08h45 July 27, 2022
One of the most exciting changes of the past decade is the way teachers approach teaching and learning.
At St Anthony, we rely on several different methodologies. For example, one way to address knowledge retention is to improve working memory. We train boys to memorize information, especially numeracy and literacy, because of their fundamental importance in learning specific subjects such as geography, history and science.
There is of course a proven link between memory and passing exams, although the methodology puts the love of learning – that is, the joy of knowing things – before cramming exams.
Another principle in place is to introduce subjects in a clear way to children, even quite difficult concepts that are intrinsic to the study of facts or heavy subjects like history, politics or economics. The art of teaching effectively is presenting ideas that capture children’s attention and imagination. And young children can be surprisingly more receptive than teenagers.
Even if a student finds a concept inscrutable when first introduced, when they first hear it, there’s always a very good chance that a point of reference remains – something that can be revisited and unlocked. in good time. At St Anthony, our teachers encourage students to take risks, think creatively and not be afraid to make mistakes.
From reception to grade 8, our boys learn that being often fallible and recognizing where they have gone wrong so that a mistake (whether in a school activity or in a social situation) can be corrected, is fundamental to understanding how to improve and get it. good next time. This understanding is key to ensuring that our philosophy of being a greenhouse, not a hothouse not only stands firm, but also reaps fair rewards, as evidenced by our results last year.
What I mean is that teachers can and should expect more from children. Imbuing children with a love of expansive and exploratory learning has shown us at St Anthony’s that when done right, a child’s natural curiosity and insightful thoughts can often not only amaze us, but also pushing us to impart deeper levels of teaching than we originally intended. .
In the new 2022-23 school year, the school will welcome Lord (Robert) Winston. Professor Michael Scott (classics at Warwick), Professor Carl Watkins (medievalist at Cambridge) and Professor Tarun Ramadorai (economics and business at Imperial College). Plus, the MP for Hampstead and Kilburn will come and talk to the boys about her role and how they can participate in the democratic process (in due course!)
I think it’s important to recognize that sometimes the seeds sown among spirits may not materialize until they are much older. “Seeing through the glass in the dark” is always better than not seeing through at all; Understanding learning as a lifelong attitude is perhaps the most academic lesson we can teach students.
Richard Berlie is headmaster of St Anthony’s School for Boys, Hampstead.