Teaching Methods

'Pupils do well in the school and thoroughly enjoy their lessons. They develop very positive attitudes to learning and many demonstrate a thirst for knowledge. Pupils relish the range of subjects that they cover and value their teachers. Pupils develop very powerful and positive relationships with staff. 

Teachers use their thorough subject knowledge to expertly question pupils, deepening pupils understanding of the subject being taught. For example, during the rehearsals for ‘Macbeth’, staff skilfully questioned pupils to draw out their knowledge.'

 

Ofsted Report, June 2018 

Teaching Methods

Children have certain universal needs. They all need to feel…

  • Valued as an individual

  • Appreciated as a member of the group

  • Respected for who they are

Each child has their own unique qualities and skills to bring to the class. The teacher will celebrate the individual qualities of each child, drawing attention to that which is good and special.

Whilst this applies equally to every single child their very uniqueness as individuals means that we cannot simply apply one teaching method to suit all needs. Consequently we employ a number of different teaching methods, from traditional through to progressive, influenced by a broad range of different educational philosophies that condense into the unique educational philosophy of our school. As the child educationalist Maria Montessori wrote ‘Look to the child, not the method’.

Most lessons involve one or more of the following:

  • Group discussion and enquiry

  • Group dramatisation

  • Working in small groups

  • Recording their discoveries individually

  • Individual project work assignments

  • Conclusion from the teacher

Staff make sure that lessons spark pupils’ interest. This ensures that most pupils are highly engaged in their learning. Teachers think carefully about the subject matter being covered and make sure that it is relevant to the pupils. 

Ofsted Report, June 2018

Self-Discovery & Learning from Mistakes

 

Children are encouraged to find the answers for themselves with the teacher guiding and prompting where necessary, rather than just telling them all the answers and hoping they will remember. Direct knowledge is always more effective than indirect knowledge.

Making mistakes is an essential component of learning. Therefore we encourage the children to accept and even value their mistakes as part of the learning process. If we make our children nervous about making mistakes then learning proceeds with caution and dread.

Also See

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Education in Context

 

Academic subjects are taught to the children in a way that helps them to see the connectionsbetween other subjects and most importantly their everyday lives. The study of the environment, world history and cultural studies underpin much of the curricular content. Subjects are taught both in the context of the children’s lives and in historical context. Therefore, in subjects such as Music, Design & Technology, Literature and Drama we begin by studying their history whilst relating this historical process to a timeless, universal experience. Similarly in Nature Studies and Geography considerable time is given to studying the Earth’s natural history, whilst in History itself we begin with early humans, Australopithecus, and proceed chronologically.

Specialist teachers are brought in when necessary to assist. We use the National Curriculum, National Numeracy and Literacy Strategies where and when we feel they are appropriate. See Schemes of Work for a detailed outline of what subject areas we study.

Outdoor Learning

Our favourite classroom space is outdoors. We are very fortunate to be situated in the heart of the New Forest National Park and this is something that we do not take for granted. When the opportunity arises we will venture outdoors to study nature in Geography and Science, re-enact historical events in History, collect materials in Art & D/T - in fact all subject teachers will find opportunities to use the natural environment. 

The outside space is used very effectively as a learning space. Here, strong teaching and engaging activities provide pupils with a wide range of rich learning activities. A good example of this was the tree house building activity for primary pupils. This covered a wide range of science, Maths and English skills and delighted the pupils involved. 

Ofsted Report, June 2018

There is now a significant amount of research that clearly shows the benefits to children of outdoor learning. It has been shown to significantly help with childrens' overall development, increase their confidence and improve their social skills.

The New Forest Small School

1, Southampton Road, Lyndhurst,

Hampshire

SO43 7BU

023 8028 4415

nfss@newforestsmallschool.com

©2018 by The New Forest Small School