- School Life
- The Nexus Way
Traditionally learning has been meaningful for individuals. In older societies people learnt things by apprenticing themselves to somebody who knew about it, or actually going out into the world and finding out about it themselves.
However, following the industrialisation of our society, schools developed to serve big groups of people - mostly for economic reasons - and the idea of delivering a homogenous set of learning to a homogenous group of learners, who would all react the same way to it, emerged.
People came to believe that teachers did something, said something, demonstrated something to the class and everybody got it. It was as though students were nothing more than empty vessels, waiting to be filled up with whatever kind of knowledge and skills were appropriate to meeting the needs of the workforce of the day.
"The reality of the situation today is very different."
We recognise that everybody is different. Everybody learns at different speeds. Everybody has different motivations. Different points of reference. Different knowledge. Different aspirations. And so we are always going to learn as individuals.
Every learner’s journey is one that is personal to them, and as educators our challenge is to identify what it is about each individual learner that helps them learn better and then tailor our teaching to that learner.
In moving towards this ideal we view our role as being activators of students’ learning experiences, rather than simply teaching "stuff" to kids.
Our goal is to know the learners. Know what they know, and what they do not know. Know what they need to do to get to the next stage. And then give them the tools and resources and equipment that they need to make the next steps.
In this way our learners become independent learners, who are not reliant on the teacher, but rather, can use the teacher as a resource to achieve what they need to achieve.
"What I love about Nexus is that my child is excited about learning each day." -Nexus Parent
Personalised, Whole-Child Learning
Our inspiring teachers draw on learners’ passions, talents and learning styles to create an education that cultivates the whole child -- academically, socially, and emotionally. Developing children as effective learners requires paying attention to developing their attitudes, skills, strategies, and behaviors as well as their content knowledge and academic skills. Nexus balances academic demands with an emphasis on growing good citizens. We help our learners to become self-aware and to develop the skills for good decision-making.
The purpose of a personalised learning is to open learning pathways; allow children to make decisions about and have choices within their learning experiences. It means giving them choice in what, how, when and where they learn. At Nexus, personalised learning is enabled by flexible learning spaces and team teaching.
To develop self regulation and enable learners to make appropriate choices and decisions about their learning, learners are encouraged to be independent and helped to learn through an enquiry approach where appropriate. When you visit our classrooms you will regularly notice children working in groups on different activities and making informed decisions about their current learning needs.
Teachers share the learning intentions, success criteria/rubrics with learners so they know what they need to do to make progress and have a tool to reflect on their own learning. Learners set their own goals and can confidently talk about their own progress and learning.
Personalisation allows us to make the learning experience more pleasurable and more effective for learners. Equally important, personalisation allows young people to increasingly know themselves as learners and human beings.
Learning is Rigorous
Everyone learns best when they are interested. By personalising to individual needs and passions, learners can be inspired and challenged to achieve at a higher level. Children at Nexus learn at a level that pushes them, but not so much that they disengage. We provide frequent quantitative and qualitative feedback to ensure that learners are prepared for success.
Learners rather than students or pupils.
As learning is the focus for everything we do, children at Nexus are referred to as learners. At the heart of the Nexus approach is the learning focused relationship between the teacher and the learner. This is a relationship between teacher and learner, where both the teacher and learner want to work together and know how to work together to maximise learning.
The learner’s role in the relationship is to learn. The learner focuses on “what has to happen that will best help me to learn?” The teacher’s role is to help the learner learn. The teacher focuses on “what do I need to do now that will best help this student to learn?”
Learning at Nexus is Fun
When young people drive their own learning, they become motivated by passion and creativity -- and learn to be that way throughout their lives. They also simply love going to school. We love watching them show up early on Mondays, ready to get involved whether in the lesson, co-curricular activities, sporting events or showcases and performances.
You may be surprised that, unlike some other schools, we do not give rewards such as house points or stickers to reward effort. Rather we want to develop intrinsic motivation which involves learners engaging in a behavior because it is personally rewarding; performing an activity for its own sake rather than the desire for some external reward.
Participating in a sport because you find the activity enjoyable
Solving a problem because you find the challenge fun and interesting
Playing a game because you find it exciting
Carrying out research about a topic because you are interested in the topic and have questions you want to answer.
In each of these cases, the learner's behaviour is motivated by an internal desire to participate in the process for its own sake and for it’s own reward.
That is not to say that we do not celebrate success or have events that encourage competition such as Sports Days, inter-school competitions, maths challenges and talent shows.
Intellectual and personal growth are complementary and inextricably linked, and we do all we can to help learners develop their confidence and achieve their personal best.
In order to promote a culture of respect throughout the school there is a joint responsibility of care for all staff members towards all learners. In order to ensure this, our relationships and processes are based on the principles of Restorative Practice.
Restorative Practices emphasize the importance of positive relationships as central to building community, and involve processes that repair relationships when harm has occurred.
This culture of respect is explicitly taught in all classes and modelled by all members of the school community.
Classrooms are flexible, adapting to both teacher and learner needs throughout the course of a day. Flexible learning spaces and furniture allow us to and personalise learning experiences.
By incorporating the latest methods and research in creative collaboration, we’ve created dynamic spaces that work as multi-disciplinary learning centers. Learners can study across subjects and skills, individually and in groups.