Ensuring effective, differentiated and child-centred learning remains at the heart of all we do here at All Hallows. The whole-school analysis of the data provided by standardised assessments tells us that pupils are operating at a level well above the national average. We constantly self-evaluate and strive to remain at the forefront of new initiatives, techniques, resources and concepts related to the children’s learning and our programme of staff training and development is ongoing and intensive.
The Michaelmas Term, being the first of the academic year, is always busy developmentally and this year has been no exception. It is one of our aspirations that the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills becomes engrained in the whole school’s curriculum and a considerable focus has been placed on this over the past few months. As Ian Gilbert (2007) suggests, “Teaching children to think quickly, deeply and with agility has to be one of the greatest gifts we can offer them as they take their place as adults in the 21st Century.” The IPC (International Primary Curriculum) in the Junior Department develops these skills fantastically and children in all year groups are being increasingly challenged in terms of higher level thinking. The Year 8 children have been following a series of ‘Critical Thinking’ lessons. The personalisation of learning continues to be a key objective through the monitoring and analysis of standardised data and resulting differentiation in the classroom and beyond. This approach is critical to ensuring each and every child reaches their full potential and are happy, engaged learners. Scholarship preparation and extension work is well underway as many children prepare for the transition to the senior school world. Following the success of a number of events this term, do look out for our new series of Seminars for Parents in the Lent Term – we are all, after all, lifelong learners!