Organisation for Learning
The curriculum at BWIS is unique, dynamic and specifically designed for our children. It provides an exciting and engaging journey through the myriad of learning experiences that they will encounter during their special time with us.
The curriculum is the planned total experience offered to the children, introducing them to the essential knowledge, skills and understanding that will prepare them for their future education, for life and for living.
THE INTEGRATED CURRICULUM
The power of our curriculum lies in its integration. Learning crosses boundaries between subjects. For a young child, learning is not compartmentalised. Our writing and reading are used in history to help us understand at a deeper level, the event we are learning about, and our art work helps us to observe more closely, the historical detail of the period. Whilst we plan in subjects, maintaining the rigour and integrity of the subject, we connect learning so that learning in one domain is supported by learning in another.
A unit of integrated learning is called a project. Each project has three subjects which are developed within it, but it is led by one of the subjects. We will refer to a history-led (or science-led or geography-led) project for example, and this is our vehicle for giving special time to the rigorous learning of history. All projects have English (reading and writing) as a central driver.
Learning is at the heart of our curriculum. For our children it is the beginning of their journey into an unknown world. We want it to be exciting, engaging and motivating. Learning is a two-way process between the learner and the teacher. There are things to be learnt: new ideas, new vocabulary and new processes. In new learning the teacher takes the lead – structuring learning to build ideas, encouraging the learner to ask questions and creating opportunities to apply this new learning in other contexts. These contexts are shaped to the learning needs of different children and acknowledge the varied ways in which children prefer to learn.
The engaged learner actively processes and practices this new learning, has time to consolidate, test out ideas, interacting with others to further refine and shape, before securing learning so that it can be used and applied in other subjects and situations. We value knowledge and skills in a constant interaction with each other.
MOTIVATING THE LEARNING
Projects are designed to excite the learning, actively engage the learner and give a purpose for learning. The project will culminate in an outcome – a special event which showcases the learning. Each outcome has an audience and the children are required to share their learning by explaining, demonstrating and teaching others. Outcome events take place in school time and parents / carers are the main audience. These outcomes enable parents / carers to take part in the learning as well as getting a first-hand view of what is involved in the learning. A project is started with a motivator, which draws children into the learning, ignites their curiosity and gives a purpose to the learning and the outcome.
Alongside the integration of learning, we recognise the importance of basic skills – the building blocks of learning: reading, writing, spelling, grammar, punctuation and mathematical processes and skills. Children need constant repetition, practice and over-learning to secure these skills. We will always teach discretely, giving them prominence of place and allocating the necessary time for learners to become proficient, competent and confident.
Our Learning Values
Learning is complex, undertaken in different contexts and subjects. It may be planned or incidental. It requires effort, persistence, resilience, determination and growth.
Learning requires us to develop a range of skills which help u to learn effectively.
When these skills are organised and turned into specific behaviours, we can seek to continuously improve them through every learning experience we encounter. We find groups of skills are needed to become a proficient learner and, by identifying these, we can teach learners to become more effective.
For the future, in an uncertain world, our learners need to be:
· Knowledge Creators
· Flexible Thinkers
· Adaptive Changers
· Creative Explorers
· Interpreters and Judgers of Information
· Personally and Socially Intelligent Individuals
A skilful and well-rounded learner is competent in six areas. Each is highly valued and, whilst not necesarily practised discretely, each one is unique and essential. The values are:
These 6 Learning Values underpin our curriculum. Each project is taught through two learning values, one of which is always Thinking. Children learn through the learning values, progressing each year.