TMS Standards and Practice Policy

Introduction


This policy is intended as a guide to all school academic and administrative staff.  It sets out standards and principles of practice which everyone working in TMS  are expected to follow when within, or representing, the School. The underlying purpose is to ensure that the TMS  provides a high quality service to its Student s and other stakeholders in accordance with its Vision, Values and Mission Statements and to promote public confidence in the integrity of the Roots Millennium Schools.

Aim of the Policy


At Roots Millennium Schools we are committed to providing the best quality teaching and learning to raise standards of achievement for all our Student s. This policy summarises expectations and common working practices in our schools in order to provide a robust framework for realising this. It reflects what has been standardised in terms of approach and consistency of education provision across all TMS  schools and makes explicit the best practices to which all of the Roots Millennium schools aspire.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Teaching and Learning Policy.

Principles of Practice


Providing a conducive learning environment is the purpose of the whole school and is a shared commiTMSnt of all the staff. In this light, at TMS  we recognise that education not only involves children, but also parents and the wider community, and that for the maximum benefit of all, we should work closely together to support learning.

With this in mind, we aim to:

  • provide a supportive, positive, healthy, caring and safe environment for Student s and teachers, which has high expectations and values all members of the school community
  • recognise the needs and aspirations of all individuals in the school and provide opportunities for all Student s to make the best possible progress and attain the highest personal achievements
  • ensure Student s develop as literate, numerate and technologically competent individuals, within a broad, balanced, exciting and challenging curriculum
  • provide rich and varied contexts within schools and experiences for Student s to acquire, develop and apply a broad range of knowledge, skills and understandings
  • provide a curriculum which promotes the moral, social, cultural, physical, intellectual and emotional development of all Student s
  • support Student s to develop as individuals with lively, enquiring minds, good thinking skills, self-respect, self-discipline and positive attitudes
  • encourage all Student s to be enthusiastic and committed Students, and promoting their self -esteem, self-worth and emotional well-being whilst in school
  • develop Student s’ confidence and capacity to learn independently and collaboratively
  • develop enduring values of respect, honesty, integrity, kindness, tolerance, fairness and trust
  • encourage Student s to respond positively to the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing world
  • encourage Student s to become active and responsible citizens, contributing positively to society
  1. TMS Ethos
    The atmosphere that teachers and students experience in TMS schools are the foundation for standards and practice. This means that all TMS staff should work constructively to contribute to the development of the TMS ethos which is described as follows:

    • Providing a supportive and effective learning environment in which all students can produce their best work
    • Providing a welcoming environment in which courtesy, kindness and respect are fostered
    • Providing an equitable and disciplined learning environment
    • Effective management of professional time
    • Valuing and celebrating students’ success and achievements
    • Teachers regularly reviewing their professional development to ensure a consistently high level of professional knowledge and expertise
  2. Roles and Responsibilities

    Professional practice is a shared responsibility and everyone within the school community has an important part to play in providing the best experience of education for our students. Everyone in school should be striving to:

    • empower our students as individuals, and to respect their rights and values as individuals and learners
    • foster good relationships between students and between teachers and students, and promote a sense of belonging to, and ownership of, the school
    • provide a safe and well-ordered environment for all students. This means that everyone working in school is aware of health and safety aspects relevant to the school and is focused on making clear, and managing, the behavioural expectations of students whilst on campus and/or in uniform
    • encourage, praise and positively reinforce good relationships, behaviours and work of students
    • contribute as part of a team, supporting and encouraging each another.

    Teachers will endeavor to:

    • provide challenging and stimulating lessons that motivate students to strive for the highest standards of achievement
    • ensure that both the content of teaching and approaches to teaching are progressive and innovative
    • be aware of the needs of each student they teach
    • be good role models by demonstrating punctuality, being well-prepared and organized for work
    • keep up-to-date with educational issues and developments
    • provide clear information on school procedures and student progress
    • have a positive attitude to change that can occur in school and, in regard to change initiatives, the continuous development of their own expertise
    • collaborative with colleagues to develop a coherent and consistently high level of professional practice across the entire school

    Driven by positive relationships and communication with the school, parents should be encouraged to support their child’s learning by:

    • ensuring that their child attends school regularly, punctually and well-rested so s/he is ready/able to learn
    • ensuring that their child wears the school uniform and brings all necessary equipment and materials they need for their learning
    • participating in scheduled meetings/ discussions arranged regularly by the school concerning their child’s progress and achievement
    • support the school’s homework initiatives (reinforcement activities) and ensuring that the homework assigned is completed on time
    • supporting the school’s initiative to develop children’s independence as individuals and learners as they progress through their school

    Through creating a positive and constructive environment for learning, and working collaboratively with parents, the intention is that students will be encouraged to:

    • attend school regularly and punctually
    • be organised and ready to learn, bringing all necessary equipment and materials they need for learning
    • conduct themselves in an orderly manner in line with the expected behaviours of TMS students
    • take increased responsibility, with time and support, for their own learning
  3. Organisation

    The learning environment should be managed to effectively facilitate students’ different styles of learning. Therefore, in all schools there should be opportunities made for:

    • whole class teaching
    • small group work
    • one-to-one coaching
    • collaborative learning in pairs or groups
    • independent learning
    • student choice and voice

    Therefore, all areas of the school should be considered as part of the learning environment and consequently should be planned for use. This includes the entire school grounds. This will ensure opportunities for a range of practical activities for students, aimed at developing appropriate knowledge, skills and understandings, but in a variety of ways and contexts.

