The physical school
Organization Core groups Parents Individual Development Plan Physical spaces Studios Silent area Project space(s) Additional spaces Workshops Types of workshops sCoolTube A typical day Arrival Core group Individual activities After-school care Planning
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Day-to-day affairs in the physical school building. The information below can be used as a guideline. Depending on local or national circumstances and requirements, size and layout of the building, and number of pupils and teachers, adjustments may be required.
Organization of pupils, teachers and parents.
The pupils are divided into core groups of between 20 to 30 pupils and one full-time or two part-time teachers. The pupils vary in age, but are no more than three years apart. The core group does not stay together the whole day; they meet in the morning, during lunch break and at the end of the school day. All pupils have their own coach. Preferably this would be one of the teachers supervising the core group during the week. There may, however, be reasons for pairing a pupil to another teacher, for instance when the pupil’s particular needs match that teacher’s specialization. Parent Involvement. During an extensive intake, school representatives discuss the child’s situation and potential with the parents in as much detail as possible. The parents’ role within the child’s learning and development process is also discussed. In addition, the intake is meant to determine what the parents are able and willing to contribute to the school: organizing workshops about their profession, hobby, place of origin, cultural background, or any other topic they might be interested in; or being available as an expert for virtual consultation by pupils. Individual Development Plan. An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is drawn up for each pupil, which is updated and reviewed with the pupil at least every six weeks. Once every twelve weeks, with parents present. These progress meetings discuss whether the goals of the past period have been met and what the goals for the next weeks will be. While the school’s key objectives should also be taken into account when drawing up an IDP, the pupil’s talents and potential are of primary importance. In addition to these six-weekly meetings, the coach regularly has shorter meetings with the pupil to monitor the progress and solve potential issues. The frequency of these meetings varies in accordance with the pupil’s needs. If the need arises, parents may also be involved in these meetings.
The function of the various spaces within the school building
The school building is divided into the following functional spaces:
The following six studios are required:
Language studio ► Mathematics studio ► Creative studio ► Lab (studio for technology, chemistry, biology) ► World Orientation studio (geography and history) ► Stage (music, dance, drama, etc.) ►
(If more than six spaces are available, separate spaces can be created for geography-history and technology-chemistry/biology). A studio is a space that is furnished and equipped to suit the studio’s subject. Studios are mainly used for activities related to the studio’s subject. These include:
Workshops on related subjects by teachers, pupils, parents or others. Pupils can register for these workshops. ► Working meetings with the subject teacher at specific times. ► Independent individual or group work on activities related to the subject. ►
Studios are equipped with a TV screen or short throw video projector with an AppleTV, so that each individual pupil’s iPad screen can be projected onto it. Digital blackboards/ smart boards are suitable only if these include the option of projecting iPad screens. A small camera for recording workshops is also part of the fixed studio equipment. Studios are also used:
As home base of a core group; the morning and lunchtime meetings, celebrations, social-emotional education, etc. take place here. ► For workshops that are not related to the studio’s subject if other locations are unavailable or unsuitable. ►
B. Silent area
In this area, a large group of children can work independently in silence. Supervision is aimed at creating the proper working atmosphere and activities, not on didactic support. The supervisor (who ensures that silence is maintained and that pupils do not play games or access social media) can be a teaching assistant or a social pedagogical worker. This space can also be used for presentations or performances for large groups of children.
In a project space, small groups of children work together on an assignment or research project. Depending on the building’s possibilities, this may be one large space or several smaller spaces, or both. Supervision is aimed at maintaining the proper working atmosphere and activities. Depending on the assignment, didactic support may also be available. In the project space, pupils are strongly encouraged to work independently as soon as they are ready to take on this responsibility.
(If available. If not, spaces may be designated as having a double function) Physical education space Outdoor area/playground ► Small conference room(s) ► Staff room ►
If school and after-school care are integrated, some spaces can be designated and furnished as recreation areas.
A presentation by a teacher or other staff member ► Instruction by the teacher, possibly followed by processing by the pupils ► A presentation by one or more pupils ► A presentation by a parent or other expert ► Supervised practice ► A prepared track that pupils can complete independently ►
Workshops that may be of interest to those who are not present, are recorded and made available online to other pupils (and, if desired, to other schools). A dedicated system has been set up for sharing these videos (sCoolTube), linking the physical to the virtual school.
School day planning
In principle, the school day is divided into the following blocks (actual schedules and exact times depend on legislation and school preferences): Arrival period (from the time the doors open until 9:30 a.m.) During this period, pupils arrive in the building and start activities of choice (parents may attend), until their core group convenes. Start of the school day in the core group (9:30-10:00 a.m.) Pupils gather in their core group of children of different ages (with a maximum age difference of three years). The core group is led by one full-time or two part-time teachers. Core groups always meet in fixed designated areas of the school Individual tasks (10.00-14.30) After the core group period, children follow their own schedule, which includes alternating independent and planned activities in various spaces. This program includes lunch in the core group and continues up to half an hour before the end of the elementary school day. This time is spent on planned activities in the studios, independent work, or participation in scheduled core group activities. The activities are scheduled in blocks of one or two half hours. Teachers schedule the activities and workshops, even if they are led by pupils, parents or external parties. For each activity, they indicate whether it is meant for all pupils, only pupils of a specific age/ core group, or a custom group of pupils. Activities and workshops may be flagged as mandatory for a specific group of pupils. Many of the activities have a maximum number of participants. All activities can be viewed in sCoolTool (when the maximum number of participants has been reached, registering for the activity is disabled). Pupils can schedule their school days, in cooperation with their parents if so desired, through the iPad sCoolTool. They can select when they want to participate in a workshop, work independently in the silent area or a studio, or have a meeting to discuss their work. They schedule their activities based on the goals laid down in their development plan. Last half an hour of the school day (2:30-3:00 p.m.) Pupils return to their core group and their coach in their core group area. The time can be spent on group activities like singing, debating, games. Or the group may hold discussions on topical world or school events. After school care. Following the end of the school day up to the building’s/closure, there is a seamless transition to after-school care. If the parents wish, pupils can remain at school and choose their activities in and around the building. These activities are more relaxing in nature, however, specific classes such as foreign languages may also be given according to the child’s needs. Of course the child may also continue its school activities, still having the entire infrastructure at its disposal. However, no workshops are given after school ends. This period’s activities are also scheduled in units of one or two half hours.
sCoolTool™ The school day planning and the schedule will be registered through the sCoolTool on the pupils’ iPads. Teachers and parents can access the sCoolTool not only on the iPad, but also on the web. All spaces within the school building are equipped with iBeacons, telling the sCoolTool on the iPad what the pupil’s location is. The detected location is linked to the schedule: pupils can receive an alert if they are not in the right place. Teachers know which pupils are present in a workshop and compare this with the list of registrations. The actual presence and location of pupils are recorded automatically, which minimizes manual administrative tasks. Moreover, recording pupil presence is important to facilitate emergency aid in case of calamities. Children are therefore taught to always keep their iPad with them, or to store it in the room where they are actually present.
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