Our curriculum is effectively planned around specific learning objectives for every subject area within each year group.
We at Billabong High International School promote high levels of achievement and effort as children acquire the academic skills they need. However, we push the boundaries beyond a mere acquisition of knowledge. We want our children to develop the confidence to investigate and enquire, to solve problems and to take responsibility for their own learning. We aspire to enrich their learning experiences, broadening their social horizons and their cultural interests.
We see homework as an important aspect of children’s learning and development. We aim to give children opportunities to work and think independently of the teacher and to extend the skills and knowledge they have gained during their lessons. Homework helps parents have direct knowledge of and input into their child’s learning. However, we do not seek to overburden children with homework at the expense of quality family time.
Teachers use a variety of methods to assess children’s progress. A primary assessment tool is, of course, their regular, everyday marking which indicates how well children have understood the learning objective that was specified during the lesson. Alongside this informal assessment, the children will undertake some formal assessments during the year. We aim to balance the need to obtain formal data to assess the effectiveness of children’s learning.
The well-being of our students is important to us and lies at the heart of all we do. The way we organise our pastoral care ensures that teachers get to know pupils and pupils get to know teachers. All school children belong to a form; their sense of belonging will be fostered by daily contact with a trusted teacher. We want our pupils to be tolerant of each other, respectful of adults, but above all, safe and secure.
SHARING ACADEMIC PROGRESS
We see children, teachers and parents co-existing in a virtuous triangle, whereby each side is fully involved with, and supportive of, the others It is essential that parents are provided with objective, constructive and regular feedback on the academic progress of their children. Therefore, throughout the year we provide parent teacher meetings, full academic reports, and bi-termly formal assessments. However, teachers are available at all times to discuss any issue parents may have.
ENRICHMENT AND LEARNING SUPPORT
In consultation with parents, we seek to identify the particular learning needs of every child. For many children, this may not require additional support beyond that offered in the classroom and our programme of extra-curricular activities, but there will be some who from time to time require addition stimulus or support. Our enrichment programme exists to stretch those who are working at the top end of the ability range.
THE CULTURAL LIFE OF THE SCHOOL
Drama and Music thrive at Billabong High International School. Many children take individual instrumental lessons. There is a School Choir in addition to this, there is a school orchestra. Formal concerts take place twice a year. Drama is taught as a separate subject throughout the school, and there are occasional drama productions within and across year groups. An active drama club encourages children with a particular talent for drama to take their interest further.
We want our children to become independent learners with a love of reading, and our library – situated at the heart of the school – plays a significant role in nurturing these things.