Dear Parents and Guardians
I hope you enjoyed a good festive break. Happy New Year!
I am writing to inform you about the Lower School Award that all Year 7 students will be starting next week. The Award is student-driven and will recognise their learning and the progress of key skills, or what are known as ‘Approaches to Learning or ‘ATLs’, throughout the curriculum as well as CAS activities. The Award will involve students selecting evidence and writing reflections on their learning throughout the rest of Year 7 and Year 8.
The Lower School Award is a student led online reflective journal using software connected to SMART called ‘Evidencer.’ The Award is based around the ATLs designed by the International Baccalaureate Organisation. These ATLs (Communication, Social Collaboration, Self-Management, Research and Thinking) are a collection of the processes, skills, techniques and strategies needed to learn any subject or activity. ATLs are not more content to be learned, rather they are processes to be experienced and improved. The purpose of the Lower School Award is for students to reflect on their own learning and progress within the ATLs. Students will be given full guidance on how to write an effective reflection as well as what is considered to be good quality evidence. Later on in Year 7, students will be given training on how to lead a 1-1 conversation with their tutor as they will present their Learning Journal to their tutor. Students will complete their Learning Journal during Tutor Time as well as in their own time. The skill of reflection is something that senior students are required to demonstrate as part of the IB programme and so teaching the skill in Y7 is beneficial for the students to practice and develop in preparation for later studies. Pedagogical research tells us that students learn best with a knowledge rich curriculum which is combined with the development of metacognitive skills; a metacognitive approach to instruction can help students learn to take control of their own learning by defining learning goals and monitoring their progress in achieving them. (Bransford, Brown & Cocking. 2000)
At the end of Y8 there will be an ‘End of Lower School’ Awards Ceremony where the students will be awarded either a Gold, Silver or Bronze Lower School Award. Parents will also be invited to attend this celebration. The criteria required to achieve the Award can be found on at this link: Info about the Lower School Award
Next week, Y7 students will be involved in an induction workshop where they will be given full details about the Award as well as training in the new software ‘Evidencer’ which the students will be using to document their achievements towards their Award. This will mean that rather than attending their timetabled lesson they will attend the induction workshop for one lesson. Please see the schedule below:
Monday 9th January: Period 2 7D1 (7.1) and 7D2 (7.2) Period 3 7G1 (7.3) and 7G2 (7.4)
Tuesday 10th January: Period 1 7P1 (7.5) and 7P2 (7.6) Period 2 7X1 (7.7) and 7X2 (7.8)
If you have any further questions about the Lower School Award please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of Lower School