Teaching and 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 SKIS 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.


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

  • Student shadowing and voice

  • Work scrutiny

  • Planning and Google Classroom checks

  • Student planner checks

  • TeachCoach

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 the SKIS’ Growth Mindset and BLP pedagogical values and so from September 2017 we adopted our modified version of this model.  

Students are assessed by several of means upon entry to KS3: Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT) baseline tests and SKIPS end-of-Year 6 attainment threshold. Teachers will then decide on a starting threshold from Foundation to Developing to Secure to Excellence.  Teachers and students are then challenged to develop through each of the thresholds and to maintain the top level of excellence when they have reached this point.  Curriculum maps, schemes of learning and units of work are then back-planned based on the final KS4 grade of A* of content and skills.  Learning targets are simple to understand for students based on the UOW rubrics.  It would be expected for students to progress through 2 thresholds throughout an academic year: eg. Developing at the beginning to Excellence 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.

Curricula are designed to progress through each key stage eg: Excellence in Year 7 would correspond to Secure in Year 8.