August 15, 2011 in by Hans Price
Developing a Learning Community
Everyone, staff and students, is part of the learning community at Hans Price Academy. It is our aim to develop awareness that learning does not stop on leaving school, and to instil a thirst for learning that will carry on throughout life. We encourage students to explore and discover independently where possible, but we are there to provide support, assistance and expertise when necessary.
All our staff undergo a continual professional development programme, in order to ensure we constantly review and improve our practice. All teaching staff are also encouraged to pursue nationally recognised post-graduate qualifications.
Our curriculum aims to be personalised, meeting the needs of all individuals as far as practically possible. We believe that in order to access the curriculum effectively students must be competent in literacy and numeracy and develop good habits in relation to learning. All students therefore begin in Year 7 in what we refer to as Phase 1 Learning. This is where we ensure all learning focuses on improving levels of literacy and numeracy and the development of good habits of learning.
We are therefore creating a project based style of learning which covers the contents of the National Curriculum, but which focuses on the development of literacy and numeracy skills and which allows students the opportunity to develop flexible, adaptable and independent learning skills, which are essential in the 21st Century. This style of learning allows students the opportunity to work at a pace which suits them, but which challenges them to continually review their own performance and look for ways to improve.
When we are satisfied that students can access the curriculum effectively they move on to Phase 2 Learning which is essentially the Key Stage 4 curriculum (GCSEs, BTECs etc). This could begin as early as the beginning Year 9. In other words, students progress when they are ready, rather than being held back or being pushed too soon.
Monitoring and reporting on progress
As well as assessing student performance against nationally recognised criteria (e.g. National Curriculum Levels and GCSE grades) we also monitor the extent to which the students are developing good habits in relation to learning or Approaches to Learning. This focuses on four key areas:
Parents are given a report on student progress under these headings five times per year.
Our Learning Support Team ensures that the needs of all students are met. In addition to in-class teaching assistants we also provide one-to-one tutoring and small group work, focussing on literacy and numeracy as well as social skills. Learning mentors also play a big part in supporting learners, both in and out of the classroom.
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