Continuing our series of guest blogs from schools, this month Slindon College an independent boys’ school in West Sussex, discuss the many benefits children gain from studying in a small and supportive learning environment.
Slindon College’s ‘Keep it small, know them all’ ethos reflects the total commitment to getting the very best outcomes for every boy at their school. Families often have many questions about the benefits of educating their child in a small school and to answer those queries Slindon have identified the top reasons that parents chose this environment.
Many children perform better in a more catered learning environment
Some children do amazingly well in larger schools, but for others the reduced teacher interaction, elevated noise and increased chance of disruption can create barriers to their learning. In addition, it is becoming more widely recognised that not all children learn in the same way. In large classes those children can quickly become unfulfilled, disengaged and in some cases dejected.
Small class sizes lead to more one-on-one attention for the pupil.
With smaller class sizes, teachers get to know pupils as individuals, working with them to enhance their strengths and improve their weaknesses. Teachers tailor their approach to the learning styles of the group. This customized curriculum gives pupils access to learning on their level.
At Slindon College, the specialist teachers continuously liaise with subject teachers to disseminate useful individualised strategies which are then implemented across the whole school. Great care is taken to ensure that all pupils are supported to develop their strengths and overcome their weaknesses across the curriculum.
Pupils can learn by ‘doing’
In a smaller class, pupils have increased opportunity for hands-on learning, allowing them to experience the subjects they are learning about rather than just being told about it. This is especially beneficial for pupils who have disengaged from learning in the past, in addition to those who learn better by doing rather than just listening.
The multisensory and augmentative teaching facilities at Slindon College allow for practical learning as well as quiet, independent reflection dependent on the needs of the pupil. The classrooms are all equipped with assisted technology: smartboards, tablets, reader pens and speech recognition tools, to better promote enjoyable, engaging learning.
Learning programmes can be flexible
In the Sixth Form,in particular, the boys are offered a bespoke timetable. There is a flexibility in organising an individual programme of study which helps them transition to the next phase of their personal and academic development. The boys are supported in completing any outstanding qualifications they may require for their future. Through work experience placements, life skills courses and building links with local colleges and universities, the boys are given the experience necessary to make the transition a positive one.
There is more opportunity for pupils to get to know each other better.
In large schools and classrooms, the number of pupils can be intimidating, but in smaller environments pupils can grow in confidence. In addition, each pupil is given time to contribute and their input is acknowledged, making them feel valued and respected. Pupils are also able to learn from one another based on the contributions they make during class which helps their sense of community and understanding of different viewpoints.
This is particularly beneficial for understanding the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) which Slindon College provides for pupils that need help with self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. The House system is central to the spirit of the school; it brings the boys together with a sense of belonging, competitiveness and creates opportunities for everyone to take part in the activities. There are many House competitions including drama, music, maths, athletics, basketball, badminton, giving all pupils an opportunity to represent their Houses.
To find out more about Slindon College or to register for one of their open morning events, please visit: www.slindoncollege.co.uk/openmornings-visits
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