Latest News&Events

11 Sep

Growing & Developing

Growing and developing is our core business as an educational community. God tasked His very first image bearers, Adam and Eve, with the role of stewardship: to grow and develop creation in faithful obedience to Father God (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15), and we get to share in this work. We are designed to do life together, in community. And when a community partners together and is aligned in shared purpose, the community flourishes.

Although we are in different places and learning in different spaces right now, we remain aligned and connected in our shared purpose. And while it may feel like we’re far from flourishing, I want to encourage you to not mistake this season as ‘unproductive’.

It might feel like learning is happening too slowly, but I would like to be bold and suggest that deeper learner is happening. Seeds and bulbs sprout up, seemingly overnight, but lots happens below the surface that we cannot see before the bloom springs forth. But one thing is for sure: activity and transformation is taking place before we get to see it with our own eyes.

Just like the rate of blooming varies between types of seeds and bulbs, the pace of learning varies between learners. The power of ‘wait time’ is essential. It allows learners time to ponder and wrestle and it is a value part of the learning process; it cultivates richer and deeper learning.

A key part of a teacher’s role is to identify and measure learning progress as it’s happening. We are trained and use a wide range of tools and strategies to assess learning progression. If you are feeling a little worried about your child’s growth, and would like to uncover how they’re developing, here is a question tool I’d like to put in your hand today:

Ask your child open-styled questions; here are some examples you might ask your child about their English text:
• Tell me about a main character in your novel. Tell me what you like about them?
• Tell me about another character you and challenging to like.
• Can you describe the town/city/world where the story is set?
• Is this the sort of place you would like to visit? Or would you prefer to visit another city...?

A trap we can sometimes fall into is asking questions that invite ‘yes’ or ‘no’ responses. When we frame questions to our learners in such a way, it inhibits critical thinking. Open-style questions prompt learners to consider the ‘why’ and explore beyond the surface level; they tap into a deeper level of understanding. These sorts of questions help expose their thought-process, to themself and to you, which can generate richer discussions.

Let’s remain faithful and steadfast in our shared purpose. Even if learning looks different than what it did before, growth and development is still happening. While the rate may be slower than what we might have hoped, and the fullness not yet realised, our learners will bloom in time: in their time.

Kristie Barber
Head of Teaching & Learning