How do we tailor our learning?

Welcome to the second part of Mr Ayres’ blog…..

The school’s vision is to create a centre of excellence for boy-centred learning. As a staff we have completed a great deal of training on how boys learn best and how we can deliver learning in a way that engages them. Teachers deliver lessons in an interactive way via a range of multi-media packages, ensuring that differentiated, practical, learning activities are available to consolidate and extend learning. For example: Year 9 geographers will visit a river as well as look at one in a text book, Year 1 boys will programme ‘BeeBots’ to explore direction in mathematics rather than simply complete a worksheet and Year 4 historians learn about the Romans via a re-enactment day.

The day at Thorpe House is tailored in such a way that it provides the boys with shorter lessons and brain breaks. Forty minute sessions rather than an hour, no longer than seven minute teacher talk-time for younger boys and 5 minute brain breaks during double lessons for older boys, all contribute to keeping the boys engaged and interested in lessons.

At Thorpe House we provide a purpose for learning which provides value and motivates the boys to achieve. For example: The Pre-Prep Eco Warriors club develop their writing skills by creating recycling posters, Year 3 boys learn the importance of languages via our “Spanish through football” initiative, Year 6 boys write and publish spy thrillers for younger boys to read in the library and senior boys develop an understanding of the important role they play in the community via their participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

The benefits for boys who learn in this way are not solely academic although, our boys generally achieve above the national average. At the end of Year 11, the majority attain a grade above those predicted in Year 7. More importantly, boys leave Thorpe House with a desire to continue learning and achieving academically, an outcome which is much more likely if they have had a positive, engaging and enjoyable learning journey.

Co-ed versus single-sex, reads the final part of Mr Ayres’ blog!