Ziauddin School is an accredited Edexcel school which means that our students are studying the Edexcel iPrimary (International Primary) and iLowerSecondary (International Lower Secondary) curriculums. These are comprehensive, thematic curriculums focused around creative learning, with specific learning goals for every subject and having a focus on students’ developing international mindedness, cross-cultural sensitivities and promoting greater personal learning.
These curriculums enable us to be flexible and adaptable with how we teach, ensuring that students’ interests are accommodated and lessons can be tailored to individual levels of understanding. They are focused around subject-mastery, personal/cognitive development of students and they support our International Dimension that we aim to bring to the school. These curriculums also integrate easily with the Pakistan National Curriculum.
With the Lower Secondary programme we are aligned with international standards of learning and recognising achievement that prepares students for progression onto higher level international qualifications.
By knowing our students’ starting points and understanding their learning needs, we ensure the best opportunities for their success. Therefore, ongoing/continuous assessment and progress testing underpins all of our lower secondary provision.
Also, we prepare students for their external assessment which provides a certificated qualification that is internationally benchmarked against students around the world.
In our lower secondary classes we place a lot of emphasis on students’ developing their study skills, as this is vital for their future learning. Through the approaches that teachers use, students gain a better understanding of their learning preferences and we support them in setting their study goals, understanding what works in study and developing their study timetables. We also ensure they are getting plenty of practice with past papers and learning about command question words, question types and time management skills. We also put a lot of emphasis in these grade levels on students reading with a focus.
In our Lower Secondary classes we also help our students develop as independent learners, with the resilience and perseverance they need to study effectively and be self-reliant.
To do this we provide students with opportunities to self-monitor their learning by working with them to establish their learning goals, coaching them in using feedback from others and teaching them how to reflect on their learning. We lay a lot of emphasis on students being reflective in these grade levels. Our teachers also use questioning as scaffolding to promote independent learning, which we use as a step-by-step transfer of responsibility from the teacher to the student. For this, our teachers ask higher order, open-ended questions to promote thinking, problem-solving and engender a deeper understanding of their studies.
In these grade levels, we take time to talk to students about learning as this builds students’ awareness of how efficient and effective they are being in their studies. Also, the feedback given to students on their work is comprehensive and instructive, as this guides their independent working.
Students are given regular opportunities to complete quality, small group tasks as part of their learning and teachers work closely with students to encourage them to learn from each other. We feel it is important for our students in Lower Secondary to develop their own ideas and ask their own questions, rather than relying on questions and answers from others. Within such a framework, we encourage students to set their own goals for achievement through recognised ‘assessment for learning’ approaches, so that they take more ownership of their learning.