Empowering Students at Newland College

by David Shandley

The staff at Newland College are committed to empowering our students. An empowered student is someone who knows whatever the world throws at them, they will find a way forward. Here are five ways we make our students future ready:

Reflective Learners
Our students must have the required knowledge to get to their next phase in life. To that end, our teachers deconstruct each subject for our students to investigate, inquire into and practice relevant skills. We then focus on showing students how they can reflect on their work in order to self-correct. If a student is required to consider what they learned, how they learned, what they could have done differently in order to learn more and better and deeper, they can learn anything, anywhere, anytime. Our students learn how to self-regulate, self-assess and peer-assess so they can become reflective learners, knowing how they learn best, and how to learn better.

Confident Communicators

Skills, knowledge, mind-set and focus will be of little value if our students cannot communicate confidently and clearly. Communication skills are a huge part of reaching out to the community and the working world and are playing an increasingly important part of every working life. Confidence and ability can be encouraged at an early age and our students are given many opportunities to present their ideas, not only in every class but in presentations to parents, staff and guests. This is a wondrous ability to have developed at school and it is needed for everyone, for the shyest quietest student all the way through the spectrum to the school-debating champion!

International Mind-set

Although international mindedness is a concept many will agree with, it is not often explored in detail. While it is important for our students to learn about and appreciate British values, history and attitudes, students who learn only about their own geographic area or nation are limited in their concept of what the world is, how it works, and how large is their playing field for their careers. Our students will become connected to many students from other parts of the world who may become their working colleagues or clients. Our curriculum covers international events so that a broader perspective on social issues, language, literature, history and geography, art, music, theatre and dance is part of our everyday experience.

Individual Interests

Our students all have different areas of specialist interest and ability. If a school does not honour these skills, then a child’s particular potential can be lost forever. An IB education emphasises individual projects which focus on an area of the student’s own interest. Through exploring their interests, they broaden confidence in their research skills, they build knowledge in an area of particular personal interest to them which could become an important career area, and they are encouraged to take intellectual risks in a safe environment, supported by experienced academics. What students can achieve given just a little encouragement and time is astounding, as you will see when we have our first exhibition of student personal projects.

Flourishing in Life

Without a stable base of confidence in oneself, an ability to develop positive relationships and an ability to overcome difficulties, none of us would thrive in this complex and fast-changing world. In addition to the academic and career-focused skills and knowledge we provide, the whole experience is given a strong foundation through a focus on developing students personal skills – with self-reflection, self-confidence, emotional balance, managing relationships positively, and having courage in life. All of these support our students to do their best, achieve their best and feel like they can face any challenge and find a way through.

 

Credits and References

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