A British education differs from other systems of education in some
key aspects. A key aim is develop a deep understanding of the subject matter, rather than relying on a large amount of rote learning of facts. Although tests and assessments do take place regularly, there is no “monthly test” as such and, indeed, teaching excessively to the test, rather than highlighting learning for the sake of learning, is frowned upon.o d
Homework will be light in early stages. The homework load will increase as students get older.
Key assessments are marked to date using National Curriculum Levels, which are criterion-based – linked to what a child can or cannot yet do in a particular subject at a given time, according to evidence in written work, observed practical work and assessments.
Differentiation is a key part of teaching and learning. This means that teachers plan to meet the needs of various learners, of differing abilities and levels of motivation. At times, that will mean different groups of pupils perhaps doing different work, according to their abilities. Often it takes the form of additional, more challenging work, given to pupils after they have finished their main task in class. Teachers reserve the right to decide the optimal seating arrangement in different lessons.
Learning and teaching is holistic, and aimed at the “whole child”. Some lessons and activities may be centred around speaking and thinking/reasoning tasks (such as a class debate session, for example), or have a different creative outcome, such as a role play, organised and planned in groups, or posters designed and produced in pairs, to illustrate a particular learning objective or topic. Traditional exercises and worksheets are also used, but not at the exclusion of other, creative teaching methods.
Teachers plan to meet various learning styles (anesthetic, auditory and visual), and use technology, often via the class Smart Board, to deliver high-impact, multi-sensory and memorable lessons to our young learners. Some learning may take place in out-of-class contexts, such as an animal hunt in the school grounds, or measuring work, estimating and measuring the length and width of the school playground, or linked to a school visit or curriculum-related trip.
Books are bought by school and will often be used for class work and homework, but the English National Curriculum is based on a series of objectives rather than just books, and a variety of suitable resources will be used to support learning and teaching not just books alone.
Excellent attendance and punctuality is expected of students. Any student with a series of unauthorised and undocumented absences may be asked to leave the school. Poor attendance is extremely closely linked statistically with academic failure, and we believe at The British School in Mansoura that every lesson and every day really counts.