Author: Cary Hart
Lower School IT Integrationist at ACS Egham
Every two years, the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) holds a two-day conference specifically focused on technology in education. As ACS Egham is accredited by ECIS I have had the privilege of attending several of these events.
The talks at the ECIS conference are for anyone whose work has a technology focus, so they are varied and informative no matter what school role you play. I myself benefitted from giving two presentations and listening to many more at the latest conference in Munich, Germany.
The first of my own presentations focused on my Geek Squad, an after school club for students who are enthusiastic about technology. The aim of this presentation was to explain what our Geek Squad is and what we do – the Geek Squad recently visited Sunrise Care Home to help residents learn digital skills, including the basics of the iPad. The Geek Squad is all about recruiting technology leaders from our Lower School, and many of our students are both talented and passionate about technology, and about passing their knowledge on to others. The Geek Squad also look to the future and understand where their technological ability can lead them – we recently held a Skype call with Disney Infinity coders who work in the gaming industry, and on another occasion the Geeks taught their parents how to better use their Macs. A similar initiative was the ACS Egham Coding Club’s Parents Hour of Code, where students taught their parents the basics of coding.
Author: Ben Hren
Head of ACS Centre for Inspiring Minds
At ACS International Schools, we’re committed to developing the best teaching and learning practices. As part of this, the ACS Centre for Inspiring Minds (CIM) aims to transform the ways we understand teaching effectiveness and improve learning outcomes through action research.
Action research is based on practical classroom experience. At CIM, we invite teachers and educators to come forward with ideas on how to either improve a ‘problem’ they have identified within the teaching and learning experience, or an idea which can lead to the delivery of better teaching and learning.
Postcards from Practice
This year, CIM presented a Celebration of Learning, entitled Postcards from Practice, where project leaders fed back on current research. Postcards from Practice provided a glimpse into our CIM projects and the journey behind the action research taking place here at ACS.
Author: Jeremy Lewis
Head of School at ACS Egham
With pens hardly dry from writing exam papers, or from marking them, we turn to look at what has been gained from all this revision and exam work.
A new research report confirms what so many teachers fear, or feel, that there is far too much focus on subject knowledge and not enough focus on, well, ‘learning’ at secondary school level.
Many of you reading this will have done A levels and will be past masters at cramming facts. But how many of us were specifically taught at school how to learn for ourselves, how to apply information intelligently, perhaps to draw information or ideas from other people, and apply them to successfully solving a problem?
These are traditionally skills learned at university or in the workplace, but surely we should be asking why our education system has such a narrow focus, and why, by the time a 17 or 18 year old completes their mandatory education, they are not equipped with the right set of skills to help them thrive at university or in work?
Author: Kim Schult
Interim IBCP Coordinator at ACS Egham
This year at ACS Egham we dedicated the week after Spring break to learning to work. Sixty grade 10 students, aged 15-16 years, took part in a Work Experience Week, an exciting initiative that gave them the opportunity to experience the working world, to help them practice practical job skills and learn more about what kind of career they may like to pursue in the future.
While some students sourced their own placement through family contacts, many students secured their Work Experience Week placement through the non-profit organisation Learning at Work, which is dedicated to arranging work experiences for students.
The organisation helps find the right work experience match for each individual. Students at ACS Egham initially completed an application form, detailing their favourite classes and what kind of work they aspire to, and were then interviewed so that the team could understand their aspirations in greater depth. Learning to Work also ran a ‘Skills for Life Carousel’ workshop, which teaches students skills such as interview techniques, to prepare them for future work-related challenges.
Author: Andrew Vaughan
Head of Visual Arts at ACS Egham
Having taught IB (International Baccalaureate) art for thirty years in countries all over the world, I have experienced how the programme encourages students to both cultivate and challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. It’s a thought-provoking course; students develop an appreciation for the expressive diversity in the world around them, through a variety of local, regional, national, international and intercultural contexts.
Now at ACS Egham, I teach visual arts in IB Diploma Programme, but I actually started teaching IB visual arts in Tanzania, East Africa, in the 1980s, where my IB journey began.