The Learning Way
While the LEAP Code of Conduct focusses on agreed values, the LEAP Learning Way is a guide, particularly for teachers and student teachers, on how to facilitate effective learning. Executive Director, John Gilmour, explains how the LEAP Learning Way and ongoing assessment help teachers to be fully conscious of where each child is in the learning process and so enable them to take the next significant steps in their lives.
Fear is a driving force behind the kind of teaching that makes students into spectators. When our fears as teachers mingle and multiply with the fears inside our students, teaching and learning become mechanical, manipulative, lifeless. Fear, not ignorance, is the great enemy of education. Fear is what gives ignorance its power.” – Parker J Palmer
At LEAP we strive in all classrooms and other learning contexts to make sure that we teach and facilitate learning optimally so that each child is able to discover and learn as much as possible in ways that are structured intentionally and teach a real love of learning. The LEAP Learning Way encourages teachers and students to:
- Take responsibility for learning
- Develop goals and work routines
- Find motivation
- Practice and persevere
- Solve problems together
- Respect the ideas of others
- Ask questions – take risks
- Always use imagination
- Read and write daily
- Use technology to explore and create
- Be ready to learn anywhere, any time
- Learn with mind, heart, body and soul
CHILDREN AT THE CENTRE
In all that we do, we strive to keep the needs and challenges of our children right at the centre. We recognise the needs of each child by presenting new material in a clear, step-by-step way; always checking for understanding; structuring guided practice; providing immediate feedback and correction; structuring independent practice (often done at home); developing intentional and appropriate testing and assessment; and constantly reviewing what we are doing, how we are doing it and what impact our work is having.
By doing this we ensure that we are fully conscious of where each child is in the learning process.
TESTING AND ASSESSMENT
Ongoing and appropriate testing and assessment, with clear feedback, is a vital part of the process of effective teaching and learning. For this reason, we commit to creating and sending out eight full reports to children and their families in every calendar year. We consciously benchmark the progress of our children by having a mid-term mark reading and report as well as an end-of-term mark reading and report.
We call it a ‘mark reading’ because it is a shared process of reading the data, the marks, in such a way that teaching and learning improve as a consequence of each cycle of testing and reporting. While this is quite demanding for our children and teachers it reflects our commitment to taking responsibility for our learning together.
Every teacher at every grade level shares in the success or failure of our students as they leave LEAP and are enabled to take the next significant steps in their lives.