Teaching and Learning
Teachers are the mentors for your child. You are entrusting your child to us so that we can impart, enthuse and enlighten. Inspiring them to want to learn – not because they have to but because they want to. A Buckswood teacher is more than an imparter of facts. At Buckswood we teach not only to pass exams, but to equip every student with a deeper understanding and a greater appreciation of each subject from an international perspective.
At Buckswood we select staff that have had world experience before they teach so that they are worldly people. We do not look for teachers that have never experienced their subjects in the commercial environment. We look for industry mentors with practical knowledge of the ‘real’ world so that they can teach from a real world perspective and not just from books.
We select staff that have international experience so that they can bring an open-minded approach to education and know what it is like to find yourself in another country where people are not speaking your language.
We select staff who are passionate about achieving the best for every student in their care, getting to know every student as an individual and knowing how to get the most from them.
Every teacher has to ‘get-it’ the Buckswood way and deliver their lessons with passion. The Director’s Charter sets out ten points from selling your knowledge, making memories, to teaching a wider awareness, and teachers are regularly observed and have weekly development sessions as we seek to enrich them as well as the students – because learning is a life-long journey.
Teachers are mentors – leaders and guiders; they shape a child’s life. We all have fond memories and some nightmares about teachers from our own school days, and our career paths have often been influenced by a spark lit by an inspirational teacher.
Learning at Buckswood
A full review of curricula occurs every year to ensure that we are ‘Preparing our scholars for life’. We have strong links to many universities and we adapt to our courses to suit entry requirements to the top universities. Our class size reflects the intimate collegiate style of learning more suited to universities then secondary schools, and our unique Access time allows the Scholar to have private academic time with his/her teachers every day of the week.
Our Heads of Year have precise knowledge of each scholar in their Key Stage and this assists in their placement, motivation and results. A knowledge of the scholars and parental expectation drives our Key Stage Heads to academic success.
The current philosophy is to encourage scholars to take solid core subjects at Advanced level: Maths, Chemistry, Geography etc. which will lead to an increased ability to gain entry to first class universities. Our International Baccalaureate programme is developing to increase its provision with the introduction of Chemistry and History and further developments in languages and Information Technology courses are in the pipeline.
Our University Foundation Course both for Lower 6th and Upper 6thhas been developed to gain the competitive edge with the introduction of extra weekly tests and University like essays.
With weekly spelling tests, regular quizzes and 6 exam assessments weeks per year, our scholars are tested every step of the way. We begin by measuring the ability of the scholar by an independent Cognitive Ability Test (CAT Test) and an English test for the International Students. These tests are inform us of our cohort’s ability at the beginning of their stay at Buckswood. Regular assessments by exams and target setting aid the process to permit an accurate analysis of each scholar’s ability and progression. All assessment scores are placed on our E-Portal system allowing parents to see them at every stage.
Setting high expectations assists in pushing scholars to achieve success in their chosen subjects, and our Academic staff demand achievement by their students in all aspects of their work, from neat, clear work to engagement in discussions and classroom behaviour. Reaching an academic target is the main aim of the scholar and with our Access time, Key Stage Head commitment, Subject Advisors tutorials we believe in the delivery of success. Our sanction system with its Enforced Access time, Extra work, special revision classes, Holiday work and detentions are in place for those few scholars who need encouragement.
Our rigid school systems and policies (available on the website) have been praised by the British Council for their effectiveness assist in the support for the scholars in their studies. From classroom seating plans to an academic hierarchy offering educational support to teachers and scholars our structure is robust.
Every scholar is issued with a Student Handbook which outlines our prep system, our rules and regulations and our main policies on education. Prep and targets are recorded in the Handbook (also known as the Prep Diary) so every scholar is aware of their level, place and effort attained in each subject.
Our new E-Portal system gives parents all the information necessary for accurate analysis of their child education. Weekly reporting of each child’s academic performance, termly effort grades after each assessment, and a positive and negative behavioural event record that records Access time and detentions on each scholar.
Heads of Each Key Stage (Known as Head of Department) are responsible for each child in the key stage years and regularly meet with students for encouragement and problem solving. These Senior Managers are key to the running of the school in general and together with the Principal and Director make the decisions about the school development.
As English is the medium of the world our ESOL and English departments are vitally important to our scholar’s success. Each scholar is tested in English to be able to be placed in the correct academic programme. The coveted IELTS score of 6.5 is a requirement of British Universities and the Management of the ESOL department has a 100% success rate for this every year. We have a literacy policy from form 1 to 5 to encourage every child to take up the joy of reading-essential to the success of every scholar.
It is a known fact that children who read have better GCSE and A Level scores. Our systems mean that International scholars have every opportunity to speak and learn in English. They do not share a room with the same language student, they have every lesson in English and they are sanctioned if they speak their own language during the day.
Teachers are responsible for differentiation in the classroom which means that there may be several different levels in each teaching environment. As classes are small this differentiation is fundamental to the success of the group. Many of our scholars do not have English as a first language and the need for EFL type teaching is essential for success. Many of our teachers have the CELTA qualification and those that do not are trained by our CPD manager in this medium.
Parental communication and Student engagement is encouraged by the teacher and our friendly but academic environment allows every teacher to know and understand the scholar’s needs. Our Personal Educational Needs department offer a differentiated methodology to those scholars who require extra assistance. Scholars who need extra provision are identified by our teachers and a personal educational plan is created for them.