The Individual Learner
Every pupil at Russell House is recognised as an individual with a unique range of skills, talents, educational strengths and interests.
The class teacher comes to know each member of class well over the course of the year and regular meetings take place at which class teachers and subject specialists share their view of each pupil. They consider the possibilities for enhancing the educational experience of the gifted, able and talented or the need for curriculum support where a pupil is struggling or is diagnosed with a specific difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia.
The performance of each pupil is tracked over the course of their time at Russell House using a wide range of nationally recognised standardised tests. Those with particularly high scores and/or observed enthusiasm and interest are considered for inclusion in the Gifted, Able and Talented register. Those who need it are helped in class in small groups and, after discussion, may attend one-to-one lessons with a specialist curriculum support teacher.
Academic lessons are planned for the whole range of abilities and there are always at least two adults in core subject lessons. Extra encouragement and enriching activities are provided for the more able. This may take the form of extended project work, presenting to the class, asking questions to be further investigated, using ICT to search for facts and answers, or talking about ideas and experiences with like-minded individuals.
Regular assessment in class measures the performance of individual pupils and the results are taken into account when planning the next step in learning. Teachers carefully monitor the outcome of these tests and use the information gained to make adjustments and so raise standards or address needs.
Encouraging Independence and Maturity
The children are encouraged to learn the importance of independence, maturity and resilience. They grow in independence by taking responsibility for their academic work and for their own belongings. The discipline of completing homework assignments by a deadline, of keeping notes in their contact books and of communicating problems to teachers are important steps in the process of becoming effective learners.
Membership of a House and, later on, of the School Council provide opportunities for pupils to air their thoughts and to become leaders.