A focus on each individual child
When I was at university in the late nineties I was trained how to teach. At that time it was quite a formulaic operation. You set your objectives for the lesson, explained to the children what they were going to do, worked through some core skills and conducted a plenary of what had been covered. Planning was key.
In many respects this was a good basis for embarking on my new career, giving me principles that I could base my future practice around. There were other elements that constantly reinforced, such as the need to avoid talking too much and making sure the children were as active as possible. But the same formula was the fundamental core around which everything else was based.
As I began my first job I realised that there were some incredibly important skills that were missing from my arsenal. Most important of these was the need to adapt, to tear up the plan and allow the lesson to be taken in a new direction. The focus, rather than being on the teacher and what I was doing, needed to be on the learner and what they needed. I had to leave my ego at home and with it the ‘teacher always knows best’ attitude.
This is what Portsmouth High School is all about. A focus on the individual child and helping them to develop is the single most important principle that we seek to achieve. Our Explorer Curriculum is there to both enthuse and empower the girls as they investigate the world around them. It is about giving as many learning opportunities as possible.