PLEASE click on the link above to see the VIDEO we made with examples of the different kinds of approaches (pedagogy) we use in progressive/holistic education – Note: our original name, Ithaki School, was changed to Lighthouse just before we opened in 2011.
What makes the Lighthouse School special is its focus on each child so s/he feels included, secure and hopefully in a place where s/he can flourish, be confident in themselves and respectful to their environment.
We are proactively dedicated towards ensuring all of our students’ academic, social and emotional needs are being met by:
- Differentiating tasks according to the ability (not age per se) of the child.
- Using the interests and ideas (when possible) of individual children or the whole group, to plan particular tasks and activities.
- Being reflective practitioners and having ‘a finger on the pulse’ means we are therefore willing to adjust strategies, ideas or interventions to convey the curriculum and essential life-skills.
We focus on the journey as well as the process of learning and acquisition of knowledge or skills and not on grades or levels achieved by this learning. We use ongoing formative assessment, which gives the teacher a more qualitative and accurate understanding of a child rather than relying on results from regular testing. We still have some formal tests as they are sometimes needed, e.g. in spelling, however at The Lighthouse School this comprises a small piece of the pie. Formal assessment takes the form of teachers’ evaluations during class discussions, informal observations from group and individual tasks. We also place great emphasis on children evaluating their own work both orally and written, by the children providing effective feedback to their peers. This ongoing assessment and collected information serves to inform and guide the teacher with future planning, helps children to learn to assess their work independently and to have a sense of ownership over what they learn.
Our vision is materialised in each child’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP) prepared by children themselves, their parents, teachers, psychologists and other involved team members. The ILP has five components:
- Getting to know you: parents describe their perspective on their children, their strengths, goals & concerns.
- My Learning Plan: children, helped by their teacher, describe at what they are good, what they would like to learn and how they would like to learn. This data is crucial in guiding teachers to create curricula and group projects that are based on the children’s interests and affinities. On a day-to-day basis the learning objectives of lessons are made explicit to the children as are the steps needed for this to be achieved. The children become familiar with the terms WALT (we are learning today…) and WILF (what I am looking for…).
- SEAL (social and emotional approach to learning): the child reflects on themes that have been worked on during circle time.
- Me and my Group: children reflect on the way they contribute to the smooth and successful functioning of the class group. They also comment on their own needs within the group.
- A last section is compiled by the class teacher to describe what the child has covered each term in the literacy, numeracy, projects, Greek and Music curriculum. An important section is the description of those areas to which the child has especially connected.