Learning to Learn
In Years 7 & 8 the students are taught Learning to Learn for 1 hour a week. The aim of the lessons is to teach the students about what learning is, how the brain and memory works, the emotional aspects of learning in addition to a number of tools and techniques that they can use in the learning across the curriculum. There is a focus on developing the 4Rs - Resilience, Resourcefulness, Reflection and Responsibility - the key attributes of powerful learners. The students are taught about the 4Rs, then given a chance to apply the skills in a range of challenges and tasks across the curriculum. As the students progress through Years 7 & 8, they have chance to reflect on their development as learners through 1 to 1 discussions with their learning manager and work towards completing 10 personal development targets as part of their Graduation from Year 8 and into Year 9.
Year 8 Graduation
The idea behind Graduation is to develop the students as young people. As a school we are well recognised as pushing the students academically, we set them challenging targets and monitor them closely, and they do very well. But there is more to creating well-rounded young people than academic progress. When they leave here they will enter an ever changing world, and this is where the term 21st century citizen comes from. Someone who is able to adapt, be dynamic and respond to whatever challenges they face. The qualifications they obtain will get them the interviews but it's their skills, attributes and experiences that will get them the jobs. We develop these skills, attributes and experience through Learning to Learn and Graduation – setting the children challenges outside the classroom, to push them out of their comfort zone and encourage them to try new things.
The criteria were devised with the children, parents, staff and leadership at George Spencer and are achievable by all students, regardless of academic ability. All our students should do something for charity, they should represent their house, achieve their targets in English, Design a learning app, understand their place as a global citizen, be an Ambassador for the school, travel on school trips, show independence, organise presentations and pass their targets in Maths. With our encouragement in achieving these targets we feel that students are set up for the rest of their school careers and the rest of their lives.