Personalised Learning

Wellesley prides itself on personalising the learning for each boy. All members of staff have an impact on student learning in mind, body and spirit. We focus on transitioning away from seat-time in favour of a structure that creates flexibility, allows students to progress as they demonstrate mastery of academic content, regardless of time, place, or pace of learning. Competency-based strategies provide flexibility in the way we assess student development and provide students with personalised learning opportunities.

Effective teaching involves imparting information and understanding to students by providing constructive tasks, environments, and learning using effective assessment and evaluation of student development and providing feedback.

Depending on the strategy pursued, competency-based systems also create multiple pathways to learning, make better use of technology, support new staffing patterns and utilise teacher skills, passions and interests to take advantage of learning opportunities outside of school.  This helps our teachers identify specific opportunities to help meet the specific learning needs of our students [1].

The Five Essential Elements of Personalised Learning [2] are:

  • Flexible, anytime/everywhere learning
  • Redefining and expanding the role of the teacher
  • Project-based, authentic learning
  • Student-driven pathways
  • Mastery/competency-based progression and pace

How do we achieve this?

We achieve this through careful planning and use of school resources such as the Learning Support Team, Specialist Teachers and technology to ensure that students are engaged and are developing in mind, body and spirit. Students are encouraged to have a go and take risks in their learning. Time in class with their students is important for teachers to maximise the learning opportunities and to build strong relationships.

Feedback and Goal-Setting

Feedback is a key component of the learning cycle and we encourage teachers to communicate with parents on a regular basis: Weekly emails keep parents updated on curriculum areas and progress, and Seesaw allows teachers to communicate each boy’s day-to-day achievements. Students are empowered to take ownership of their learning and to understand their next steps to achieve outcomes. Students and parents are involved in setting specific, measurable, realistic, achievable and timely goals, and these are used as part of the teaching and learning process.

Developing Resilience and Creativity

Teaching students how to learn, and to take responsibility for their own development is key to how we approach teaching and learning at Wellesley. We want our students to become confident, resilient, innovative thinkers who are creative in the way they solve problems.

[1] “Competency-Based Learning or Personalizing Learning.” The U.S. Department of Education. http://www.ed.gov/oii-news/competency-based-learning-or-personalized-learning.
[2] Wolf, M. “Innovate to Educate: System [Re]Design for Personalized Learning. A Report from the 2010 Symposium.” ASCD. 2010, p. 7.