    • individual learning
    • collaborative learning in small groups, or pairs
    • one-to-one learning
    • whole class
    • independent learning
    • self-directed study
  4. Learning Styles
    At TMS we understand that students learn in different ways and at different rates. This means that in the course of their learning, they develop their skills through a variety of preferences for learning. These include:

    • investigation and discovery
    • experimentation and experience
    • listening to conversations, discussions, lectures
    • observing demonstrations
    • talking and discussion
    • asking questions (of teachers and peers)
    • practical skills exploration
    • reflection (abstract conceptualisation)
    • repetition
    • problem-solving
    • making choices and decision-making.

    These understandings about learning inform teachers’ practice, so that at TMS we know that students learn best when:

    • they are happy and healthy so that they are receptive to learning
    • they are alert and so can feel positive about learning
    • their interest is captured and they feel involved – learning is relevant and stimulating
    • they understand why they are doing a task – it has a clear purpose and objectives
    • they feel safe to learn, in terms of the physical and psychological environments for learning
    • they feel valued as individuals and as learners – teachers demonstrate that they care about them as individuals and learners
    • they are given opportunities in a safe environment to explore and take risks
    • they are actively involved in their learning, making choices and being given opportunities to take responsibility for their own learning
    • they feel they have some choices in their learning and are given opportunities to work with a degree of independence
    • they receive constructive feedback and appropriate levels of praise for their achievements
    • they perceive that the learning environment is well-organised and resources are easily accessible by them
    • they are provided opportunities for learning which are built on their existing knowledge and experience and presented in clearly defined, small steps
    • they have opportunities to discuss their work with peers, to share ideas and opinions, and reflect on what has been learned and how it has been learned
    • the teacher demonstrates subject knowledge, subject pedagogy knowledge and enthusiasm for their subject
    • they have clearly defined targets which are challenging but which they feel they can successfully achieve with hard work and application.

    In light of students learning styles, at TMS opportunities should be organised to allow students access to these processes, and for them to develop their own strategies to gain knowledge and skills. This is because we recognise that each student has a unique way of learning and that learning preference is affected by previous experience, competence, confidence, beliefs and values. Therefore, we should ensure that learning is accessed by as many means as possible including:

  1. Teachers should ensure opportunities are available across the entire curriculum for students to develop:

    • Functional numeracy skills
    • Effective communication skills
    • ICT skills
    • Problem-solving skills
    • Skills for working with others
    • Independence and self-direction
    • Collaboration and cooperation skills

    Thinking skills should also be incorporated in the implementation of the curriculum. This will include:

    • Creative thinking
    • Skills of enquiry
    • Information processing
    • Logical reasoning
    • Skills for analysis and evaluation
    • Ability to synthesise information from a range of sources

    Group work in TMS schools can include friendship groups, matched ability groupings or mixed ability groupings, but these should always be organised appropriately to the activity. Collaborative learning is encouraged in all grade levels.

Standards of Professionalism


  1. All staff should make themselves aware of, and should follow at all times, school policies, practices and procedures
  2. All staff are expected to behave professionally, demonstrating the highest possible standards as an education professional, at all times
  3. All staff should actively cooperate with their colleagues in school, providing support, help and guidance, and enable effective communication throughout the school
  4. Staff should never use their position in the school for personal advantage or gain, upholding standards of professional integrity at all times
  5. Staff should never use words or actions that may offend others, especially members of the public, or which could bring the school into disrepute or otherwise undermine the perception of the school in the community
  6. All staff should not exhibit prejudice or bias in any form
  7. Continuing professional development of teachers should be based on the objectives identified in the School Development Plan (SDP). (See the CPD policy).
  8. Professional Behaviour
    • Teachers behaving fairly and courteously in all their interactions and communications with students, colleagues and parents
    • Teachers working cooperatively with colleagues and collaborating on their work to ensure that students’ experience of education is coherent and comprehensive
    • Teachers maintaining a positive attitude and encouraging a positive attitude in others as a means to promote a quality learning experience for students and a positive work environment amongst staff
    • Teachers follow a professional dress code that maintains the image of TMS
    • Teachers taking responsibility for the behaviour of students in the classroom, in the school grounds and in the immediate environment outside the school
    • Teachers being familiar with their job requirements as described in their job description
    • All teachers respecting and valuing the rights and opinions of others.

