in the process and not just a recipient
  • We see a need and a reason for learning something – what’s in it for me?
  • We need to know something in order to teach someone else

We believe emotional literacy is the key to learning effectively. Emotionally literate people are aware of and manage their own emotional states and are aware of and manage other people’s emotional states. They recognise what is being felt, why it is being felt and know what to do about it. In our school we learn to express feelings clearly and appropriately and to make sense of the role that feelings play in decision making and taking action.

We believe that children learn best when their self esteem is high and children feel a sense of belonging and inclusion. In John Ball we make every effort to know children as individuals, understanding where they come from and who is part of their family. We also encourage pupils with praise. This is the responsibility of every adult in the school and we do this at all times in order to maintain and boost pupil morale.

We believe “Children learn what they live.” Better learning equates to better behaviour and vice versa. The positive behaviour of everyone in the school will promote good learning. All behaviour is learned and can be changed. Children will follow the model of adults. We believe that a calm and purposeful learning environment is best and all staff will use supportive, quiet and purposeful voices and avoid shouting.

We encourage pupils and adults to see things from different perspectives and view points and to have the opportunity to learn with different groups of children – age, experience and abilities.