Broadening Horizons and Raising Aspirations

Posted: 5th December 2023

One of the key components of our school focus of Broadening Horizons and Raising Aspirations has been inspired by our Early Years philosophy, to create an environment in which learning is driven by a process of enquiry owned by the child.

Mrs Pinny and Mrs Ward passionately believe in this, where Enquiry-Based Learning inspires children to learn for themselves, bringing a real research-orientated approach to the subject.

Starting with a big question or ‘scenario’ and with the guidance of their teacher, children identify their own issues and questions. They then examine the resources they need to research their topic, thereby acquiring the requisite knowledge. Knowledge so gained is more readily retained because it has been acquired by experience and in relation to a real problem.

This approach covers a spectrum of approaches, including problem-based learning in which our children learn about a subject by working in groups to solve an open-ended problem, small scale investigations along with a research-based approach to their projects.

Linked to our Broadening Horizons and Raising Aspirations theme, I am really excited about our enrichment programme for Years 5 to 8. As the children progress through the school this culminates in The Independent Schools Examination Board Project Qualification (iPQ). This provides a framework for teaching and assessing the development of independent, pupil-led project-learning skills. It allows pupils to identify a question, research the answer, develop their views in light of research, present their findings, and reflect on the learning process.

To compliment and expand our provision, we have also sought inspiration from many of the Senior Schools we feed. This term this has included a Humanities based workshop from the Humanities team from Bede’s, Drama Enrichment Day at Battle Abbey School as well as a series of Diwali dance workshops for various age groups.

When teachers are able to spark curiosity, they ignite wonder and boundless discovery awaits!

Phillip Makhouli

Categories: Headmaster's Blog Staff Blog