Some of the more common terms or acronyms associated with school that you may come across are:
AfL – Assessment for Learning
AfL involves using assessment in the classroom to raise pupils’ achievement. It is based on the idea that pupils will improve most if they understand the aim of their learning, where they are in relation to this aim and how they can achieve the aim (or close the gap in their knowledge).
Small tasks or tests to determine what children can do before they enter Year One and begin to access the National Curriculum.
CPD - Continuing Professional Development - a balance of personal, professional development, attendance at nationally accredited courses and small-scale school-based activities for teaching and non-teaching staff.
EAL – English as an Additional Language
Refers to children whose first language is not English.
ELGs – Early Learning Goals
These set out the learning and development skills most children should have achieved by the end of the school Reception year.
EYFS – Early Years Foundation Stage
A framework for care and education of children from birth to five years of age.
Covers education provided from 3 years old through to the end of Reception Year.
Members of a school's Governing Body. In state schools they have responsibility for raising school standards through their three key roles of setting strategic direction, ensuring accountability and monitoring & evaluating school performance.
HLTA – Higher Level Teaching Assistant.
An HLTA is further qualified to support the class teacher in undertaking specific roles such as teaching the whole class during PPA time or delivering whole class areas of learning such as Letters and Sounds.
ICT - Information and Communications Technology
IEP – Individual Education Plan
An IEP identifies the special educational needs of a child and outlines targets and strategies to support their learning. Usually completed by teacher in consultation with SENCo.
There are three Key Stages in a primary school: Foundation Stage (age 4-5), Key Stage One (age 5-7) and Key Stage Two (age 7-11).
MDSA – Midday Supervisory Assistant
One of the many unsung heroes of a school who supervise the children eating and playing during the lunchtime period.
LSA – Learning Support Assistant
NQT - Newly Qualified Teachers
OfSTED – Office for Standards in Education.
PSHE – Personal, Social and Health Education
PPA – Planning, Preparation and Assessment
Teachers are entitled to ten per-cent of their weekly teaching time out of the classroom. During this time, teachers will plan future lessons, mark children’s work, undertake small assessment tasks or work alongside a colleague to target a specific area of learning.
SATs – Standard Assessment Tasks (also referred to as National Tests)
Children are tested in Maths, English and Science at the end of Key Stages One and Two and are awarded a level which indicates their ability, compared to the national average.
SDP – School Development Plan.
A projection of what a school hopes to achieve within a prescribed time limit.
SEN – Special Educational Needs.
Provision to support pupils who experience difficulties with their learning. In the majority of instances, these are undertaken in school under the guidance of the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator). Outside agencies may become involved if the school and/or parents feel is will be of benefit to the child.
SLT – Senior Leadership Team
This consists of the Head Teacher, Deputy Head, and possibly other senior members of staff.
Staff who provide cover for teachers to attend courses or in the case of illness. Where possible, the school will try to use regular supplyteachers who are familiar with the children and school routines.
TA – Teaching Assistant.
Also referred to as LSA (Learning Support Assistant). A member of staff who assists and supports the class teacher in delivering daily lessons to small groups or individuals. TAs may also deliver specific programmes of support such as ALS, ELS or FLS.