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How We Teach

Our Approach


The National Curriculum is central to our teaching at Manley Park.  We encourage our staff to be innovative in designing meaningful learning opportunities for our children, and use a thematic approach in our planning.

Each half-term the whole school explores a single theme and puts the children at the heart of their learning.  In helping our children build up their knowledge and skills around a theme we aim to reinforce their understanding of different subjects, giving them life-long learning skills while developing strong links with the Curriculum.

Together we strive to encourage high personal standards and nurture children who can apply their skills in everyday life, both independently and in collaboration with others.


At Manley Park, children are active participants in their own learning: all classrooms are talking and thinking places. Pupils are expected to continually reflect and deepen their understanding. Getting stuck and taking risks are aspects of learning which are celebrated and seen as essential to moving forward. 

Assessment for learning underpins our pedagogy. Pupils use RAG cups to indicate their level of understanding of the skills and knowledge being learnt, influencing how teachers deliver lessons. Critical point questions are used across the curriculum to support teachers to effectively address the needs of their children.

Peer support is an integral element of the way we learn. We implement a range of effective techniques, including whole-class and structured group work, guided learning and individual activity. 

Our questioning and dialogue focus on developing thinking skills. Philosophy for Children is a strength of our school, helping to inspire resilient, thoughtful, independent learners.

Our teachers balance facilitation and explicit instruction to secure learning for our pupils. We use weekly quizzes to support pupils to commit knowledge to their long term memory.

Pupils are taught in mixed attainment groupings across school. Interventions are used for learners who are identified as being at risk of falling behind.



Assessment processes are used across the whole school to inform learners, teachers and leaders about strengths and areas for development.

Children’s progress across the curriculum is assessed in class using a range of strategies.

  • Listening to pupil responses
  • Undertaking critical point questions
  • Observations of pupil’s working
  • Marking children's written work against specific criteria
  • Self and peer assessment against specific criteria
  • Talking to children to analyse individual needs
  • Formal testing to assess children’s knowledge and skills


At Manley Park we consistently seek out opportunities to improve the experiences of everyone in our school community. Through a coaching culture, we ask our team to consider ‘How can we be better today than we were yesterday?’

Our CPD programme is bespoke, allowing us to ensure that all of our staff are receiving the support they need to develop themselves and enhance their contribution to the school’s vision.

Research is an integral part of how we seek to better ourselves. Our teachers participate in Reflective Inquiry on a fortnightly basis, giving them the opportunity to critically analyse teaching strategies and their impact upon pupil outcomes. Our subject co-ordinators engage in research to ensure that classroom practice is evidence informed.

Partnerships underpin our ongoing development. We work closely with the Bright Futures Teaching School Hubs and we are heavily involved in the North West One Maths Hub. Last year, we also took part in the Mastering Number programme, a national research project run by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics.