We at Beaconhouse Newlands use inquiry as our pedagogy for engaging students in the deeper understanding and ownership of the learning. Our whole school action plan is centered on authentic inquiry democratising our learning, and we constantly seek evidence for this research.
The Beaconhouse Newlands curriculum is engaging, challenging and relevant, and actively supports the developmental differences and learning styles of the students. It is framed by the pedagogy of the Primary Years Program as we are in the process of “Candidate School for International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme” for now and have applied for authorization this year. The curriculum focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It prepares students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. Structured, purposeful inquiry is at the heart of our school’s teaching philosophy. Our students actively construct meaning based on their prior knowledge and their engagement with the curriculum and Units of Inquiry. They investigate important subject matter by formulating questions, proceeding with research, experimentation or observation which leads to their own responses to the issues. Technology is a key focus and our ‘digital natives’ are guided in their use of familiar and new technologies as one method of engaging with peers, teachers and experts beyond the classroom. The aim of the programs is to develop internationally minded people who help to create a better and more peaceful world.
At Beaconhouse Newlands the education
• is for students from Pre-Nursery to Grade 4 ( progressing one grade each year)
• promotes in-depth guided inquiry in teaching and learning by building on stu¬dents’ own knowledge and interests
• explores the construction of knowledge through personal experience
• is transdisciplinary, in that it fosters the development of the whole child, addressing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs
• gives children a strong foundation in all of the major areas of knowledge: mathematics, social studies, drama, language, music, visual arts, science, personal and social education, and physical education
• strives to help children develop an international perspective – to become aware of the points of view of people in other parts of the world
• allows students to study an additional language (Mandarin) and gain an understanding of the cultures in which the language is spoken
• develops attitudes that are socially responsible and that are positive learning experiences
The definition of curriculum is comprised of three interrelated components. In keeping with the commitment to inquiry, these three components are expressed in the form of the following three open-ended questions, each of which compels teachers to think deeply about their own practice with regard to student learning.
• What do we want to learn? The written curriculum: the identification of a framework of what’s worth knowing
• How best will we learn? The taught curriculum: the theory and application of good classroom practice
• How will we know what we have learned? The assessed curriculum: the theory and application of effective assessment.
We, at Beaconhouse Newlands, Multan, believe that all learners have unique needs to consider when helping them to meet or exceed their academic and non-academic potential. To provide access to the IB program in our school, we endeavor to apply approaches and support systems that address the individual needs and varied learning styles of students, including those identified with special needs (special education, gifted and talented) so that they can be fully integrated within mainstream classes.
Students with Special Education Needs (SEN) are entertained only with an assessment report from a certified psychologist/psychiatrist. All these students are subsequently assessed and the data collected provides a profile of the students and helps to diagnose their particular needs. With the help of this information, the relevant stakeholders work collaboratively with the Curriculum Coordinator to determine what strategies can be implemented to best address each student’s individual needs. The databank includes anecdotal and test results, which is used to support the planning of literacy learning for those students. Relevant information is routinely disseminated to classroom teachers, the Curriculum Coordinator, SEN Resource teacher, the Parents and the psychologist/therapist involved in the literacy learning of the student. Regular meetings and case conferences is held with the IB Head, Programme Coordinator, homeroom/subject teachers, parents and others in order to address the specific needs of the identified students.
At Newlands, each special needs student is provided with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that is tailored to the child’s individual needs both behavioral and academic. Special students may require an SNA (Special Needs Assistant) who focuses on only one student, assisting him or her in covering the IEP objectives while simultaneously fostering appropriate classroom behavior. Parents are provided with a regular report about their child’s progress. The Special Needs Coordinator assesses the student and accordingly decides how our team can support the student in progressing and making the best use of their talents.
The admissions arrangements for students with SEN fall within the usual admissions procedures for all students to the school. However their admission tests are tailored based on individual capabilities.
After the admission is confirmed, the School may request Parents, to provide an Educational Assistant/ shadow teacher to facilitate their child’s learning at the School.
Significant, relevant content that we wish the students to explore and know about, taking into consideration their prior experience and understanding.
Powerful ideas that have relevance within the subject areas but also transcend them and that the students must explore and re-explore in order to develop a coherent, in-depth understanding.
Those capabilities that the students need to demonstrate to succeed in a changing, challenging world, which may be disciplinary or transdisciplinary in nature.
Dispositions that are expressions of fundamental values, beliefs and feelings about learning, the environment and people.
Demonstrations of deeper learning in responsible behavior through responsible action; a manifestation in practice of the other essential element.
• Who We Are
An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
• Where We Are In Time And Place
An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journey; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
• How We Express Ourselves
An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs, and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
• How The World Works
An inquiry into the nature world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
• How We Organize Ourselves
An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
• Sharing The Planet
An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
We aim that, in order to conduct purposeful inquiry and in order to be well prepared for further education and for life beyond school, students needs to master a whole range of skills beyond those normally referred to as basic. These include skills which transcend the individual disciplines:
• Social Skills: accepting responsibility; respecting others, cooperating, resolving conflict, group decision making, adopting a wide variety of group roles.
• Research Skills: formulating questions, observing, planning, collecting data, recording data, organizing data, interpreting data, presenting research findings.
• Thinking Skills: acquisition of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, dialectical thought and metacognition.
• Communication Skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, non-verbal communication.
• Self-Management Skills: gross motor skills, fine motor skills, spatial awareness, organization, time management, safety, healthy lifestyles, codes of behavior, informed choices.