Teaching & Learning in BSS

Teaching & Learning in BSS

Thinking-Based Learning

As mentioned before, as BSS Thinking School, believe that what stays forever in demand is the skill to think critically and creatively. The pupils that have been with us in the Kindergarten and KS1 will have already been introduced the basics of Thinking Based Learning (TBL). In Primary, TBL is expanded on and the pupils are able to integrate this into all their lessons. They develop the skills in being able to –

  • Pose more complex questions
  • Develop more step to the TBL maps
  • Expand and develop language, vocabulary and terminology
  • See connections between ideas, topics and subjects
  • Use concepts across the curriculum

Through the use of the range of thinking maps (Visual Tools for Thinking) pupils are able to become confident in –

  • Defining in context
  • Describing qualities
  • Comparing and contrasting
  • Classifying
  • Defining parts-whole
  • Sequencing
  • Looking at cause and effect
  • Seeing analogies

These are all key skills that they can then continue to use and develop in the IGCSE and IB programmes, which complement and expect pupils to have a grounding in these ideas.

Project Based Learning

BSS is an innovative, 21st-century institution, different from the old-school model of passively learning facts and reciting them out of context. This outdated method is no longer sufficient to prepare students to survive in today's world. Solving highly complex problems requires that students have both fundamental skills (reading, writing, and maths) and 21st century skills (teamwork, problem-solving, research gathering, time management, information synthesising). Combining both, our students become directors and managers of their learning process, guided and mentored by our skilled teachers.

We found out, though, that gathering knowledge from a variety of sources, in different ways and using the acquired skills to predict, test, extend and experiment was not enough for our students and all the knowledge and skills were not put in real use.

In our quest to prepare our pupils for life we implemented the Project- Based Learning. This approach gives the children the opportunity to create a project to show their understanding and present it to the community.

Concept-Based Learning

Knowing everything is impossible, content changes but concepts stay the same. In order to prepare our students to be successful in their future endeavors, BSS turned to Lynn Erickson and introduced Concept-Based Learning.

This approach is about big transferable ideas that transcend time, place and situation. The students make sense of learning, look for patterns and generalise.

For example, information about World War II is locked in time and space, and cannot be used in real life. Through CBL the students reach a higher order thinking, debating about nations, power, conflict, and politics. Understanding the relationship between these concepts creates a template which our students can use for recognising, decoding and judging every “heated” situation.

Visual Tools for Thinking

British School of Sofia is a home for the mind where classroom conditions support thinking development and help students become skilled, independent and reflective learners. Our absolute belief is that all learners have innate abilities to think in a variety of ways.

The Thinking Maps is a visual language, or tool-kit, of eight thinking process maps, developed by Dr. David Hyerle. They focus on the development of the eight fundamental cognitive processes and are introduced to students as tools for reading and writing, content-specific learning, and interdisciplinary investigations. Over time, students learn to use multiple maps together and become more fluent in choosing which thinking processes with their enabling Maps fit the immediate context of learning.

Questioning for Enquiry

British School of Sofia puts enquiry at the heart of the educational process. By asking more open and genuine questions, the students become more confident in expressing their misunderstandings and in developing their interests. It is a profoundly personal process that presents an intellectual challenge to those involved, but also a social and emotional one. It encourages the youngest minds to develop their own philosophy; their own thinking about the world.

 

 

 

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