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Teaching and Learning

Teaching, Learning and Assessment are three interconnected processes which help support the teacher (and parents) in providing the most relevant and application techniques to support individual children in their learning.

Teachers at Reach British School don’t just teach ‘the curriculum’ – they teach the individual children in their care. This means that their knowledge of each individual child, groups of individual children and the whole-class are all taken in account when teachers plan their lessons. They build up a profile of each student through their observations of the child and through their analysis of student’s work. They consider how the student learns (do they have particular interests, do they like particular activities, are they quiet or more outgoing, what is their current English language level and / or mother tongue level?) This information helps teachers understand how students learn and what motivates them. Conversations with the children themselves and their parents can also help support teachers in understanding how each child learns, which supports them in preparing lessons which maximise learning time. Through weekly collaborative planning sessions teachers share ideas about planning effective lessons and they monitor the progress children make closely, adapting their sequence and timings spent on particular topics to respond to children’s needs. Teachers focus closely on whether what they have taught, children have actually learnt! Children mature and progress at different rates and teachers need to be mindful that each child is challenged to their level and not pushed too hard before they are developmentally ready to tackle particular concepts. This is very important for ensuring that students feel success in their learning and do not begin to feel inadequate. Learning is not a race and we can not expect all children to make the same rates of progress as others. Learning should not be seen as a competitive sport, we should be instilling a love of learning and developing risk-taking and a ‘have a go’ approach. When children are anxious, worried or lack motivation they simply will not learn.

As a significant number of our students are Arabic native speakers, teachers teaching the National Curriculum of England and teachers teaching Arabic, UAE Social Studies and Islamic try and support students’ learning by teaching similar concepts and / or content areas at the same time. This is especially effective in pre-KG and KG1, where teachers teach the same thematic units and teach students vocabulary words in both languages to aid understanding. This is not always possible in primary and secondary school, where our curriculums have not been written in conjunction with each other. Nonetheless, where possible, this is attempted and is highlighted in teacher’s yearly plans.

Teaching and Learning

We believe that children learn best when they:

  • are happy
  • are interested and motivated
  • achieve success and gain approval
  • are given tasks which match their ability
  • are provided choice
  • clearly understand the task
  • are confident, feel secure and are aware of boundaries
  • are challenged and stimulated

The Learning Environment

This should be organised to ensure that children

  • move from the known to the unknown. Prior learning experiences / knowledge should be built upon before adding something new (e.g. starter activities, pre-assessment tasks)
  • understand what they are being asked to do (e.g. clear objectives given - WALT, child-friendly success criteria, appropriate and understandable feedback, plenary sessions)
  • feel confident to share and discuss their concerns, ideas, knowledge
  • work in a stimulating environment and have a curriculum that relates to their life
  • have the opportunity to experience different kinds of tasks (group work, paired work, project work, thinking & creative skills, problem-solving skills)
  • have opportunities to take risks, without the need for total success (this can be modeled by teachers who try new activities in class e.g. science experiments)
  • receive appropriate support (both pastorally and academically - caring, supportive staff, differentiated curriculum, specialist staff as where necessary e.g. SENCo.)
  • develop socially (make decisions, work co-operatively, have leadership roles, develop independence, use their initiative)
  • have plenty of opportunity to build upon their acquisition of the English language

Learning takes place in an environment which

  • provides a good working atmosphere (is challenging and stimulating, calm and organised)
  • makes learning accessible for all (appropriate resources are used - child-friendly, differentiated)
  • is happy, caring and welcoming
  • is encouraging and appreciative
  • enables pupils to develop organizational and independence skills (provision of opportunities, class responsibilities, appropriate tasks)
  • has clear boundaries and expectations for both behaviour and academics, which are consistent

Achievement

Social, physical, creative and academic achievements are celebrated in many ways as an on-going process in all aspects of school life, by:

  • verbal or written praise by teachers, peers, principal and parents
  • displays of work
  • opportunities to perform or share
  • encouraging self esteem
  • the awarding of stickers, house points and certificates
  • sharing success with the school community through events like assembly

Physical Organisation

All classrooms should have

Tables and chairs are arranged for:

  • ease of working
  • flexibility
  • purposeful discussion
  • provision of quiet corners
  • large working surfaces
  • ideally they should be placed in groups to encourage co-operative learning

Storage units are arranged to

  • support different areas of the curriculum
  • support a project or activity
  • give character to a room
  • house children's personal belongings
  • resources should be labelled to encourage student independence
  • clean, tidy and orderly to set an example that taking care of the environment is important

Display

Display in the school should be used to create an attractive and stimulating environment. The work displayed should be of a high standard and use both 2D and 3D in a variety of media and be changed frequently. It should include work on different aspects of the curriculum and reflect the individual child's efforts as well as ability. Ideally, Mathematics and Science displays should stimulate discussion and be accompanied by children's questions and answers. Sometimes they can be 'interactive'.

Routines and Rules Routines and rules in the classroom contribute to a healthy learning environment. To be effective they should be

  • agreed by the children and clearly understood
  • fair and consistent
  • realistic and positive
  • kept to a minimum but enforced
  • daily activities with which the children are familiar

All rules should result in the children knowing the boundaries of behaviour and are set within the terms of The Behaviour for Learning Policy.

Extra-Curricular Activities
At Reach British school we pride ourselves on offering a wide variety of Extra Curricular Activities as a way of ensuring that all children can make the most out of the programme.
UAE Culture
The UAE is a truly international mix of nationalities from all over the world.
Teaching and Learning
Teaching, Learning and Assessment are three interconnected processes which help support the teacher (and parents) in providing the most relevant and applied techniques to support individual children in their learning.
House System
At Reach British School we aim to encourage team spirit. In today’s global market we also believe that instilling a healthy sense of competition in our children is vital.