A. PERSONAL LEARNING PLANS
As students progress through schooling at RVS, they will experience an increasingly tailored personal learning plan formulated in partnership with student, parents and school. Personal does not mean independent and we acknowledge the importance of social negotiation in learning.
Throughout Middle School, students will be provided with curriculum opportunities both within and beyond the school to help them identify their personal interests and goals. By the end of Year 10, students will be able to develop their own portfolio, including CENZ (Christian Education New Zealand Trust) Certificate and/or NCEA accreditation, with a personalised learning trajectory for their further study/training during Senior School that will equip them with the skills required for life beyond school. CENZ provides for personalised learning pathways for every student, which means we are able to offer an unlimited range of courses (including NCEA) that suit students and lead to qualifications.
B. SUPPORTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
The school will provide adequate support to enable students to reach their potential. Providing positive personalised learning environments that will serve to augment students’ feelings of belonging, which will in turn increase their motivation and desire to stay in school. We prescribe to the view that “Emotion and Motivation are the gatekeepers of learning.” This will include:
In order to accommodate personalised learning, RVS will provision flexibility in the following areas:
Fluidity of staffing/student movement across the school will enable early access to CENZ credited work (including NCEA), which is particularly important for ‘gifted’ or ‘accelerated’ Y7 to Y10 students who are ready for advanced coursework. It also allows teacher/expert skill-sets to be organised around student needs, rather than timetables, spaces and subject areas.
In contrast to traditional scheduling of classes, students will have larger blocks of time allocated to ensure there is more flexibility in the amount of time students have to master skills and achieve competency.
See Assessment and Tracking
D. PREPARING STUDENTS TO BE LIFELONG LEARNERS
An important component of learners’ education is acquiring the skills that improve their ability to learn. This includes complex problem solving, communication, team skills, creativity and innovation. The method RVS has adopted is based on the 6 C's approach to learning and by continuing inquiry learning into the senior years.
THE 6 C'S
RVS recognises that organising the school curriculum around Michael Fullan's 6 C's (deep learning competencies) that are consistently reinforced across classrooms will help the school community as a whole to have a solid sense of what students should know and be able to do by the time they graduate. Acquisition of these skills will be achieved through careful scaffolding of student tasks, programmed from Year 0 - 13. These principles include:
E. PROVIDING RELEVANT SUPPORT
RVS seeks to engage and motivate students by supporting their learning goals in a way that is relevant to each student’s life, interest and goals. This can be achieved through:
Using an inquiry, theme-centered authentic approach
Students will be provided with real world contexts, while still being provided quality instruction within the classroom. Increased use of project-based learning enables students to engage in challenging tasks that usually involve knowledge and skills from more than one academic discipline. These tasks require students to work independently and collaboratively to solve complex problems, and they culminate in real-world products or outcomes. Students will connect their studies to the world, particularly in the senior school, through fieldwork, community service, consultation with outside experts, and through work experience.
Using a combination of learning modalities
Learning modalities includes teacher-led large and small group instruction, small group collaborative activities, virtual software-based instruction, virtual live instruction, independent learning, community based learning and one-on-one tutoring. This provides a range of opportunities for student success and can be adjusted according to individual student need. This approach is already well established within the school.