A Way Forward for Teaching and Learning by @TeacherToolkit

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Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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If you led whole-school teaching and learning in your school, what would you do?

One year in to my new role as a deputy headteacher, leading whole school teaching and learning, I am now at the stage where I need to consider a consistent way forward for all teachers within the school. This is a blog about leading teaching and learning …

Learning Policy:

I am drafting a learning policy for teaching and learning. Now, before the term ‘policy’ makes your spine shiver, I intend for this policy to be consulted upon, and yet, be incredibly concise so that it becomes the number one document used within the school and the ‘one-stop-shop’ go-to document that everyone refers to; or when (new) staff need a reminder of what we do and what we do not encourage in the classroom.

shutterstock Businessman tearing up a sign saying - We Can't - conceptual of successfully overcoming problems and challenges, positive attitude and providing the service. Learning Policy

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This policy will encourage teachers to teach to take risks; to be confident in what they do, matched alongside a consistent framework for high-quality teaching and learning across the entire school.

At present, the policy is currently limited to a humble ten sides of A4. I hope to reduce this and focus on quality not quantity. I say this because I am adamant that this policy will not become unwieldy, where no member of staff will ever want to read it, or pick it up from their office/classroom shelf.


The current policy is drafted in the following format:

  1. Front page
  2. One page summary
  3. Vision and values
  4. Mark-plan-teach
  5. A reference to our behaviour for learning policy
  6. A reference to progress over time; and the removal/refusal to grade one-off lessons
  7. A reference to the importance of evidence based practice; including myths; action research and high-quality professional development
  8. A final page including a breakdown of appendices and signposts for all teaching staff. For example, documents and templates that could be found in our teacher planner; as well as a monitoring, evaluation and review cycle to help teachers plan their workload and managed deadlines; and finally a CPD takeaway/menu that all staff can use and refer to help guide their professional development and ensure that CPD promotes equality and transparency in terms of what is available and who is eligible for various professional CPD programmes (internally and externally) within the school.


This policy is by no means complete, and I’m sure at this point of pre-publication, all staff will have their viewpoint and will also want to have a degree of consultation and input.

What I do you hope for 2015/16, is that all teachers in our school are aware of what our classroom expectations are of ourselves and also of each other. Once this is established, students and parents will also be aware of the high standards of teaching and learning that we expect from them. 

If you’d like to know more, I hope to share the finer details of what this looks like within a few weeks. Stay tuned …


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12 thoughts on “A Way Forward for Teaching and Learning by @TeacherToolkit

  1. Exciting – good luck with the distillation. I would be interested to see more on your section 4. I’ve just formed a working party to review the use of feedback/ marking in the school to create a new policy and strategy on consistent use of feedback across the school. The basis of which and hopefully the result being:

    • Closing the gap for students in terms of knowledge and skill sets
    • Consistency across the school
    • The embedding of DIRT within our teaching practice and language of learning to ensure students respond to feedback
    • Reducing staff workload – working smarter not harder: quality of feedback and response as opposed to quantity

    Was hoping to use your twitter platform for some questions this weekend if at all possible? Jeremy

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