Global Skills in English lessons
A Hybrid Programme of English and 21st Century Skills
We believe that for children to thrive and be agents for positive change in the 21st century they need to be equipped with the necessary Global Skills. These are competencies, mindsets and ways of thinking and doing which enable children and adults to engage with the modern world. English is now the language of international culture and commerce; as current and future global citizens, children and young people must learn how to navigate contemporary global issues in English using a blend of social, cognitive and emotional skills and competencies.
The Global Skills in English programme is designed to develop children’s social and intellectual development alongside their English language proficiency. The classes are based on the premise that children learn best when they are actively and thoughtfully engaged both in their immediate surroundings and in wider world around them. We do not have a set curriculum or course books that the classes follow. Each week, the teachers plan their lessons ‘from scratch’, with the classes thematically based on that week’s educational excursion. (Parents are able to see the lesson plans and learning objectives for each class when they log on to the Parents’ Portal.)
Each week there are 4 days of lessons plus a full-day educational excursion.
The GSE classes take place in mornings; there are three classes, with each focusing on either Content, Skills or Values.
Content lessons are theoretically grounded in the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) methodology, and involve teaching English as a Second Language alongside other disciplines such as History and Economics. A content lesson might focus on the history of London, for example, with a review of past tense verbs.
Skills lessons are task-based, and involve students learning or practicing how to complete a real-world skill. This could involve conducting research, planning an activity or giving a presentation – while also learning functional language such as signposting or paraphrasing.
Values lessons encourage the children to examine and challenge their worldviews and assumptions through discussion and debate. Language focus might include expressions for persuasion, critique or (dis)agreement.
The full-day excursions each Wednesday are an integral part of the academic programme. The teachers accompany their classes on the trips, and the students augment and extend their classroom learning ‘out in the real world’. Each week, the classes are thematically linked to the excursions, so if a class is going to the Shakespeare Globe Theatre, for instance, they may study some of Shakespeare’s works or his impact on the English language in class.
Age Groups and Class Allocations
Children are grouped according to age and English language proficiency. There are three age groups: Juniors (9-11), Middles (12-14) and Seniors (15-17). Within those age groups are numbered classes; the lower the number, the higher the level of English:
Sample Class Allocations:
|Juniors (9-11)||Middles (12-14)||Seniors (15-17)|