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Teaching and Learning

Teachers are the mentors for your child. You entrust your children to us so that we can enthuse, excite and enlighten and inspire them. 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 with world experience. For example, we do not look for Business teachers who 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 who can bring an open-minded approach to your child’s education and who know what it is like to find yourself in another country where people are not speaking your language.

 

Our staff are passionate about achieving the best for every student in their care, by getting to know every student as an individual and learning how to get the most from them.

 

Buckswood teachers deliver their lessons with passion; ‘selling their subject’, making memories, teaching from an international perspective, creating learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom. Teachers are regularly observed and have weekly development sessions as we seek to enrich their learning as well as that of our students – After all, learning is a life-long journey.

 

Teachers are mentors – leaders and guiders; they shape a child’s life. We all have fond memories of teachers from our own school days, and our career paths may have 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 top universities. Our class size reflects the intimate, collegiate style of learning and our unique Access Time allows each pupil to have private academic time with his/her teachers every day of the week.

 

Our Key Stage Heads make it their business to have precise knowledge of each pupil in their Key Stage, so they can ensure pupils are placed in appropriate classes, that each pupil is motivated to succeed and gain their best possible academic results.

 

We encourage our students to take traditional subjects at advanced level because we know that Russel group universities prefer this. However, we also offer non-traditional subjects such as Government and Politics, Phycology and Photography to name but a few. Our International Baccalaureate programme continues to increase its provision, with the introduction of chemistry, history and we now also offer Psychology as an online course, supervised by our psychology staff. As this provision grows, we will be able to offer an ever increasing number of subject for our pupils to study.

 

Our University Foundation Course both for Lower 6th and Upper 6th has been developed to gain the competitive edge with the introduction of extra weekly tests and University-style essays.

 

Assessment

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) 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 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.

 

Expectations

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. Achieving their highest possible academic success is the main aim of every pupil (and of course, every pupil’s parent!). Our excellent teaching, Access Time provision, Key Stage Head support and Sunday HoD tutorials work together to deliver pupil success. For those pupils who need that little extra ‘encouragement, Access Time can be made compulsory, along with Extra Work and detention, where works has not been completed to the required standard. We also provide revision camps prior to public exams as well as sharply focused holiday work to ensure pupils are on task right up until those all important examinations.

 

Structure

Our rigid school systems and policies (available on the website) are there to support our pupils in their studies. From classroom seating plans to an academic hierarchy offering educational support to teachers and pupils, our structure is robust.

 

Every pupil 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 pupil is aware of their level, place and effort attained in each subject.

 

Our E-Portal system gives parents all the information necessary for accurate analysis of their child’s education. Features include weekly reporting of each child’s academic performance, bi-termly effort and attainment grades after each assessment, and a positive and negative behavioural event record that records Access Time attendance, commendations awarded, extra work and detentions for each pupil.

 

Key Stage Heads regularly meet with their pupils, in order to support, re-focus and encourage them. Our SMT are vital to the running of the school in general and, with the Co-Principals, they make decisions that shape the school’s development.

 

English

As English is a world language our ESOL and English departments are vitally important to our pupil’s success. Each EAL pupil sits an English test, so they can be placed in the correct academic programme. The benchmark IELTS score of 6.5-7 (and higher for certain subjects, such as medicine) is a requirement of British Universities and thanks to the ESOL department our pupils have an extremely high IELTS success rate every year. Our literacy policy encourages every child to take up reading; not only the reading of course books but also reading for pleasure, as it is clear that children who read widely tend to attain higher GCSE and A level grades.

Life at Buckswood School presents international pupils with constant opportunities to speak, read, listen and write in English. They do not share a room with a pupil of the same nationality, every lesson is conducted in English and pupils are sanctioned if they speak their own language during the day.

 

Differentiation

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 pupils do not have English as a first language, so our teachers will plan to ensure our EAL pupils can access the content of each and every lesson. Many of our teachers hold EFL qualifications, but INSET is provided every year for new teachers and teacher observations ensure that our pupils’ EAL needs are met in their lessons.

 

We encourage parental engagement with their child’s education, as we seek to engage every child in the process of their education. Our positive, dynamic academic environment, our supportive pastoral team and our professional, committed and caring teaching staff all facilitate this.

Our Learning Support team offers a variety of approaches to aid those pupils who require extra assistance. Pupils who may need this extra provision, are identified by our teachers and a personal educational plan is created for them.

 

For further information on all things Teaching and Learning at Buckswood School, please contact Mrs Gilly Johnson (gjohnson@buckswood.co.uk or 01424 813 183).

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