The multiple aspects of learning in Secondary School
The Autumn Term is flying by and we are already preparing to start the end-of-term 1 report cycle. Learning has multiple facets and not one prevails over another or is enough on its own. We shared in the past the importance of regular work in class and at home, the need to give reading 15 to 30 minutes every day no matter how old the learner is or how strong current reading skills are, the essential part that developing the ability to communicate orally, work in groups and solve problems plays in a child’s present academic performance and future success. In addition to more traditional lessons in class, NAISAK endeavours to offer a variety of learning opportunities to our students, such as through the International Middle Years Curriculum at Key Stage 3, the progressive introduction of STEAM with hands-on activities and project-based units, or the ever-expanding ECA programme, or again educational visits outside of school. This past week on World Children’s Day, students in their respective Tutor groups engaged in class discussions on the meaning and value of Student Voice, and were invited to reflect on student leadership and the responsibility that is theirs to make it impactful. Despite the tensions that they might bring to a student’s life (and their family!), formative and summative assessments are also one crucial facet of learning. Ahead of revision week and end-of-term 1 assessment week at Key Stage, 3 and continuous commitment to formative assessment at Key Stage 4 and 5, this was a good reminder of our fifth High Five value, Accepting Responsibility.
In this week’s e-Newsletter, ahead of our end-of-term 1 reports going home on 16 December, I am therefore very pleased to share Mr Russell’s article on assessments at Key Stage 3, Mr Chris’s article on assessments at Key Stages 4 and 5, and Mr Hugo’s article on World Children’s Day at NAISAK Secondary.
Head of Secondary
Key Stage 3
The next two weeks will comprise of the Key Stage 3 assessment period for Term one. The week beginning 25 November will be the revision period when teachers will advise about how revision can be conducted by the students. They will be concentrating on recall and retrieval tasks such as creating their own quizzes, flash card, mind maps and using useful websites such as BBC Bitesize. Students should revise two or three subjects per evening spending around half an hour per subject. Please remember they will also need rest and time to enjoy other things. Revision week is a time to clear any doubts and get answers to questions that remain.
The assessment week begins on 2 December and every student will complete a written/skills test for each subject. The assessments will be marked for the next week when important analysis of the misconceptions and strengths found will be given as feedback by subject teachers. It is vital that students realise the importance of feedback about their performance as they can learn from their mistakes and answer correctly the next time.
The grades given for each assessment will be found out in the End-of-Term 1 reports that each student will receive on 16 December. Analysis of the grades will help our teachers identify strategies to help all students reach their potential in Term 2.
Key Stages 4 and 5
At Key Stage 4 and 5, the need for continuous assessment is essential to support the learning of skills and the application of knowledge throughout the entire course. Whilst it is still incredibly important to formally test the knowledge and skills of students on a regular basis, which happens at least once per half term in all subjects, continuous assessment provides students with greater support, guidance and opportunities to improve throughout their learning experience and ensures that teachers know where their students’ strengths and areas for improvement lie before going into a test or examination situation.
Key Stage 4 and 5 students will be formally tested at set stages throughout their course in mock examinations and of course their external examinations. However, to ensure that students can regularly learn from their mistakes, understand the process of their learning and build upon the skills and knowledge they acquire, we believe that continuous assessment provides our students with the right blend of formal and informal assessment to help them succeed at IGCSE and AS Level. We encourage our students to treat each assessment they have for each subject with the same importance as they would any other formal assessment or examination by preparing well, revising and asking questions about any misunderstandings in advance.
Happy World Children’s Day from NAISAK Secondary
As Whitney Houston used to sing “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way”. We, at NAISAK, try to embody and celebrate these words. On 20 November, the whole Secondary School celebrated the World Children’s Day (WCD) with a NAE Global Campus activity by empowering our youngsters to lead Positive Discipline class discussions during an extended Tutor Time. It was fantastic to see our students express themselves with maturity and awareness, and presenting great suggestions for our school and community.
The day before, during the MUN ECA, we recreated the General Assembly where the Convention on the Rights of the Child was approved and ratified by the United Nations in 1989. The MUN delegates once again displayed eloquence, rhetoric and mindfulness by adapting the Children’s Rights to our school’s community.
All in all, the celebrations of WCD were an amazing experience that made us even more assured that we, as a community, are moving towards a brighter future by furthering Positive Discipline and empowering our young adults.