TEACHING & LEARNING

Teaching and Learning (T&L) is at the core of all that we do as teachers and as students. Student progress, through exciting and innovative pedagogy, is our aim.  Our goal is to create active learners who flex all their learning muscles. To do this, we refer to Guy Claxton’s studies on Building Learning Power and the 4Rs: Resilience, Reciprocity, Reflection and Resourcefulness. We ensure opportunities to develop these areas are embedded into all lessons.

Our T&L philosophy is encapsulated with the following:

SKIS Philosophy

  1. We believe in our individuality as a school where conforming to other pedagogical beliefs is a considered choice. As an international school we are able to decide what works best for SKIS and our students. We push a pedagogy that creates success of the highest order.

  2. We believe in the "Growth Mindset" concept which is developed through Building Learning Power and the 4Rs (Reciprocity, Resourcefulness, Resilience and Reflectiveness).

  3. We realise that students learn in different ways and therefore we cater to individual student needs, classroom activities, the transfer and acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding in a variety of ways encompassing models such as Visual Audio Reading Kinaesthetic

  4. Challenge is represented as one of our core values.  Expectations of student attainment are pitched at the highest conceivable level. Teachers should aim for low threshold and high ceiling lessons that allow all students to attain and progress.

  5. We assess performance and not potential and firmly believe with high levels of effort students can develop through the thresholds of learning from foundation, developing and secure to excellence regardless of age or context.

  6. Teachers who are passionate are more likely to generate students who are passionate and have agency over their learning and in turn love their school.

  7. We believe unequivocally that students of SKIS are tomorrow’s leaders.  Therefore our learning community must demonstrate maturity beyond their years.

  8. We endeavour to engineer an atmosphere of holistic learning which will in turn lead to academic success.

  9. As leaders of tomorrow SKIPS believes that students have a right to be technologically literate and should be able to operate in a blended way with others responsibly and efficiently.

  10. We strive to make our curriculum engaging and fun as it has been shown through research that engaged learners absorb and apply far more.  Active learning takes place wherever appropriate within our classrooms.

  11. We want to create inquisitive learners and creative thinkers, who question the world and not just accept things for the way they are.

  12. We can achieve this through all of these elements having equal importance and due to their inter-connectivity.

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STAFF DEVELOPMENT & QUALITY ASSURANCE

We firmly believe in the process of continual improvement and so actively reflect on our performance in the classroom through a comprehensive quality assurance programme.

  • Learning walks

  • Drop-ins

  • Formal lesson observations

  • Work scrutiny

  • Planning checks

  • Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training sessions

THE GROWTH THRESHOLD AND ASSESSMENT MODEL

When the latest version of the National Curriculum of England was introduced to schools in 2014, the system of attainment levels were removed.  Consequently, various schools in the UK were awarded assessment innovation funds to research and create different systems of tracking and reporting attainment.  The model designed by Durrington High School fitted very closely with SKIPS’ Growth Mindset and BLP pedagogical values; so from September 2017 we adopted our modified version of this model.

SKIPS have decided to assess against age-related expectations

  • We looked at the curriculum and agreed the knowledge and skills students should achieve at the end of each year group

  • We assigned descriptors to each level of competency. These form the 'expectations'

  • At the end of the year, teachers assess whether students have achieved the criteria for them to have met the expectations, and have therefore made sufficient progress from the start of the year

Evidence of whether children have met the expectations comes from:

  • Observing and talking to students in lessons

  • Students’ work in exercise books

  • Low-pressure assessments

 SKIPS teachers then take the end-of-year expectations for each year group and split these into 4 categories as follows:

  • Working Towards: the student is working towards meeting 40% and above of the learning objectives for the year.
  • Beginning: the student has met up to 40% of the learning objectives for the year.
  • Developing: the student has met between 40% and 80% of the objectives for the year.
  • Secure: the student has met 80% or more of the objectives for the year.

Teachers across both SKIPS and SKIS have worked together to create the curriculum maps, schemes of learning and units of work by back-planning based on the final KS4 grade of A* of content and skills.  Learning targets are simple to understand for students and regularly discussed with their teacher.  It would be expected for students to progress through 2 thresholds throughout an academic year: eg. Beginning at the start to Secure at the end.  The aim of the school is to get all students to the excellence level by the time they sit their final IGCSEs in SKIS.