      This includes:

  9. Disciplinary Rules
  10. The following are examples of behaviour which TMS finds unacceptable, which helps to inform standards of professionalism in all schools.  The following list provides an outline of unacceptable behaviours in TMS schools, but unacceptable behaviour should not be seen as limited only to this listing:

    1. Any form of physical/verbal misbehaviour directed towards students, colleagues or visitors to the school
    2. Theft of money or other people’s property
    3. Removal from any school premises of property which is not normally taken away without the authority of the School Head (which is considered as gross misconduct and will be dealt with severely by the school administration)
    4. Deliberate falsification of documents, especially students’ work
    5. Accepting gifts or gratuities
    6. Disregarding rules (for safety and security) affecting the safety of students, other staff or visitors to the school
    7. Any act which could result in a legal case against the school
    8. Refusal to follow instructions given by management which are clearly fair and reasonable
    9. Neglect of duties and responsibilities
    10. Unauthorised absence from work
    11. Being untruthful or engaging in deception regarding academic reports and documents (e.g. adjusting report cards)
    12. Breaking academic or student confidentiality
    13. Conduct which brings disrepute or which undermines confidence of the community in TMS

Teaching Standards


TMS teachers make the high quality experience of education of their students their first concern, and accept accountability for achieving this. TMS teachers strive for the highest standards of professional work and of students’ conduct in their classes and around the campus. TMS teachers act with professional honesty and integrity at all times, have strong subject knowledge and pedagogical knowledge, keep their knowledge and skills as teachers up-to-date through seeking out professional development, are self-critical of their work, forge positive professional relationships with colleagues and work with parents in ways which best serve the interests of their students.

  1. Teaching
    A TMS  teacher must:

    1. Have acceptably high expectations of students they teach. By setting this standard, students are motivated and challenged. High expectations are realised by the teacher as they –
      1. establish learning environments for students which are interesting and engaging
      2. set targets for learning in lessons that challenge all students
      3. model the work behaviour and academic attitudes which are expected of students
    2. Support student progress and attainment by –
      1. Taking responsibility for students’ continuous learning
      2. Building an awareness, over time, of each students’ capabilities and needs, and using this understanding to plan lessons
      3. Guiding students’ reflection on what has been learned and how it has been learned, and the progress they are making in relation to their on-going needs for learning and achieving the curriculum outcomes
      4. Bringing a comprehensive understanding of the different ways that students learn and use this knowledge in their planning and teaching
      5. Encouraging students to take a responsible attitude to their own work and study (i.e. ownership)
    3. Demonstrate good subject and curriculum knowledge, and subject pedagogical knowledge, which means having a secure knowledge of the subject(s) s/he teaches and the prescriptions in the curriculum, and be able to use a range of teaching approaches to engage and support students
    4. Make productive use of assessment
      1. Know the most appropriate means for assessing the subjects’ curriculum objectives
      2. make use of formative and summative assessment to manage students’ progress, set targets and plan lessons
      3. Give students regular feedback on their learning, both orally and through written comments on students’ work, and encourage students to respond to, and reflect on, the feedback
    5. Manage students’ behaviour as part of ensuring a safe learning environment for all, by –
      1. Setting and maintaining rules and routines for behaviour in classrooms
      2. Taking responsibility for promoting good behaviour around the school
      3. Having high expectations of behaviour of all students
      4. Ensuring good discipline with a variety of consistent strategies (for example, acceptable sanctions and appropriate rewards)
      5. Using approaches to teaching which avoid boredom and which disaffect students, in favour of strategies which involve and motivate students
      6. maintaining positive working relationships with students, and being firm but fair in exercising appropriate authority in the classroom
    6. Engage with a wide range of professional responsibilities in school, including –
      1. making a positive contribution to the life and vibrancy of the school
      2. developing effective professional relationships with colleagues
      3. Accessing appropriate professional development to continuously up-skill and revise practice, responding to feedback from colleagues and management, and requesting advice and guidance from colleagues and mentors
      4. communicating effectively with parents with regard to students’ needs, progress, achievements and well-being
  2. Personal and professional conduct

    A TMS teacher must be an exemplar of personal and professional conduct at all times. The following statements define the level of conduct expected of a TMS teacher:

    • Teachers acquire a thorough grounding of ethical behaviour as a foundation to their teaching practice
    • Teachers maintain, through reflection, discussion and training, consistently high personal expectations of ethics and professionalism, which are exhibited by:
    • treating students and parents with respect
    • observing proper boundaries of conduct with students
    • safeguarding students’ safety and well-being in school
    • demonstrating tolerance of, and respect for, the rights and opinions of others
    • Educational professionals maintain a professional responsibility and concern for upholding the policies and practices of TMS and the character of the school in which they teach
    • Teachers must have exceptional standards of attendance and punctuality