Hoe Valley School believes that deep, accelerated learning takes place when:
Learning is Exciting
The most effective learning is when students are curious, excited to know more and demonstrate a thirst for knowledge. Classrooms require energy and a ‘buzz’ as well as a clear focus on what the new learning is and what success looks like. Clear and consistent routines underpin exciting and creative classrooms.
Innovation Days each half-term (where the normal timetable is suspended) enable students to work in detail on one aspect of the curriculum, for example computer programming, design technology or world philosophy.
Our learning extends far beyond the walls of the classroom, from pond dipping in Woking Park for biology to trips to museums, galleries and radio stations, projects with local charities and community groups and the residential trip to France.
As a Google School, all of our students access Google Classrooms for each of their subjects where they can use resources from lessons and work through independent extension activities. The Google suite of applications also enables students to work collaboratively with one another in a safe, monitored online environment.
Learning is Personalised
A personalised approach is crucial to ensure that students are able to access a curriculum and broaden their knowledge and skills. Our curriculum design and delivery is data driven and all lessons offer different pathways for different students. We have a dedicated Personalisation Faculty to ensure all students are accessing an appropriate and tailored curriculum which stretches our higher attainers and supports those who find a subject or topic challenging. All home learning can be completed on site in a supervised environment, allowing support for students who require it alongside a calm, well-resourced study space for more independent learners.
Learning is Challenging
Learning always builds on and does not repeat prior learning. All learning is differentiated so that students are stretched and challenged.Higher attaining students are quickly identified and complete bespoke passports to develop their talents in specific curriculum areas. The passport also encourages them to seek challenge independently outside of the school day.
Learning is Relevant
There is much in the media about the ‘UK skills gap’ and about the gap between the needs of employers and the skill set of school leavers and graduates. Through partnerships we have developed with leading local employers, we have developed the ACCESS strand to our curriculum to explicitly teach and develop students to be:
|Analytical||Evidence driven, rigorous, problem solver, critiques self and others until the end product is of the highest possible standard|
|Communicator||Persuasive, articulate, formal, influential, clear, credible, reflective, appropriate|
|Collaborative||Team player, inclusive, taking people with you, looking beyond the immediate team|
|Explorer||Curious, questioning, resourceful, proactive, committed, high attention to detail|
|Strategic||Outcome driven, goal focussed, uses time effectively, plans and maps tasks meticulously, remains focussed on a high quality product|
|Self-governing||Organised, independent, motivated, completes all tasks to the highest possible standard|
This means learning at HVS enables our young people to not only have excellent academic outcomes but to confidently take up their place in the wider world. Links with universities, industry experts, different places of work and in-house ‘real world’ projects through curriculum time and half-termly Innovation Days are at the heart of the curriculum. This ensures that by the time they leave the School they are well prepared for success in their chosen field.
Our projects include:
- Can we bring London to Woking? Students study the history, literature and architecture of London which culminates in a pop-up museum in partnership with the Lightbox
- Can we survive an earthquake? Students study ways to track, monitor and survive earthquakes in Geography, Computer Science and Design Technology before applying them to a real life scenario
- In a world dependent on mobile phones, can we take photographs without electronics? Students study the art and mechanics of photography in Art and Science before creating their own peephole cameras