The academic life
of Wellington College is vibrant, demanding and progressive. We are proud of
our teachers and ambitious for our pupils. Our record is strong, and our
endeavours are guided by the core belief that acquiring a love of learning is
vital to leading a personally fulfilled, socially engaged and professionally
With that in mind,
our principal objectives are:
- to inspire curiosity,
creativity and compassion in our pupils,
- to enrich their lives with
the enjoyment and understanding of their global scientific, linguistic and
cultural heritage, and
- to empower our pupils with
the knowledge, skills and independence of mind that will make them effective
and responsible leaders of the world they will inherit.
Everything that we do is directed towards these aims and tested against
them. We have high expectations of ourselves and of our pupils; and we insist
that working hard and working intelligently must always be the basis of our
success. We also know that learning is most rewarding in a community that is
lively, co-operative, critical and, fundamentally.
We believe that Scholarship:
- is an attitude of mind not a description of intelligence
- is about intellectual curiosity and independent study
- is about working hard but also about doing hard work
- is about thinking, reading and discussing intelligently and with humility
- should be respected by the whole community
- is about developing a lifelong love of learning
The ideal lesson at
Wellington is focused, paced, varied and engaging. We appreciate the value of
many traditional teaching methods and we employ them with skill and enthusiasm,
but we also believe that lessons are best when pupils are actively involved in
a dynamic process of thinking and discovering understanding for themselves.
The way pupils
learn is more important than the way teachers teach, and we therefore place
increasing emphasis on interactive and co-operative learning and on devising
lessons that draw on the different knowledge, aptitudes and learning styles of
individual pupils. The following guiding principles and aspirations have been
determined by Heads of Departments:
learning is a primary goal both inside and outside class. Teachers should plan
lessons that encourage pupils to take an active role in constructing their
knowledge, skills, attitudes and understanding. This includes setting research
tasks, collaborative projects and problem solving challenges. Pupils should be
encouraged to think for themselves, ask questions and come to answers through
discussion and reflection.
include opportunities for pupils to lead discussion, work together and work
independently; they should never be structured solely around the delivery of
material by the teacher. It is
also important that the teacher plays an important part in guiding and
supporting the independent learning of pupils.
Within the wide
range of teaching styles that are appropriate to any subject, all teachers
should ensure that their lessons include:
- a mixture of effort by both the teacher and
- opportunities for pupils to speak and
respond both to the teacher and to each other
- time for pupils to write notes or
consolidate discussion in written form
- varied presentational styles and activities
in order to keep lessons stimulating
- differentiated strategies suited to
different learning needs and styles
- effective use of the resources available
including books, hand outs, projections, displays, AV and IT equipment, etc.
lessons should wherever possible be genuinely preparatory. While it is vital
that some preps be used to consolidate learning acquired in class, some preps
should also be designed to make pupils think ahead by reading material in
advance, researching topics to come and considering leading questions before
class discussions. Prep should never be set for its own sake and should always
be set with clear instructions, expectations and deadlines.
Personalised and Supported Learning
It is essential
that pupils learn how to learn according to their individual aptitudes and
learning styles. Time should be devoted in lessons to the topic of learning
itself, so that pupils learn about appropriate strategies for learning,
practice and revision in each subject.
Teachers must be
familiar with each pupil as an individual, and should record information about
each pupil's learning needs, styles and progress in their mark books for easy
reference. Teachers should spend time ensuring that each pupil is aware of his
or her specific developmental targets and how best to attain them. This can be
done through formative assessment practices and/or through one-to-one
teacher-pupil sessions in class or, where necessary, in support workshops. The
latter should preferably be arranged between teacher and pupil on an occasional
as-needed basis - it is the teacher's responsibility to ensure this happens
tasks should be differentiated for varied ability levels and learning styles.
This does not mean that teachers must set a different task for every pupil, but
that they should design tasks that will allow different degrees of stretch
and challenge, and that across the whole programme of teaching and learning for
a topic there should be a range of activities that cater to visual, auditory,
kinaesthetic and other learning styles, each reinforcing the other.
All teachers must
be familiar with the College's Learning Support policy, handbook and
services. They should incorporate Learning Support strategies into their own
teaching when appropriate and seek guidance from the Head of Learning Support
It would be disingenuous to say that tactical learning for examinations has no place at Wellington. Examination success is important to the College because of the opportunities it opens to its pupils beyond school. It is therefore essential that in addition to learning freely and independently, pupils also be taught the knowledge and skills required for high performance in examinations.
These objectives are not mutually exclusive - independent learning should be better preparation for examination success than spoon-fed learning because the knowledge should be better internalised - but there is nonetheless clearly a place for specific instruction in the requirements of different assessment types, the essentials of examination technique, and the analysis of past examination performance.
As an IB World
School, Wellington believes that the ideal learner (in all academic programmes offered
by the College) will be:
Teacher should encourage pupils to consider themselves in light of the learner
profile and should build opportunities for developing its attributes into their
lessons. Teachers should also aspire to modelling the learner profile in their
own intellectual lives.