Our Approach to Teaching and Learning
We recognise the strengths and individuality of each of our pupils, harness their abilities, and allow them to flourish. We want our students to develop a life-long love of learning and we think they learn best when they are happy and actively involved in their education. Our teachers inspire a love of learning and nurture enquiring minds.
An essential element of nurture is providing just the right level of challenge. We give our pupils the confidence to be ambitious, determined and independent so they can discover their own potential. Our pupils are not pushed but they learn to drive themselves.
"Pupils take responsibility for their own learning and confidently tackle new challenges." ISI Inspection Report, January 2017
The academic programme promotes challenge via the use of innovative and inventive lessons. Our aims are to inspire self-reliance and the development of a growth mindset amongst pupils. Resilience and self-confidence are cultivated by dedicated and enthusiastic teachers, who create a learning environment that challenges and supports every pupil’s learning and personal development.
Pupils at Duke of Kent School become independent, inquisitive and work enthusiastically to achieve their goals.
"Teachers take a personal interest, tailor the tasks to the child and inspire them to give their all." Parent
In the Classroom
Class sizes are small, allowing individual attention from subject teachers. Aware of what interests each child and where any difficulties might lie, the teachers aim to engage the pupils in ways that suit their learning. Pupils always know what they are aiming at and what they need to do to improve. Traditional approaches blend with the latest technology to produce a varied and stimulating academic programme. All Seniors have an allocated iPad to use in the classroom and to support their independent learning.
We make no apologies for the fact that learning will be hard. It is meant to be! We also stress independence: parents and teachers cannot and will not learn on a pupil’s behalf or do their thinking for them. Learning at Duke of Kent School is not like being a passenger on a bus but like being on a bike: we expect our pupils to pedal and to steer.
While our emphasis is on independence, help is on hand if it is needed. Help not only comes from teachers but also their peer group: our system demands that pupils aim for ‘personal best’ rather than competing against each other. This approach leads to a co-operative atmosphere in our lessons. When pupils do well, their friends will be pleased for them; when they find it hard, others will lend a hand. Our Learning Development team are also here to help if any pupil needs additional support or challenge.
Stretch and Challenge is our programme for extending all learners to their limits. An exciting and individualised approach, this enables pupils to experience stimulating teaching beyond the examination specifications and ensures that there are no ceilings to achievement.
"All the teachers are always striving for you to go one better than you think you can." Pupil
The Habits that Underpin Excellence
We believe that attitude and habits are just as important as a pupil’s ability in a subject. As we mentor our pupils we ask them questions such as: how organised is your schoolbag? How much time are you prepared to put into your independent study? Do you put off the hardest tasks till last? How well do you meet deadlines? These are the sorts of questions we help our pupils ask themselves as they develop the attitude and habits they will need for successful learning, throughout life.