Key Stage 2

Who are Key stage 2 students?

Key Stage 2 is the legal term for the four years of schooling in maintained schools under Cambridge university, normally known as Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6, when the individuals are aged between 7 and 11 years.

Curriculum

Cambridge Primary sets clear learning objectives in English sets clear learning objectives in English as a first or second language, mathematics, science and Cambridge Global Perspectives. It focuses on developing knowledge and skills in core subjects which form an excellent foundation for future study.

Processes

Conglom (Circle Time)

Circle Time is the day’s first interaction between teachers and students. It is an informally structured community time which is used as an opportunity to foster democracy and build social skills like speaking, listening, debate and reflection. During Circle Time, children share experiences, discuss ideas, engage in conflict resolution, set the agenda for the day or just have fun. A typical session might have the teacher read aloud from a book or a newspaper, have a sing-along, invite opinions on a community happening or just encourage students to share how their weekend was.

Thinking Routines

Thinking Routines are a set of learning routines that focus on developing creative and critical thinking skills and dispositions. They were developed as a part of the Visible Thinking initiative under Harvard Project Zero. Visible Thinking offers a flexible framework to explicitly teach specific thinking skills in the classroom through a set of routines and processes. These routines are typically a short set of questions or steps that can be followed to think through to a goal or idea. They are called ‘thinking routines’ because they are repeatedly and systematically used like any other classroom routine, and eventually become a part of the classroom culture and they way students instinctively think through problems.

Hands-on, Minds-on Learning

Hands-on learning is an educational approach where students are encouraged to learn through doing, or active participation. This is especially important to kinesthetic learners, since it offers them a chance to directly observe, engage in and understand something using more of their senses. This helps students better understand concepts and retain information. Students of all ages benefit from a hands-on and ‘minds-on’ learning approach that sparks imagination, curiosity and critical thinking. Such learning opportunities give students the chance to see how something works in a real-life scenario, build something, learn a skill, test a hypothesis, observe something in action and fix glitches. It encourages active learning and practical problem solving.

Authentic Learning Contexts

An authentic context for learning provides a setting where the student can explore an idea and see its impact and relevance in the real world. Authentic learning opportunities are typically constructivist in nature, and actively engage the student in exploration, enquiry, discourse, reflection and collaboration while working on relevant, real-world tasks. Students work on complex, interdisciplinary projects and tasks involving higher-order thinking skills, and the assessments of such projects are also rooted in authentic contexts. Typically, learning undertaken in an authentic context would result in students producing a product that has value on its own and can be shared with a critical audience outside the classroom.

Making Learning Visible

The MLV framework evolved as a collaboration between Project Zero at Harvard and educators from Reggio Emilia [Italy]. Making Learning Visible is an effort to create and celebrate a culture of learning and democracy within the classroom and school-wide. MLV uses documentation of student work and work-in-progress as the main tool to make evident, shape and record how and what we learn. Documentation done under the MLV framework is distinct from mere display of student work in a few crucial ways: it includes a question about learning, is shared with students, includes teachers’ reflections and analysis, involves more than one medium and serves as a tool for further evaluation, reflection and learning.

Assessment for Learning

The MLV framework evolved as a collaboration between Project Zero at Harvard and educators from Reggio Emilia [Italy]. Making Learning Visible is an effort to create and celebrate a culture of learning and democracy within the classroom and school-wide. MLV uses documentation of student work and work-in-progress as the main tool to make evident, shape and record how and what we learn. Documentation done under the MLV framework is distinct from mere display of student work in a few crucial ways: it includes a question about learning, is shared with students, includes teachers’ reflections and analysis, involves more than one medium and serves as a tool for further evaluation, reflection and learning.

Peer Scrutiny

Peer Scrutiny is a form of assessment where students’ work is reviewed by other students of the same age group, generally classmates. It is a powerful tool for meta-cognition and developing intra-personal and inter-personal skills. Peer scrutiny can help students develop the ability to offer critical, thoughtful feedback, reflect on feedback and suggestions received, listen attentively, think critically and work in co-operation with others. As they grow more proficient, students often collaborate with the instructor in identifying parameters for assessment and formulating the assessment rubric. Such active participation in assessment helps students gain more ownership of their own learning rather than feeling on the passive, receiving end of assessment.

Public Scrutiny

Public Scrutiny is a form of assessment where students’ work is reviewed by an external audience: the parent community, subject experts, professionals or teachers and students from other grade levels. Such interactions give students the chance to present an idea or a product to a new audience, get feedback, self-advocate and develop public speaking and presentation skills. It helps students test the relevance of their idea, product or solution in a larger context than just their classroom.

Collaboration Routines

In a world that is rapidly changing and evolving, collaboration has become a critical 21st century skill for career and life success. Workspaces in the future, as well as many current workspaces, require participants to collaborate seamlessly in the physical and virtual worlds with people spread across the world. Skills and mindsets like working respectfully with diverse teams, listening carefully, self advocating politely, flexibility, willingness to compromise, assume shared responsibility and value individual contributions are vital to working well in teams. This type of sophisticated teamwork takes practice and reinforcement over years. Collaboration Routines practiced in the classroom like frequent opportunities for teamwork, stimulating engagement through a provocative text or interesting task, setting common norms for collaboration [eg: one person speaks at a time, listen to each idea, no put-downs etc], activities to practice active listening, asking good questions, negotiating skills [patience, flexibility, thinking under pressure], conflict resolution tactics etc can offer sufficient practice in these skills from an early age, so that they eventually become easy and intuitive.

