Teaching at Elizabeth College is focused on the learning experience of the students, enabling each student to be challenged and fulfilled in their studies. The teachers are subject experts and enthusiasts who seek to display an infectious intellectual curiosity. Excellent teaching and the setting of consistently high standards are key elements in this.
College aims to make the classroom environment stimulating, challenging and supportive in appropriate ways to all students, recognising their different talents and abilities. We do not believe that prior attainment is the only indicator of future attainment, subscribing to the power of a growth mindset. Students are not to rely on ‘talent’ or a perception of their own ‘ability’ as being fixed, but are to be encouraged to work hard, to practise lots, to learn well and to persevere in all their endeavours and so to improve.
By the time our students leave College to head off to university or into the world of work, it is our aim that they will be effective independent learners.
The classrooms, studios, workshops, laboratories and sports fields at Elizabeth College are filled day-in-day-out with students being stretched and challenged. It is an exciting environment in which to grow up, one with high expectations where success is noticed and celebrated at all levels.
Homework encourages students to put what they have learned into practice and is where they develop self-reliance, and self-discipline. Homework has many important functions, which include:
- Helping students to make more rapid progress in learning
- Encouraging independent learning and self-discipline
- Allowing students to practise skills learned in the classroom
- Giving students the opportunity to use materials and sources of information that may not be available in the classroom
- Involving other members of the family in the student’s work to their mutual benefit
- Giving opportunities for sustained research
- Giving students experience of working to deadlines
- Aiding the preparation of learning styles essential for success at tertiary education
Homework is set according to a specific timetable for each year group and seeks to be relevant, appropriate and interesting. Year 7 are set a combination of traditional style short tasks alongside guided research activities aimed at developing their independent learning. This pattern is extended through Years 8 and 9. In the GCSE and A level years, homework becomes focused on exam preparation, steadily increasing in length and frequency.
Communication is fundamentally important to us. Regular feedback about academic performance is provided by careful and consistent marking of work, by comments to individuals and groups, in discussions with parents and in formal reports. Mid-term gradings give an indication as to whether students are working to their potential. They provide immediate information on student performance with brief comments if required. Each term ends with a fuller written report along with a further grading.
Annual Parents’ Evenings provide the formal opportunity for parents to meet with subject teachers. However, we urge parents who are concerned about their child’s performance to make immediate contact with the teacher, tutor or head of year rather than waiting for the next parents’ meeting.
The assessment of student achievement should be regarded as one component of the overall programme of educational planning in the College. The system of reporting seeks to ensure that parents and students are fully aware of both general and individual progress. It is intended to support educational goals, give positive reinforcement to our students and give valuable feedback to the classroom teacher.