The importance of Keeping It Engaging, Relevant, Challenging, and Significant
By: Alan Cox, Early Childhood Principal
At BCIS, we recently started a tradition of sharing information with our community through a series titled, "Did You Know?" Staff members have begun to contribute both interesting facts and anecdotes about our school. For the second part of our series, Mr. Alan Cox, Early Childhood Principal, shares some of the behind-the-scenes action regarding our school's policies, procedures, and curriculum. Please read further to learn more.
With regular visits to the school, social media platforms, or online portfolios, one will note how often teachers change and update the learning experiences available to the students. Through regular formative assessments, teachers evaluate and modify their plans to ensure that resources presented stimulate and provoke learning amongst the students. And while it is easy to see these revisions take place within the school's physical learning environments and the learning activities your children participate in, parents may not be aware that a similar process takes place with the school's policies, procedures, and documented written curriculum – ensuring that learning experiences for all remain engaging, relevant, challenging, and significant.
Considered best practice, the Council of International Schools (CIS) recommends that the school's
a) policies and associated operational procedures are embedded in practice, consistently implemented, effectively communicated, widely understood by faculty, staff, parents, and students where applicable, and subject to regular and systematic review.
(Domain B: Governance, Leadership and Ownership, Standard 8)
b) curriculum review process is informed by contemporary research and through networking with leading international practices in order to address students' changing needs.
(Domain C: The Curriculum, Standard 6)
Developed by BCIS, our curriculum documents are reviewed using different national curriculums from America, Australia, the United Kingdom, and China. Each of these subject scope and sequence documents are reviewed on either a two-year or three-year cycle, which allows us to ensure our documentation is current and relative to what is happening around the world and reflective of children's needs.
Likewise, our school-based policies and procedures which reflect the school's educational philosophy, as well as bring consistency and clarity to school operations, are also regularly reviewed:
Language Policy - reviewed every three years
Assessment Policy - reviewed every three years
Academic Honestly Policy - reviewed every three years
Teacher Appraisal Policy - reviewed every three years
IT Responsible Use Policy - reviewed every three years
Child Protection Policy - reviewed annually
Health & Safety Procedures - reviewed annually
University Guidance Policy - reviewed annually
Teacher Handbook - reviewed annually
Parent-Student Handbook- reviewed annually
And though such changes, updates, and reviews are not as visible to parents, doing so is an important part of ensuring that BCIS remains dynamic and continually improves over time.