HOMEROOM AND PERSONAL-SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
At this grade important personal and social competencies are worked on in an articulated and transversal manner in all the areas and with all the teachers. The daily homeroom periods reinforce some important aspects.
We consider that both parents and teachers have the responsibility to offer students a space for their development. At the same time, we should keep close, be alert and willing to guide them, since at this age they are restructuring their opinions, their tastes, and their habits.
The Seventh Grade trip to Ica and Paracas is a good opportunity to foster this growth and also offers the opportunity for the students to strengthen ties with the group and the teachers. The trip also allows them to find a different perspective of the subjects they are learning in the different areas, and especially to make special contact with the reality, richness and problems of our country.
The solidarity campaigns offer the children the opportunity to establish a commitment with our reality. Additionally, carrying out these campaigns makes them develop new organization, learning and study strategies.
The students’ participation through the Student Council, the CET, opens spaces for them to learn, to express their opinions, reach agreements and commit themselves to solve their problems.
NOVELTIES IN THE WORK AREA
Since Seventh Grade, two areas that were integrated in previous years are offered independently now: These are Integral Communication and Social Environment. Also, the areas of World History and Geography, Computer Science and Personal Social Development are introduced.
The areas of Visual Arts, Music and Theater are worked on in three-month periods. The Physical Education and Sports activities, as well as the Science (bio-orchard) and Handicraft (wood craft and art) workshops are carried out once a week, in our sports center at Pachacamac.
INTEGRATION OF AREAS
Just as in the previous grades, at this stage the learning areas are also integrated, which is simplified because at this age the students begin to develop their capacity for abstraction. The teachers are concerned about applying strategies that will integrate information received from different areas.
So, within these areas, abilities from other areas are regularly and consciously incorporated. For example, when the students work on proportional relations in Mathematics, they use contents from other areas and apply what has been learned in Computer Science through the use of spreadsheets. When they write a report from a Science research project, or Social Studies, they use structures worked on in Spanish Language Arts and Computer Science; if they do research on a subject, they apply mathematical knowledge to compare and organize the information, etc.
Another way of articulating the contents is given through the teachers’ inter-area coordination at the moment of the yearly planning. For example, there are aspects of history that are parallel to the subjects in Literature, or mathematical strategies applied in the Science area.
The integration of languages into curricular work is an important objective in the school. The students have already experienced the work in different areas in English, and in High School they accumulate greater experiences. For these, they count with a team of foreign teachers, native from the United States, England and Canada. The areas that they study in English vary according to the grade, as well as the contexts and the demands. Moreover, the areas that are not in English still take advantage of the materials, bibliography and web pages in this language. What we pursue is to get students to become functionally and coordinately bilingual.
It is worth mentioning that when they study the other areas in English, the students increase their opportunities to apply their knowledge of English, yet the objective of learning English is not placed above the main objectives of said areas. In relation to this, the teachers and students may turn to special strategies whenever it is necessary, complementing the work with some explanations or readings in Spanish.
LEARNING STRATEGIES AND STUDY HABITS
At school, we help the children learn to organize themselves to fulfill their different tasks, for which we develop and analyze the strategies that may prove to be helpful for them.
For homework, the children must comply with a study schedule (between 1 and 1 ½ hour a day in approx. 20 to 30 minute sessions). There, the parents carry out a guiding role whenever it is necessary and observe if the children need support (organization of work space, time, concentration capacity, perseverance, care and attention to the work details, concern for specific difficulties).
We must keep in mind that in high school the long-term extensive work will be more frequent, as well as a greater load in the Reading Plan. If we observe our child working until late at night, we should analyze with him where he failed in his organization in the previous days and weeks, because he probably accumulated too much homework for the last minute. If it is usual that he has very long days of homework and study, let’s find the moment to talk with him and the teacher about the probable causes.
The students that need to reinforce some areas or subjects in a special way can coordinate with their teachers to attend the weekly counseling hours.
The counseling hours may be time not only to improve the development in one area, but to learn to take the initiative, develop perseverance, as well as to learn to study together supporting each other.
Evaluation continues to be through different tools that set high standards and transparent criteria so that each one can improve in whatever is necessary. The General Test that we apply in November each year is an important tool in this sense.