Advisory, Exploratory, Core & Extended
Following on from the Annual and half termly structures outlined above the Curriculum will be facilitated at a weekly scale through Advisory, Exploratory, Core and Extended learning sessions. These sessions will be delivered through face to face in-school provision, through our e-learning platform facilitating a Blended Learning approach, and through supported out of school activities such as the Internships of the Professional Pathways curriculum.
The Advisory is a unique approach to education and one which draws upon best practice from Primary and International School systems. The Advisory will be a pod/class of 25-30 students with an ‘Advisor’ teacher attached. The same teacher will support students within their Advisory lessons and for elements of their Core lessons. This is so that Advisors, as both teacher and mentor, have a thorough understanding of each individual in their care, building strong and long lasting relationships. The Advisor remains fixed throughout the student’s time at IAG ensuring the development of an ever deeper and productive learning relationship. This approach aids transitions between primary and secondary and maintains a strong relationship between students and adult. Within an Advisory session the following may occur across a week;
- The advisor will mentor individuals and their Team, guiding their social, emotional and academic development
- The advisor will facilitate our approach to shared reading and to cultural exchange
- The advisor will monitor a student’s progress, their e-portfolio and help learners to shape their Personalised Learning Plan
- The advisor will work with students 1-1 to help them catch up with or work towards mastery of a particular skill from their Core learning
- The advisor will support students in the completion of their personal study and Individual Project
- The advisor will support in the completion of an advisory project, this is where they study topics of social significance over a term. This may build on the knowledge and skills from their core learning but also aim to think about problems facing the real world helping to support every learner’s Community Project.
Above all the Advisor is a fixed point or reference for students, parents and guardians. It makes communication within and with our school much easier than in most and supports our commitment to democracy and transparency.
Exploratory are weekly sessions where students get to explore, tinker and design. This will follow a model of 6 rotations across the academic year. In addition all students will also have the opportunity through Exploratory and Advisory to complete a number of long-term projects, where they decide what they want to learn about, identify what they already know, discovering what they will need to know to complete the project, and create a proposal or criteria for completing it. Exploratories purpose is to expose learners to a broader variety of subjects areas, skills and experiences, this includes providing opportunities to work with ‘community educators’ and experts. Some of the sessions in the exploratory could include;
- ‘Maker fair’ – students design and build something for the community
- ‘Integrated Design’
- ‘Integrated Arts’
- ‘20% time; Individual Project’
- Coding and Computer science
The Exploratory will be the predominant vehicle for the facilitation of learning across subject groups of the MYP including:
The Core of academic learning will have an interdisciplinary approach while ensuring students have a deep understanding of the content they are learning through a balance of independent and collaborative enquiries and teacher driven Master Classes. The Core will be the predominant vehicle for the facilitation of learning across the five subject groups of the MYP:
Through the Core all students receive at least 50 hours of direct and indirect instruction (KS3) in each subject of the groups outlined above. These sessions will be a mixture of:
- Mastery based learning: Sessions designed so that students don’t move on until they have mastered particular skills or understanding.
- Masterclasses: Students will be taught by and have modelled by Subject Experts complex concepts and skills.
- Collaborative Problem Solving enquiries: Students work across disciplines making their learning purposeful. Teachers think deeply about the processes of learning and students exhibit a final product to a real world audience, including their peers, parents and carers.
Extended learning sessions provide Personal Time and personal learning opportunities for students to be involved in projects, clubs and societies that are of interest to them. This may be an additional language or sport or anything from learning to play chess to debate. It also provides the means to facilitate Internships and other ‘real-world’ learning opportunities. Our aim is to have a rich Extended curriculum led by the local community, volunteers and parents. Extended alongside Exploratory will begin to enable students to make informed decisions about their Pathway electives as they move through the curriculum towards Year 11. Extended sessions will fall into four categories:
- Personal Time e.g. supported completion of Home Learning, project work;
- Community Language Acquisition e.g. taught sessions supporting the development of first/community languages;
- Interventions e.g. scheduled intervention sessions to support student learning; and
- Clubs and Societies e.g. opt in programmes each lasting a term and predominately delivered by Community Educators.
The Extended aspect of the Curriculum also represent IAoG’s approach to Home Learning. We at IAoG appreciate the importance of students having a balanced home and academic life and do not wish to overburden them with ‘homework’. Our mission is to develop lifelong-lifewide learners as such we would hope that the IAoG Curriculum will inspire students to learn, beyond the classroom, what they have become passionate about. We will provide home learning as and when it is necessary and we expect home learning to come in different formats across the curriculum. In the most part home learning will prepare learners for in-school learning with tasks dependent on what the students need to be doing at that time to fulfill a brief or to enhance progress. Examples of relevant home learning tasks include;
- Working towards completing unfinished assignments.
- Practicing a particular skill with the aim of mastery.
- Pre-reading material in preparation for a socratic discussion.
- Reading around the subject.