We're on the same team
The curriculum is divided into FOUR equal sections, namely Listening and Speaking, Reading, Writing and Grammar. Each section is assessed independently, and accounts for 25% of the term mark. In June and December TWO exams are set: one to assess comprehension of texts and the other to assess mastery of spelling and grammar.
Why all the fuss about a change in education?
Traditionally, teachers have been trained to prepare lessons according to Blooms Taxonomy in a quest to develop independent, free-thinking students. Content was greatly valued, but that is where the 'buck stopped'.
Then, in the 1990s, Blooms Taxonomy was revised, the outcome being that students were now required to DO something creative with their knowledge and understanding of content. In other words, children are now actively involved in their learning process. This then develops a greater 'buy-in' which in turn leads to more intrinsic rather than the more common extrinsic motivation.
Couple this with the amazing possibilities offered by the Internet, and the characteristics of the 21st century child, and we have an unbelievable adventure ahead of us! Will it all be plain sailing? No, but at least it won't be complacent or ordinary.
So join me; let's explore the wonderful world of words together. Let's share ideas and resources to make learning a real and community event!
I was just thinking...
English is such an exciting subject, underpinning all the subjects on offer at any school. It is therefore essential that all students master all the essential components of this subject in order to communicate fluently, sensibly and effectively. But English cannot be taught in isolation, and it is no accident that so many of the skills and content have been blended and integrated.
It happens all too often that students see their learning as isolated packages of knowledge, packages that only need to get opened for tests, packages that have absolutely no relevance in their lives. The world as we knew it when we were at school has changed dramatically, and irrevocably, due to the impact of the Internet. Now, we have a choice: we can either fight the tide of technology, or we can embrace its energy.
I am so excited by the possibilities that have opened up to develop each student's individual strengths. I am convinced that schools need to adapt to the needs of 21st Century students in order to equip them thoroughly for the extreme demands and challenges they will face as adults in the working world.
Does that mean that we throw away the old in order to accommodate the new? Absolutely not! 21st Century teaching demands skills. It demands that children be equipped with the basics of reading and writing, BUT, and here's the beauty of it, it does not stop at skills learning. Instead, it challenges students to apply skills in a creative way after evaluating and analysing the content and tools at their disposal. Can this be done with pen and paper? Certainly it can, but it's so much more effective and absorbing when done digitally! The BYOD policy has opened up an incredibly demanding and rewarding world, and I invite you to join me as we make our mark in this wonderful world!