What does your child’s learning journey look like?
Here at EtonHouse, we use the English National Curriculum as a framework alongside the inquiry-led learning approach as our philosophy.The English National Curriculum is a knowledge-based curriculum that builds on … Continued
Here at EtonHouse, we use the English National Curriculum as a framework alongside the inquiry-led learning approach as our philosophy. The English National Curriculum is a knowledge-based curriculum that builds on learning throughout the different stages. These stages are known as ‘Key Stages’ beginning with EYFS (Early Years and Foundation Stage). The Key Stages are arranged into ages and split into sections known as Infants, Juniors and Seniors.
The curriculum builds on prior knowledge- hence the term Foundation Stage for Reception. It sets the foundations for learning throughout the Key Stages. The subject areas become wider as the child grows, develops and secures the learned content.
For example: In Nursery, children begin to learn the songs that are used to develop vocabulary acquisition which includes basic phonics or phonemes (basic sounds of letters). These will then be revisited in Reception and again in Year 1, but with greater depth adding more phonics and sounds to a child’s repertoire.
This repetition of learning improves the child’s understanding of the sound and the inquiry led learning enables the child to connect the sound to the environment around them.
Phonics builds the foundations for reading which is a skill that gradually increases in complexity from recognising the sounds all the way to reading, writing and spelling.
Below is an example of how Year 1 builds on learning punctuation. Children need to be secure in one aspect of their learning before they can move on to the next aspect.
You can see from this example how writing develops further adding more punctuation and more sophisticated vocabulary that writing begins to become complex.
Teachers will assess the prior learning to establish the areas for development, this continuous assessment is called Assessment for Learning or AfL for short. This can take many forms in a classroom from quick questioning and answering to the child demonstrating their learning in written form.
The English National curriculum provides the framework for learning combining both the knowledge and academic skills throughout the Key Stages whilst the inquiry-led learning develops critical thinking skills, collaborative learning and risk-takers. Inquiry-led learning establishes relationships between the child and his or her peers; their teachers and the world around them. It connects them to concepts that are tangible and real, they are able to move around classrooms, becoming empathetic and principled learners. Skills that fulfil the brief of an ever-changing and evolving world.
EtonHouse International School is the only school in Bahrain to be affiliated with the Oxford International Curriculum. This partnership has meant that our children have been taught Wellbeing as part of their timetabled learning, it is placed at the very heart of the curriculum ensuring students are able to fully realise their potential. Wellbeing is the art of happiness but it is not a forced sense of happiness. Wellbeing is the ability to manage emotions and understand there is a science behind it- such as the effects of good sleeping habits, positive connections with family and friends and a myriad of other aspects of life that make a child happy. The Global Skills Project is another unique feature of the curriculum which is nestled perfectly alongside Wellbeing and our method of teaching. The Global Skills Projects are inquiry-led learning experiences that are underpinned by the United Nations development goals 2030. Children tackle real-world challenges such as food shortages and climate change in an age appropriate way; they learn to be critical thinkers, creative problem solvers who are adept at collaboration and working in groups.
We have six core subject areas: English, Maths, Science, Computing, Wellbeing and Global Skills Projects. We have added French (delivered by the Alliance Francais), Arabic (MoE approved), PE and the Arts which run through the curriculum as part of our commitment to play-based, inquiry-led learning. At the core of our ethos is the happiness and wellbeing of our students which of course translates to academic excellence.
What is Inquiry Led Learning? Inquiry led learning is learning led by students under the guidance of their teacher. That is not to say, that students choose the curriculum, but they are led by a series of questions or provocations Provocations are activities used to stimulate learning. Here in EtonHouse we use provocations in every classroom, often there will be more than one on offer to the children in order to learn different concepts. Inquiry based learning is ignited from curiosity, from a student’s desire to learn or discover.