At The Chalfonts, experiential learning is at the centre or our teaching philosophy. Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing.’’ Felicia, Patrick (2011)
One manifestation of this is our Global Classroom initiative. This is where students are given opportunities to explore the curriculum in real world situations, whether it is Art and History in Florence or Geography and Science in Iceland, outdoor survival skills in Finland or skiing in Italy! Thus, students make discoveries and experiment with knowledge firsthand, instead of hearing or reading about others’ experiences. In addition to trips overseas, students often visit historic and cultural sights around London, Oxford, Cambridge and many more.
We strive to provide our students with a rich and varied life outside the classroom. At The Chalfonts we provide a variety of sports for our students to learn and practise over the academic year, including swimming, volleyball, basketball, cross country running, football, climbing, cricket, hockey, tennis, badminton and athletics. We promote a lifelong enjoyment of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. Apart from developing co-ordination, balance and physical fitness, we view sports within the wider educational context – teaching team spirit, self-confidence, good sportsmanship and discipline. We also encourage students to develop their core and balance with aerobics, dance and yoga. In addition we offer a range of extra-curricular sporting activities.
School plays bring together the fine and dramatic arts in a production that gives every student a role and opportunity to develop, and we have had much acclaim for our productions of The Importance of Being Earnest, A Christmas Carol and The Lion, the Witch & The Wardrobe to name but a few.
Continuing to practise drawing, photography and the fine arts is vital in our image rich world. Using art to help you understand the rest of the curriculum is a key part of the learning at The Chalfonts. It is so important to be able to visualise concepts and relationships, especially in the sciences. This develops understanding, as well as being key to helping you remember content. Not only is art such a key means to an end, but is, of course, an end in itself.
The Chalfonts believes in preparing young people for international citizenship. We are a non faith-based community but support religious and cultural expression, upholding the British values of rule of law, democracy, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with other faiths and beliefs. Assemblies are held regularly to recognise students’ good work giving them the opportunity to present their contributions to the student body. Very often assemblies are student-led and consider different traditions, current affairs, health and social issues facing students, elements of spirituality and students’ own achievements.
We recognise examples of good citizenship and good sportsmanship. Whilst wellness is embedded into the ethos and curriculum. Our Agora holistic learning lessons are an opportunity to explore what it means to live a flourishing life, one that prepares adults and students alike for the stresses and strains of living in our ever-changing community.
Students can take part in a variety of after-school clubs and societies. Students are regularly asked which clubs and societies they wish to set up. We will always welcome new ideas for activities, and base the activities on the personal interests of each student and member of staff.
Clubs can include:
Art, Basketball, Badminton, Chess, Choir/Close Harmony, Computing, Cricket, Dance, Debating, Digital Journalism/Writing, Drama, Film, Football, Gardening, Outdoor Adventures, Photography, Table Tennis, Tennis, Yoga.
We are running the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme helps students to develop confidence and a sense of responsibility. The areas of Skill, Physical Development, Volunteering, and Expedition combine to produce a rounded individual. The completion of the award gives pupils a sense of achievement and is a valuable addition to their C.V.
In addition to students being provided with continuous opportunities to reflect on their learning through their courses, we provide Prep.
Prep is an opportunity to review work, plan for projects and revise. Students are given clear curriculum maps which show the overall scheme of work allowing them to read about future topics. The balance between independent study and traditional homework is carefully considered, with teachers spending time with students helping them develop crucial study skills.