‘Learning, of course, has a great deal to do with knowledge. But most of all, it is about remaining actively and passionately curious – enquiring, debating, questioning, communicating, and creating – working together to meet challenges and develop capacity, in every sense of that word and for everybody.’

 

David Rowsell – Chatsworth Schools

The idea that we learn by doing is not a new one, as the quotation from Aristotle demonstrates, but the concept still seems to surprise many in education, who are under the misapprehension that teaching is the sole means to children’s educational development. Let us consider our early years, even before school days, when we would play and discover new things from first-hand experience. We would learn from our mistakes and create our own path, and hopefully, this continues through life, as new challenges come before us. Take computers for instance: for many of the over 40s computers have revolutionised our lives in many ways, but we have learnt how to use them for our purposes, by doing, and often on the way falling over, and having to get up again. Such is learning. There is no well-trodden path, and at Chatsworth Schools we recognise that each child will find his or her own route – with guidance and expertise, as and when required.

Active and Enquiry-based learning to allow the learner to determine his/ her own meaning of something; to develop thinking skills through analysis and problem solving; how to ask for help, when required; and to use this help in a relevant and constructive way. It gives the learner a greater passion for a subject, as well as resilience to battle through hard times to find the end goal.

We also believe that world class schools enable their pupils to be world and work ready, to be confident and well-rounded individuals. World class schools encourage variety, challenge, and collaboration across their curricula. These schools are transparent, working communities, where parents, teachers, and all those engaged in a child’s learning and well-being work together. So much research and practical application regarding the ways in which we learn have been undertaken in recent years which has meant that we are far better able now to understand how we learn best.

Blended learning is hybrid learning, which combines classroom and online learning, i.e. how to use, challenge and evaluate technology’s place in (and out of) the classroom. In this situation, technology is not just a supplementary part of the educational process but should be there to transform and improve the learning process. Through blended learning children can collaborate with each other in the classroom or receive additional support from the teacher, making it, consequently, a much-enriched classroom. This can be achieved through the flipped classroom, where classwork and homework are reversed. The teacher’s notes or lecture will be shared with pupils online, which they view at home, and use the classroom lesson as hands-on work time, with the teacher able to answer questions and initiate discussions.

At Chatsworth Schools, we believe it is our duty to build the most amazing learning experiences for all our pupils so that they can embrace their inner wisdom, integrity and strengths. Through innovative, caring and pupil-focused education we must nurture every pupil to enable their voices to be heard, for their hearts to be fearless, and for them to change the world.