The Stour Academy Trust recognises that our education system needs to quickly and more radically shift to close equity gaps and to better prepare our young people for the 21st century. We are transforming our schools from passive forms of learning focused on direct instruction and memorisation, by moving towards interactive methods that promote the critical and individual thinking needed in today’s innovation-driven economy.
Our pedagogical model combined with the intentional deployment of technology will help us deliver personalised learning in an enabling environment. Technology will accelerate our progress but will not be the driver of our vision.
We aim to nurture a community of learners that challenge thinking, where our staff are empowered to take risks and develop their practice to meet the needs of an evolving school system, which is not held back by traditional restrictions and ideologies.
By limiting routine or unnecessary tasks we allow professionals to focus on learning behaviours and interactions which will promote emotional intelligence and the development of children as life-long, curious learners.
There will be no barriers to achievement within our learning community and our teachers will build strong relationships that facilitate the learning of others. Collaboration will open doors, minds and possibilities and enable individuals to meet their personal goals.
The world around us is changing. When our children leave the education system, it is very likely they will have jobs that do not even exist now. We need to ensure that our students have the digital and social-emotional skills to thrive in this new world.
How will we achieve our vision?
Strong foundations in the EYFS
An enabling environment plays a key role in supporting children ‘s learning and development. It is well recognised that children learn and develop best in caring, supportive environments which respond to their individual needs, allowing them to play and explore.
The outdoor environment offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. Playing outside gives children first-hand contact with weather, seasons, and the natural world, and outdoor environments offer children freedom to explore, use their senses, and be physically active and curious.
Develop a new pedagogical model
To develop a pedagogical model centred on student voice, choice and collaboration, combined with the intentional deployment of technology for every student to deliver personalised and self-paced learning that is required for a 21st century education system. We will equip all learners with the skills required to ensure technology is used efficiently and effectively.
Transform the standardised model of direct learning
To transform the standardised model of direct learning to a model where teachers are facilitators or coaches of the learning process to allow for improved interactions and strengthened relationships that provide opportunities for self-directed learning.
Develop the whole child
Develop both the cognitive and social-emotional skills necessary for children to succeed in their personal and professional lives.
Create a level playing field
Through the Innovative use of digital technology we will create a level playing field for all children, irrespective of their language skills, reading ability or any other factors that may present learning challenges.
Utilise technology to eradicate unnecessary tasks
We are committed to eradicating routine, mundane or unnecessary tasks that could be more efficiently achieved by utilising new technology which will allow professionals to strengthen their particular area of expertise and have the biggest impact on the organisation and its evolvement.
A meaningful, enquiry-based curriculum
We will develop an enquiry-based curriculum that integrates content into real world applications whilst meaningfully integrating technology in teaching and learning. Our curriculum will provide joyful experiences that broaden children’s horizons which enable them to find meaning in learning through active thinking and social interaction.
A child-centred, collaborative environment
Traditional classrooms will evolve to allow the vision to be fully embraced. Our enabling environments will be child-centred and designed to allow for flexibility, collaboration and independence. The aim is to shape our environment to better reflect a 21st century workspace that promotes social interaction, communication and self-regulation.
A skilled community of learners
Through empowered leadership, quality CPD, research and collaboration, we will create a highly skilled community of learners where pedagogy provides a strong foundation for practice. By developing professional trust and dialogue, we will take risks and challenge traditional ideologies to ensure that we are constantly evolving in line with current thinking and research.