We ask two high-achieving schools how they are staying ahead of the curve and designing a new path for the future of learning

Parkside School, Cobham

Parkside School is committed to innovative learning and so we’ve asked them to share how they embrace new teaching methods, leverage technology and foster creativity to stay at the forefront of educational excellence, preparing their pupils for a future full of promise and opportunity.

Embracing New Teaching Methods

The one-size-fits-all approach to education is no longer effective in a world where diversity and individuality are to be embraced. So the school has taken bold steps to implement and adopt new teaching methods that cater to the unique learning styles and needs of every child. From curiosity-led and skills-based learning to collaborative group activities, Parkside School creates a learning environment where critical thinking, problem-solving skills and a genuine passion for learning are the ‘norm’. The school creates an environment that sparks curiosity and nurtures a love of learning.

Leveraging Technology

Parkside has made significant investments in state-of-the-art educational technology, such as Virtual Reality (VR) headsets and embracing the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI), by promoting its appropriate usage rather than forbidding it. This ensures that the pupils have access to the tools and resources necessary for a modern education. Parkside School seamlessly integrates technology into their classrooms, allowing pupils to explore concepts in a dynamic and engaging manner.

Fostering Creativity

Parkside School fully understands that creativity is the fuel that drives innovation. It places a strong emphasis on nurturing pupils’ imaginations, highlighting its vital role in preparing them for an ever-evolving world. The Entrepreneurship Club offers the opportunity for pupils to bring their ideas to life. There’s a wide range of artistic and cultural opportunities, including performing arts, nurturing and boosting confidence, without arrogance, enriching personal development. The environment in which the pupils learn is of additional significance; the Outdoor Classroom is used year-round together with the vibrant CHQ (Computing Headquarters). The STEM Studio provides more space for 3D creations and houses the weekly Deconstruction Club, where equipment is dismantled, examined, discussed and often recycled and reassembled.

Conclusion

Parkside’s commitment to innovation ensures that its pupils are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of the modern world, shaping them into empowered individuals ready to make a positive impact in an ever-evolving world. parkside-school.co.uk

Marlborough House School

Education is not just about exam results and a 13-year-old is more than a series of scores. Developing the whole child and instilling in them a range of skills and characteristics that will serve them well for life has become the new challenge, and one that Marlborough House School aims to meet through a well-established Pre-Senior Baccalaureate (PSB). Eddy Newton, Marlborough House’s Headmaster, explains how Pre-Senior Baccalaureate is changing how year 7s and 8s learn.

The PSB aims to cover the same material as Common Entrance, maintaining academic rigour, but encourages a wider range of skills. Now that senior schools are selecting their pupils in Year 6, forward-thinking prep schools can look at how and what the children learn in years 7 and 8, without the demands of a final exam at the end of year 8. This leads to asking questions like ‘Should we revise volcanoes again just to raise a B grade to an A on a one-off exam – is that really the best use of the last 3 months of Year 8?’. With these years opened up, students could use their time to develop skills like research or presentation – far more valuable skills in the long-run than rote learning.

The PSB looks at the whole child, assessing their ability in academic subjects as well as performing arts, sport, and art. At the same time, it provides pupils with an opportunity to hone skills that will serve them well in later life – how to present, collaborate and communicate, how to be a leader, how to be more independent and work on individual projects, how to think out of the box. This approach means that not only will senior schools receive the type of learners they want; but children will leave Marlborough House with a much clearer awareness of their strengths, skills and learning habits.

To find out more about PSB and Marlborough House see marlboroughhouseschool.co.uk

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