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Developing highly successful lifelong learners at Bethany School

This week’s blog has been written by Mrs Hill, Deputy Head Academic, who talks of highly successful lifelong learners and global citizens who stand up for what is right and just.At Bethany we take great pride in giving pupils opportunities to develop their whole selves; we want to support them all to explore their creativity, develop inquiring minds and build their resilience so that they leave school ready for the next steps of their education, equipped to be highly successful lifelong learners and global citizens who stand up for what is right and just.

One of the ways in which we do this is through our focus on the Bethany Virtue of Learning, and an important part of our reporting structure is the effort level, in which pupils are awarded a score based on their ability to persist, engage, question, react and reflect in lessons. Teachers are encouraged to use this language in the classroom when communicating with pupils, and in tutor times pupils will reflect on their own ability to meet these skills descriptors, setting themselves targets for improvement.

Another way we do this is by providing pupils with a rich and varied enrichment programme. This gives them exposure to new and varied experiences, for example: learning about conservation and visiting the Big Cat Sanctuary; biking around Bedgebury; trying out climbing and archery; supporting the work of Communigrow, a local sustainable food education charity. Pupils must negotiate the challenge of working in a cross-year group team, supporting each other to be successful.

Therefore, whilst we already have many systems and structures in place to support both what we learn and how we learn, we understand that there is no time for complacency and standing still. The world and the skills needed to flourish in it are evolving at pace. This is why, over the course of this academic year, all Bethany teachers will be embarking on a project to explore how we can further develop more of our curriculum to place even greater emphasis on the skills needed for succeeding in the world of the future.


Working in small professional learning teams, teachers will be investigating the Microsoft 21st Century Learning Design Framework. This has been created to support education professionals to redesign learning experiences to better prepare learners for the world beyond school. It identifies six dimensions of pupils 21st century learning: collaboration; knowledge construction; self-regulation; real-world problem solving and innovation; use of ICT for learning; and skilled communication.

High Ropes-1

It will be exciting for us as teachers to explore how we can further embed these dimensions of learning successfully, alongside the Virtue of Learning and subject content and skills, as we continue to support Bethany pupils to become increasingly autonomous and confident learners, well placed for success in their future lives.Mrs Hill
Deputy Head – Academic