Personal Development Programme
ages 12 - 18
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME - OUR UNIQUE SBW APPROACH TO SECONDARY YEARS (AGES 11-18)
Every Wednesday, learning partners in Secondary Years spend the whole morning focused on personal development - Approaches to Learning, career development, Creativa, Learn Atelier periods and coaching sessions.
The focus of this time is to give our learning partners a chance to develop existing passions and talents, or to explore new ones.
Coaching sessions ensure that each learning partner is progressing along their path towards personal development, and ATL lessons make sure learning partners have the tools they need to be effective learners. Learn Atelier periods also allow our learning partners structured time to focus on independent work, within an atmosphere similar to that of most universities and future workspaces.
The focus of ISN’s unique approach is to develop the individual passions and talents of each child, embedded in the belief that each human being is unique and deserves to develop into their own personality, and at their own pace. Not only do we value academic success; we also emphasise a holistic approach towards education, recognising how crucial social and emotional development are in an individual’s path towards personal development. In order to foster this individual growth, ISN implements strategies developed by SBW, the Swiss group to which we belong, such as a personalised coaching system.
Each of our learning partners in Secondary Years works with a personal coach who helps them explore their dreams, passions and talents and guides them towards personal goals they set together. ISN fosters a coaching culture throughout the school, one based on respectful treatment. Instead of a traditionally rigid school hierarchy, students at ISN are treated like equals, and for this reason they are referred to as ‘learning partners’ rather than students. Educators at ISN regard themselves as coaches more than knowledge conveyors, or subject specialists. Coaching sessions, take place as needed, and are possible thanks to flexible timetables and the process of compacting – making knowledge transfer as efficient as possible.
Throughout the week, learning partners have independent study periods that are referred to as Learn Ateliers. These periods take place within a common area in which both educators and learning partners work independently. The library-like atmosphere in this learning space encourages learning partners to develop their autonomous learning skills, and to become familiar with working in public spaces similar to universities and their future work environments.
Autonomous learning skills, as well as other key transdisciplinary skills referred to as Approaches to Learning (ATL), are taught within the school week and are implemented across all subjects within Secondary Years. This focus on ATL ensures that our learning partners can adapt to any new knowledge content they need to acquire, and gives them the tools they need to be successful life-long learners.
To help our learning partners discover new passions, affinities or talents, ISN offers a range of subjects referred to collectively as ‘Creativa’. These lessons offer a choice of teacher-led projects which are set up with the goal of giving learning partners real-life learning experiences.
For example, some of ISN’s learning partners take part in a journalism course which is set up and led as a small publishing company – with learning partners taking on various roles and responsibilities in creating, marketing and publishing a school newsletter.
Other Creativa choices include a school choir and a sculpture course, and the options available are regularly changed. ISN will continue to vary and increase its offer of Creativa choices and groups in the future, giving learning partners a chance to experience a wide range of real-life professional fields.