‘Rigour’ is undoubtedly a buzzword within education and has been for the past few years. But, how does it impact our teaching and learning at Saigon Star, and what measures do we take to try and embed it?
Well, our International Primary Curriculum means we assess ourselves against their Self-Review, the sixth foundation of which is: ‘Rigorous children’s learning and embedding supporting structures and systems that support it’. Essentially, this means that we should strive for opportunities that provide our learners with challenge and choice, in all areas of learning.
A relatively quick fix, given that the previous layout already contained some aspects of ‘rigour’, was the provision of our Home Learning Menus which teachers prepare to accompany each of their IPC units of work. After collaborative discussions with members of the parent community, teaching team and, most importantly, the learners themselves, several small and subtle changes were recommended and actioned, that evidenced an increase in the level of challenge and choice.
One of those changes includes the choice of two tasks for each of the subjects. Therefore, if a topic includes the subject of Science, learners now have the option to choose which of two tasks that the teacher has suggested (or both!), to complete. I recall that this was directly as a result of a discussion I had with several of our older Primary learners, who astutely identified that a greater level of independence and decision-making would increase their intrinsic motivation. Aside from this, we also added our bespoke mascots for knowledge, skills and understanding to further embed consistency and awareness of what type of learning they are undertaking in each task, and the Personal Learning Goal visuals help learners to be mindful of the personal attitudes and characteristics they might be developing at the same time.
Although this document is now complete and we can look at other structures and systems in terms of rigour in the near future, the Home Learning Menus will be reviewed on a regular basis as we evolve and continue to improve our provision over time.