Reflection Routines

The ability to reflect upon an experience and process it can help a learner move from one experience to the other with a deeper understanding of its relationships with other experiences and ideas. Reflection has a significant impact upon student learning and academic achievement. To help students practice reflection as a daily habit, various reflection routines are incorporated into class activities and assessment tasks. Oftentimes, reflection is oral as in a class discussion or peer-interaction. Students are also encouraged to reflect in writing through daily journals, blogs, graphic organizers and term-end and unit-end written reflections. Thinking Routines like See-Think-Wonder, I Used to Think…But Now I Think…,Think-Puzzle-Explore and KWL also help reinforce the habit of reflection. The goal is to help students naturally, easily adopt reflection as a personal habit, asking questions of self like: What did I learn? How did I learned it? What helped me in learning? What hindered me in learning? What can I do differently next time? What have I learned about how I learn?

Closing the Loop

When the school day begins or a class begins, a learning loop is ‘opened’, so to say. Closing Routines help students process their learning, check their understanding, reflect and set goals for the next day. Closing the Loop routines are done two-fold, at the end of each learning session and at the end of each school day. Routines at the end of class might include a quick quiz, discussion about the learning objectives, if students felt the objectives were met, what concept/topic they understood well, what they did not understand so well, what they might do in the next class etc. Students might rate the lesson on a scale of 1 to 10, use a graphic organizer, or just share orally what they think to questions like ‘What did you learn? What surprised you? What is unclear? What do you want to know more about?’. Closing the loop at the end of the day may include routines like discussing the highlights of the day, goals for the next day or taking a few minutes to write in journals. Closing the loop helps students end the day on a peaceful, reflective note and send them off with a sense of accomplishment.

Read Aloud

One of the most important activities parents and teachers can do with preschool and kindergarten students, is reading aloud to them. This also holds true for older students. Apart from the obvious benefits of building literacy skills [reading, writing, speaking, listening], fostering a love of the written word and a huge sense of fun, reading aloud to children also help them internalize language and structures that will eventually inform how they themselves will read and write. Listening to a story read aloud frees one from decoding the written word, and allows one to build a visual narrative in the mind. Students at various reading abilities get to participate together in the unfolding story and reading becomes a joyous community adventure. Teachers can model reading practices as they read aloud – predicting what the book might be about from the title and cover illustration, stopping at various points to discuss what just took place and what it might mean, predicting what might happen next and adding new information to previous information to further understand character motivations and plot points. Teachers or parents can pick books that might be a little too complex for the child to read on their own, but can still be within grasp when read aloud. This can build confidence in one’s ability to read and comprehend new text.

Junior Great Books
Student Led Conference

A Student Led Conference is, as the name suggests, a progress review meeting led by students distinct from the more traditional teacher-led conferences where the student might be a passive participant. Typically, at the end of a term of study, students compile a set of representative classwork, assessment samples and other artifacts of learning in a file and engage in a process of revisiting and reflection of learning as preparation for the SLC. They then use the material collected in their portfolio files during the SLC to explain their achievements and grades to their parents. SLCs allow students to tell their own side of the story, take responsibility for their own learning and communicate to an invested audience how they plan to use the insights gained during the revisiting process in the coming term. The week long preparation time before an SLC includes reflection and review of all learning in the past term, planning for an effective conference, practicing with a buddy and preparing for hosting the event with teachers facilitating. SLCs allow parents and students some time to reflect as a family, and teachers get the chance to observe their students, listen carefully and review strengths and weaknesses.

Buddy Interaction

Under the Buddy Interaction programme, students from different age groups are paired with each other for a year, and work as a team to help each other. This is a very useful way to encourage social inclusion and create a culture of encouragement in the school. All students involved get to build social networks beyond their own classroom and learn important interpersonal skills. Students are paired together keeping in mind their personalities, unique needs and competencies. Shared activities during buddy interactions may include academic help like reading practice, reaching IEP goals or other coursework help, and also help with social settings. A student new to the school can settle in faster with the help of a supportive buddy. In case of situations like bullying the student may feel more comfortable turning to someone closer to their own age, but old enough to offer help or mediate. The programme enhances positive behaviors in both the older and the younger buddies. The program gives the older ‘buddy’ a sense of responsibility, accountability and competence. It hones empathy and allows for crucial self-exploration, self-definition and meaningful social interaction, especially vital to middle-schoolers and teenagers.

Parents’ Workshops
Unit Panchayat
Advisory

Special Programmes

French Immersion Programme
LEGO

Events and Opportunities

Poetry festival
Readers’ Theatre
Night out
Trips

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The Galaxy School – Wadi

C/o Bhalodiya farm
Taraghadi village
Jamnagar highway
Rajkot, Gujarat – 360110

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