Learning to Learn
Our approach to learning encourages students to become independent and motivated learners by focusing on ‘real world’ skills and experiences.
The aim is to teach 'learning powers' which equip students with the skills they need to become successful learners. These learning powers include creativity, critical curiosity, resilience and strategic awareness.
Students in years 7 and 8 choose a topic each term, for example, to investigate in their own time at home, to hone their research and investigation skills. These ‘Independent Learning Challenges’ harness student enthusiasm and build their critical curiosity about the wider world.
Across the curriculum, students will learn by creating high quality ‘products’, learning new skills along the way.
In music, for example, students might create songs that they can rehearse, record and sell online at our social enterprise website (www.hope-harris.org) to raise money for community charities and projects.
In science it might mean devising an experiment to test a real world hypothesis and have it peer reviewed by fellow students.
In design and technology it might mean designing fabrics which can then be used to make real garments, good enough to be sold.
In history it might mean working with other students to create a book about a historical topic.
In media skills it might mean planning, filming and editing a short movie to go on our website.
'Vital knowledge and skills'
‘This approach to learning means students learn to solve problems, create high quality products and develop vital knowledge and skills,’ says Assistant Principal, Ashley Harrold.
‘Essential to our approach is working with external partners – businesses, corporations and individuals – who will help us deliver curriculum projects to the students.
‘Our focus on creating actual products means that we are not giving students false scenarios or cramming them for exams. Rather, they get the chance to develop expertise they can apply in real situations – making products that have a value in the real world – but also picking up all the knowledge and skills that mean they will be successful in exams and gain a valuable set of qualifications.’