Our exclusive programme is based on:
Project-based Learning: Children learn by researching the answers to their questions and finding solutions to set problems. An inquiry-based student profile is cultivated. By working in groups and using projects as a source of knowledge we combine various subjects’ syllabus under one umbrella theme. The syllabus is then taught by the students as they present their work/findings to the class.
Communication: Great importance is placed in the presentation and communication of all student work and life experiences. Larger projects or smaller activities such as a written text are encouraged by the teachers to be shared. Arrangements are made so that students share their presentations and collaboratively work with other year groups as well as with parents and the school community - by doing this, we teach public speaking from even before Grade 1.
Differentiation At PaRK IS we believe that every student is unique, has a different rhythm, different motivations and different learning needs, which we must respect. Core subjects are often taught with a complimentary teacher present to ensure foundations in Portuguese, English and Mathematics are well consolidated. This allows us to adapt the curriculum to students, abilities and different levels while allowing teachers to establish real goals that will help children actively construct their knowledge always in pursuit of academic excellence.
Autonomous work: One of our most distinguished routines is TEA (“Tempo de Estudo Autónomo” = Autonomous Learning Time). Four days a week the Junior School students have a scheduled moment when they study by themselves. Students plan their study with the teacher and those with no difficulties can move on doing Portuguese, English or Mathematics exercises, working on their Social Studies projects, or collaborating with other students. Teachers have this time to help students in need of extra attention and can adapt the work to each child’s needs. These moments are very important to gain in depth knowledge of subject contents and produce intellectual material under the guidance of the subject teachers, thus developing the metacognition of each student.
Technology: Technology is one of our main strengths and it helps to differentiate the learning journey of each student. Our technological programme is integrated in all projects and themes. It is a resource (among others) that is naturally offered to students despite the subject area. Students learn how to code from Grade 1. A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy for iPads from Grade 4 provides students with the opportunity to personalise and enhance their learning experience by utilising their own device and its various interactive and multimedia resources, promoting collaboration and creativity in a safe environment, while preparing them for a technology-driven future. From Grade 5, instead of having a separate class about technology, students use it as a tool across all disciplines in an integrated way.
Class Meeting and Class Organisation: class meetings and Social Skills are moments to discuss the daily life of each class/group. The weekly plan is designed and reviewed as a class and specific tasks are assigned to students on a rotating basis and students will evaluate and be evaluated for their involvement in school life. Managing their own path in school helps students develop important skills like critical thinking, time management and decision-making. These skills are essential for success in higher education.