“There is only one twenty first century skill: the ability to act intelligently when you are faced with a situation for which you have not been specifically prepared.”
Seymour Papert, Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
It is this belief that drives our approach to teaching and learning at Kensington Aldridge Academy.
We know that both students and staff need to be life-long learners and that education is not just about memorising answers to questions you then go on to recite in an exam. Instead, each lesson should prepare students to solve the many new, unseen problems that lie ahead.
With us, all students are treated as intelligent and individual by teachers, irrespective of their prior attainment at primary school, and all will go on to achieve beyond their initial personal expectations. Students are taught demanding content and expected to explain and find connections between complicated ideas from a young age. They are taught to think in a disciplined manner and show understanding of the core concepts in each subject, and never just to recall information or carry out formulaic responses.
Our curriculum covers traditional academic subjects but also meet the needs of the modern world. We don’t see that there is a tension between the two. We will focus on developing a real independence and entrepreneurial attitude in our students. Students are taught:
- new ways of thinking: including creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making;
- new ways of working: including new forms of collaboration and communication;
- new tools for working: including the capacity to harness the potential of new technologies.
Teaching and learning is our core business – without outstanding lessons we can’t be an outstanding school. We believe that one lifetime is not enough to develop the craft of teaching and that as soon as a teacher stops learning they stop improving. As such, we are committed to giving the time, training and management to our teachers which they need to reach these standards.