A place to explore and experiment, our Art Studio

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One of the greatest challenges for teachers is to try the find the key which unlocks the potential inside each and every one of the children in their care.

Creating a climate in which it is possible to observe, explore and experiment, to share ideas and to listen to others calls for a very special environment. It is a place where choice is encouraged and risk-taking is welcomed, where the pleasure comes from doing and not from producing. It is, above all, a place of trust and cooperation. It is a beautiful space, and it is our Art Studio.

One of the greatest pleasures of the past term has been to observe the children as they respond to the different stimuli provided by Miss Jane. They are learning to negotiate and make decisions. They are choosing materials and techniques. They are discussing likes and dislikes and justifying their opinions. They are intent upon their work and know what they want to achieve. They are creating in a hundred different ways and it is beautiful to see.

When Loris Malaguzzi described the 100 languages of children he was reminding us of the need to recognize the many ways in which they respond and engage with their environment. It is through the Expressive Arts that each individual has an opportunity to find his or her inner voice and to communicate with the outside world. But the voice also needs to be heard.

St. Peter’s will hold the 1st edition of “The Learning through Language” conference on the 3rd-4th March

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At St Peter’s we are particularly aware of the effects of linguistic diversity on learning in the classroom. Just how we address the issues which arise is down to the skills and expertise of the professionals who work with our students on a daily basis.

In an increasingly global society, traditional views on language teaching are under review at all levels of the educational establishment. In the light of this, and in collaboration with national and international universities and schools, we are hosting a conference where practising teachers, student teachers and other educational professionals can share their different approaches and aspects of classroom practice.

On the 3rd and 4th of March, we are holding the 1st edition of Learning through Language: the changing role of teachers. The intention is for educators to draw upon examples of successful learning experiences, in order to reflect upon and find meaningful responses for their own particular contexts, either in the classroom or outside it.

How do we deal with linguistic diversity? Can a challenge become a resource? How can we create relevant educational experiences for an increasingly multi-modal environment? To what extent are different modes of communication, including visual, gestural, digital incorporated into traditional alphabetical/oral texts? How can mathematical or musical language enhance communicative experiences? Which approaches to teaching optimise use of both academic and social language acquisition? What are the effects on the role of the teacher? Who is the teacher? How can we best serve the teaching profession through initial training and continuing professional development? All these questions will be on the table during the workshops, lectures and sharing experiences that will take place during these two days.

Educational approaches can no longer be considered in isolation. We need to work together to face the challenges we have today and will have in the near future. It is a pleasure to welcome the collaboration different professionals from universities -such as Blanquerna, University of Lleida, University of Barcelona, International University of Catalonia or Autonomous University of Barcelona-, schools –Colegio San Patricio, Colegio Mirabal, Colegio La Miranda, Colegio Luis Vives and Colegio San José de Calasanz-, other institutions (British Council, Editorial Luis Vives, Cambridge, Pearson Editorial) and finally all the teachers that will join us and share their day-to-day experience.

Language & venue
The conference language will be English. All sessions will take place at St. Peter’s School and are aimed at professionals working within multilingual school environments, student teachers and researchers.

Recognised Credits
This activity is officially recognised by the Ministry of Education. Recognised credits: 10 hours. For further information, please contact Joan Rovira Sanz and Carme Escorcia at: ltlcongress@stpeters.es – 93 204 36 12 or go to www.stpeters.es/LTL17 

Getting into the Christmas spirit!

Yesterday we enjoyed the last concert of the Christmas season, the Nursery 1 and 2 singalong. And with it we are definitely getting into the Christmas spirit!

As always, all the concerts have shown the enthusiasm, talent and hard work of all our students (and their teacher!).  We have loved every minute of them!

Rudolf the Red-Nose Reindeer, Foundation 5

An out-of-this-world Christmas, Class 2

When Sasha got stuck up the chimeney, Class 3

The Amazing Adventures of Superstan, Class 5

On behalf of the School, we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

We love questions in Curious Kids

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We all know children ask lots of questions about anything and everything. It is part of their natural curiosity. You can see they take real joy in discovering something new.

All these facts gave us the idea to build our project Curious Kids in Foundation Stage. As teachers, our challenge is to take this natural curiosity and allow enthusiasm and passion to stimulate learning.

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But what is Curious Kids? It is our response to a need to create spaces in which children can let their natural curiosity lead their learning. And how do we do it? We let the children choose questions which interest them and Voilà: a new project is born. They take the lead of their learning. Very often their own answers are unexpected or lead to further questions, challenging the adults’ preconceived ideas and creating an environment in which both teachers and pupils are learning side by side.

Once a question has been raised the children are given the chance to experience different hands-on activities provided by the whole team. Both adults and children have the opportunity to share ideas and discuss different opinions. It is a chance to move away from the confines of the classroom and to work with new faces.

Each project lasts around three or four weeks and culminates in an exit point, which allows the children to share what they have discovered. An exit point can be anything from a discussion at Assembly time, to making a video or even creating a mini exhibition. You may even have seen videos of our previous projects on this blog.

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You may also have seen examples of our latest exit point in the entrance hall, where the children from F4 and F5 have responded to the question “Where do minibeasts live?” by creating a minibeast habitat of their own, based on their observations of the where small animals choose to live. They have been so excited that at least one real insect has found its way there from the playground accompanied by a group of pupils!