ISB Student Spotlight: Curriculum and Learning
The curriculum and learning that takes place is key to creating an environment where students can thrive.
One of the first priorities for us at International School Bangkok (ISB), as a learning focused community, is to get to know our students in every class and at every grade level. At the onset, faculty create opportunities to get to know their students as learners and we have dedicated time to collaborate as teams and study our students as individuals. “For us, the process of learning, and the evidence collected during this process, is just as important as the demonstrated results of learning. This is how we understand what each individual student needs and how best to support them and help them excel in their personal and academic development,” shared Jennifer DeLashmutt, Director of Curriculum and Professional Learning at ISB.
At ISB, our curriculum is based on leading best practice and research. We carefully select and use standards that are recognised all over the world. They connect with our mission and vision, with our definition of learning, with our values and learner attributes and they support our goal to equip our students well so that they can thrive in and contribute to this ever-changing world. These learning standards contain expectations that are content and skill based, as well as concept and understanding based. They focus on the development of the whole child. In the design of learning opportunities, we account for each and every student as an individual.
“Designing authentic learning experiences that are aligned with our consistent, guaranteed and viable curriculum is a priority,” DeLashmutt added.
The Learning Experience
We use a backwards design approach to creating learning experiences for our students. We start with the long term goals (beyond high school and university) that we would like our students to engage with and from there we design performance tasks that assess students’ knowledge, skills and understandings. We use a wide range of assessments. Exams and standardised tests assess the “right now” or what students have learned up to a certain point, and we also make sure to assess what students are taking with them beyond ISB and how they apply and transfer their learning in a variety of contexts.
Through these experiences and these assessments, we can accurately gauge where our students are in their learning and where we need to guide them next. Though this process of designing learning, we can support our students in seeing their full potential and then motivate them to reach it.
We are committed to connecting with our students through their learning to support their sense of belonging. “We believe every member of our community has gifts to give,” DeLashmutt shared and nothing shows this better than these spotlights of our students. Their passions are varied, their goals are numerous, their unique gifts are celebrated.
We are dedicated to providing the experiences and support for each of our students to explore and discover. Whether it is joining a sport team, a service club, the performing or fine arts, design technology or sharing an idea for a new experience, students are supported to participate, set goals and reflect on their learning experiences. “Opportunities to connect with and practice our learner attributes and values, embedded into our curriculum, assessments and instructional practices all contribute to student success.”
DeLashmutt concluded, “Creating a space where students feel safe to learn and have a voice that is valued-- that is our ongoing goal.”