Learning at SIJS: Our Core Principles

Our mission statement at SIJS is:

‘To provide high quality teaching and learning and to raise achievement levels for all pupils.’

At SIJS we are driven to create memorable learning opportunities which are highly relevant to pupils.  We aspire to create a genuine love of learning in pupils who in turn are aspirational and are highly engaged in the learning process.

Learning is challenging: it should be both cognitively and physically demanding which is why we refer to learning at SIJS as ‘grappling’.  The notion of children being “empty vessels” where learning is done to them is long gone.  Pupils are now very much involved in their own learning and we believe they need to be taught skills which enable them to become more effective learners as well as the language with which to reflect on themselves as learners.

Our EPIC (Exciting. Personal. Innovative. Challenging) curriculum places great emphasis on pupils’ attitudes towards learning.  We work hard to create a culture in which pupils are willing to have a go, are willing to get things wrong and are willing to celebrate mistakes.  Pupils at SIJS are guided and taught to make discerning learning choices across the curriculum, putting themselves in the stretch zone, the optimum place for learning where the greatest learning gains are made.  At SIJS ability grouping is not default practice.  Staff mark books daily and target resources, including the use of additional adult support, to where it is most needed depending on pupils’ understanding.  There is an informed fluidity to the grouping of pupils in any one lesson where the learning process is highly collaborative in the firm belief that two brains are better than one.  It is very rare indeed to find a silent classroom at SIJS.

We strongly believe that intelligence is not a fixed state and at SIJS we borrow heavily from Howard Gardener’s work on multiple intelligences in the belief that we are all smart in different ways.  We pride ourselves in knowing how each child excels and ipsative referencing is at the heart of everything we do.  With pupils we make the analogy to athletes who constantly strive to set their own personal bests.  At SIJS we do exactly the same, constantly striving to beat our own learning personal bests.  Use the expression – on our own individual learning journey

We work hard to keep abreast of developments in neuro-science research with a particular interest in early life brain development and the effect on learning and behaviours. 

We are passionate about learning at SIJS and are always delighted to be able to share our principles in more detail.  Please do contact us.