The King’s Learning Experience
The King’s learning experience is designed to encompass both depth and breadth. Built upon historic foundations and supported by the extensive co-curriculum and strong pastoral care, the developing individual is taken out into the wider world locally, nationally and globally.
Our focus remains, therefore, upon developing the individual in the fullest possible sense. In terms of academic development, this means focusing upon the quality of learning recognising the needs of the time in which they live and encouraging an enquiring mind that loves learning for learning’s sake.
Education forever changes, and not just the examination curriculum. We are now in a digital world of instant and mobile connectivity, dominated by information and data. There are exciting opportunities for a new pedagogy. There are new and different challenges. Our task is to develop and deliver a curriculum in a way that is relevant to today’s teenagers, but without jettisoning what we value so highly from the past.
We are determined to retain the full variety of academic subjects, supported by our three core themes (researching, questioning and communicating), and the ‘real’ learning that is essential in public exams and life. We broadly welcome the changes to A Levels and the opportunity to study subjects in more depth with less focus upon modular examinations. Our current wide-ranging IGCSE programme (supported by some national GCSEs) is a very good preparation for the Sixth Form and beyond.
Learning & Teaching
Learning at King’s is an active and dynamic experience, taking place as much outside the classroom as within.
The teaching aims to develop autonomy and positive motivation among the pupils. This is not just to help them pass exams, but to help prepare them for a world where they will be expected to come to judgments and make (and defend) decisions.
The role of the teacher is therefore to motivate and support learning, not necessarily to stand and deliver information (though there is always a time for that). Teachers are expected to put the pupils first, focusing upon their needs and listening to them, but at the same time challenging and stretching them.
Just as learning does not only take place in the classroom and laboratory, so teaching is not physically restricted. The intranet VLE (Virtual Learning Environment), already a vast resource area, is developing so as to facilitate mobile interaction between teachers and pupils, as well as between the pupils themselves. The nature of life at King’s also means that this dynamic relationship continues in the Houses in the evenings as well as through the vibrant out-of-hours seminar talks and societies programme.
Whilst it is recognised that pupils learn and teachers teach in many different ways, the focus is upon the development of three core skills:
The School promotes a spirit of enquiry beyond the confines of our pupils’ immediate experiences and the requirements of examination syllabuses. Through encouraging an awareness of their voyage of discovery, and helping them to develop skills that are relevant and useful, we aim to help them develop a joy of learning for learning’s sake.
Information does not mean knowledge and knowledge does not always lead to deeper learning. In today’s world with information everywhere, it is essential that our pupils are challenged in the classrooms, debating chambers and forums to turn what they have discovered into something useful, meaningful and lasting.
Sharing education is fundamental: it aids, reinforces and deepens learning. Pupils live together and are encouraged wherever applicable to work together in a supportive and vibrant community. They learn the skills of creative expression through art, drama, music and sport as well as understanding the power and responsibility of the written and spoken word.
The Educational Support department, known as The Hub, takes various forms including specific teaching in reading and spelling, boosting academic knowledge and a range of study and revision skills. Pupils that experience social communication difficulties and/or require mentoring are also able to access individual support.
The School works hard to ensure that every pupil is enabled to reach their potential and is proactive in initiating and maintaining regularly reviewed programmes to meet this end. Educational Support is provided for pupils with mild needs usually consisting of one individual lesson a week. All pupils are taught how to plan and carry out their revision and are given Revision Calendars to assist them. In the Fifth and 6b years detailed Study Guides are given along with the Calendars.
Educational Support is best delivered as part of the wider School community and so close liaison is maintained with Housemasters & Housemistresses, Tutors, subject teachers, and the Health Centre. Staff are encouraged to refer any pupil who might benefit from individual support and pupils may also self-refer.
The Educational Support staff are able to assess pupils for examination access arrangements and the SENCO makes the application for any eligible pupil who meets JCQ criteria for extra time provision.
Head of Educational Support:
Mrs Pam Brown
The School Library is a vibrant centre of information, serving pupils’ needs appropriately in this digital age. We are proud of our impressive book collection (some 30,000 titles are on the shelves) and many journals are available in printed as well as electronic format. We also have access to a wide range of digital resources, such as subscription databases, which enable readers to find the most current, relevant and reliable information available.
The Library is open seven days a week – until 10pm on week days and Sundays – and there is always a member of staff on hand to help with enquiries. Pupils are encouraged to use research skills effectively and to think critically, whether individually or as part of a group.
A lively and popular pupil committee meets with the Librarian and reading suggestions are welcomed. Events in the Library are held regularly to encourage reading for pleasure.
Above all, the Library strives to be a peaceful, welcoming place where pupils feel stimulated and supported both in their learning and their leisure.
Librarian: Miss Philippa Rose FDA, MA, PGCHE, ACLIP