Educational Philosophy

A new standard in education

Self-Directed Learning is the educational model which underpins College life. The classroom is at the centre of the model, but it is simply one part of a student’s experience. A Self-Directed Learning approach immerses students in a rich and stimulating environment, harnessing new technologies and creative spaces, and connecting the school day to the challenges we meet in real life.

It draws on our growing understanding of the way that the brain develops, as well as global studies of best practice education. Finland, renowned for the consistently outstanding outcomes of its schools, has refined the approach over thirty years.

Traditional models of education are designed to provide a standard product to a large number of students. The ‘chalk and talk’ model can be very successful for some, but it lacks the flexibility to accommodate different learning styles and rates of progress. Students who excel can lack the challenges to reach their true potential. Students who struggle can fall further and further behind their peers, approaching each new topic without the assumed knowledge to grasp the next steps.

We also know that learning in a job or in life rarely follows the classroom model. We are called on to recognise problems, think about how to solve them, and seek out learning without the instructions of teachers and parents. For many students, the shift from passive reliance to active self-direction comes in the crucial transition from high school to further study or work. The challenge can prove overwhelming.

Self-Directed Learning encourages students to take on the challenges of study, life and work with confidence in their own abilities.

 SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: Key Concepts for learning

A Growth Mindset: A fixed mindset tells us that talent is innate, and so achievement is beyond our control. A growth mindset shows us that improvement is always possible, and it comes about by effort and determination.

Brain-based Learning: Many practices in education are accepted simply because they have always been followed, not because they are proven to be effective. Brain-based learning looks to our ever-expanding knowledge of how the brain develops and functions. It translates research into better teaching practices and support structures for students.

Inquiry Learning: In an Information Age, no curriculum can cover more than a fraction of the knowledge that is there for us to unlock. Inquiry Learning gives students the keys to that incredible resource: framing the questions, seeking the best sources, weighing the evidence and forming defensible conclusions.