Learning and Teaching

Learning and Teaching

In the Senior School we set high and achievable academic standards. We believe in our pupils' capacity to achieve and encourage them to respect and pursue academic success. We make appropriately challenging demands and provide high quality instruction to attain these goals. Pupils value these goals, respond positively and work hard to meet the challenges.

In order to provide excellence in learning and teaching, our teachers: 

  • Monitor and provide feedback on learning and teaching processes
  • Develop and communicate shared goals about academic achievement
  • Establish high expectations
  • Provide an orderly, open, supportive and friendly environment for learning
  • Monitor and provide feedback on pupil achievement and attainment
  • Establish clear homework practices
  • Provide extra help to pupils who have difficulties, displaying perseverance and resilience
  • Use innovative and effective teaching practices to meet the learning needs of all pupils
  • Engage in ongoing professional development

We believe that Literacy and Numeracy are vital core skills that underpin pupils' learning at every age and stage across the curriculum.

We recognise and value the positive value and impact that feedback can have on pupil progression and are committed to driving standards forward further.  Our approach is focused on making feedback more effective so that it raises pupil attainment and achievement continuously.

We believe that Literacy and Numeracy are vital core skills that underpin pupils' learning at every age and stage across the curriculum. The development of core learning skills is a shared, cross-curricular responsibility.

Homework

We recognise the tangible positive impact that effective homework can have on pupil attainment and achievement. It also helps pupils develop the skills and approaches they need for successful lifelong learning.

Homework is an integral part of learning in the Senior School and is most effective when its outcomes are valued by pupils, staff and parents.

Effective homework must be appropriate to the pupils’ age and stage in learning. It takes into account the curriculum demands and it is expected that, as with other aspects of learning, it becomes more demanding as pupils progress through the School. The aim of homework is to have a tangible positive impact on our pupils’ progress in learning. We encourage our pupils to make use of feedback, and recognise the collective responsibility of pupils, staff and parents to ensure that homework is as effective as possible.

While homework is important, it should be balanced by the involvement in extra-curricular activities for health and wellbeing. 

eLearning

teacher helping pupil with iPad Digital technology is an integral part of the Watson's Learning and Teaching process. In addition to supporting traditional learning goals with the innovative use of technology, eLearning is key in developing the Digital Competencies required for education, life and work beyond School. These are: 

  • Digital skills – proficiency with technology and its use
  • Digital literacies – proficiency in creating products or artefacts which demonstrate learning
  • Digital security – the ability to function safely and without harm to others in an electronically collaborative fashion.

In general, pupils use technology in a variety of ways in their learning to:

Consume 

  • Interactivity – overcoming one of the major obstacles to effective learning, passivity
  • Engagement – simulating real world experiences with virtual tools like multi-player simulations or role-plays.

Create

  • Creation makes the knowledge meaningful and memorable to the learner. 
  • Apps are used to create and process prose, numbers, presentations, video and audio.

Curate

  • Gaining the ability to collect, organise, and annotate material
  • Managing an ePortfolio of work 

Collaborate

  • The key skill for 21st Century life – working with others, safely and effectively

In the Senior School these goals are achieved across three keys areas:

  • Infrastructure
    We have, and continue to, invest heavily in a world-class intranet and associated computing hardware to support Learning & Teaching across the campus, capable of supporting thousands of concurrent device connections via WiFi and several hundred hardwired devices. These state-of-the-art facilities are critical to the success of our eLearning programmes.
  • Devices
    All senior pupils bring their own device which provides a platform to realise the development of Digital Competencies across individual subject contexts, as well as mechanisms for pupils to Consume, Create, Curate and Collaborate as part of their learning.
  • Software
    We have standardised the software packages which complete the eLearning environment in the Senior School.  Primarily, this includes:
    • Google Suite (G Suite for Education)
    • Microsoft Office (via GLOW, Scotland's nationally available digital environment for learning)
    • Web based applications