“Every child need not fit the same mould – nor should we force them to do so.” Dr James Dobson (Hide and Seek)
Here at St Peter’s we wholeheartedly agree.
It would be wrong to assume that every child can do the same thing in the same way. We, therefore, require our teaching to take into
account the individual and their needs. Classes here are between 9 pupils and 18 pupils – therefore we are able look at EVERY lesson
and EVERY child during that lesson to assess whether (or not) individuals accessed it accordingly. We know the pupils really well
and use that information to help them learn in the best way possible.
If you listened to our staff in the staffroom you might think that they are being too hard on themselves when you hear:
“I totally planned it wrong for child A”
“Oh dear Child B should have been stretched further”
“I just couldn’t find exactly what they were finding hard in that lesson”
“I wish I had introduced that concept differently”
(Teachers are too hard on themselves almost 100% of the time).
We accept we will hardly ever get it PERFECT for every child – but that does NOT stop us trying to.
The key here at St Peter’s mixed boarding school, Devon is what we then do after a pupil becomes stuck … adapt lessons – don’t just carry on, go back over things,
talk 1:1 to pupils, present things in a different way, clear marking for their own feedback, giving next steps, changing activities for the
next lesson – the cycle is constant and the staff team highly reflective.
When observing a Year 2 lesson this week I saw some of the best differentiation, within an hour Humanities lesson, that I have seen
for some time … every child had their needs well and truly met. They all did slightly different work. They all succeeded. They all left
for lunch feeling ten foot tall. They all achieved the learning objective. They all learnt invaluable learning skills at the same time.
They all were involved and they all LOVED their learning.
The following pictures show how effective differentiation means that here at St Peter’s NO child need fit any mould. We want them to
find their own way of working and be proud of their achievement.