Setting out educational ideas for high achieving girls

Space Travel – and Independent Learning

Teaching and Learning Update

 It hardly seems possible that a month has passed since we started our new courses. In this column we try to provide stimulating ideas and ways to make the learning at our school as outstanding as possible, and this week sees a number of key areas for development.

 Independent Learning

 This is such a vital area of our work this year: encouraging and supporting our girls to develop and shape ideas for themselves, engaging in a world of learning on their own behalf. On Thursday lunchtime we met in Emma Heyman’s lab as part of our ongoing commitment to develop teaching and learning groups within school. Emma gave us a really useful set of ideas which stimulated us to want to go away and try them for ourselves, ways of challenging the girls. Too often our girls can worry about “getting it right” and this can become an anxiety that hinders their ability to learn. Emma’s ideas got us thinking about ways in which we can get the pupils learning more effectively: at its simplest these are variations of the familiar “pair and share” technique: learning in tandem to support one another.

 On our shared Google Drive there is a complete folder of resources to help with this work: please think of what you could contribute to this, and have a look at what has already been uploaded.

 If you are logged on to the website you can access it here


 At the cutting edge of learning we were privilege to be able to launch a balloon into space this week. Sally Pass, of the physics department, worked hard to organise this, and the astronomy club pupils got enormous pleasure for going with the staff into mid Wales to launch. It had to be done there as the CAA strictly controls all such experiments due to the threat to aircraft. Once aloft the balloon rose to 35 500m and took photos every 10 seconds. You can see a video of their amazing work here.


 Shift Happens

When we started our cycle of supporting and developing progress and other aspects of learning, we looked for stimulus to a video called “Shift Happens” which reminds us as teaching staff of the enormous changes that are faced by the pupils under our care. A famous (disputed) quote by Darwin says:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

With that in mind “Shift Happens” has been updated for 2013. I would encourage all to watch this and reflect on the messages it gives us about our responsibility to the children under our care, both as educators and as parents:

 Watch it here.


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This entry was posted on October 4, 2013 by .
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