A forward-looking educational approach
The British American Pre-School (BAPS) welcomes children ages 2 to 6. The programme is Full Immersion English and follows the English National Curriculum of Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage One (KS1).
The Bilingual European School (BES) is the natural continuation of BAPS. It is the first bilingual school in Milan; it is a recognised Primary and Secondary School with Italian and native English-speaking teachers that has been offering a state-of-the-art teaching approach for years.
“"If I listen I forget, if I see I remember, if I do I understand" - Confucius.
HOW DOES IT WORK IN PRACTICE??
Constructivist learning theory suggests that people develop their own understanding and knowledge of the world through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences.
When learners encounter something new, they have to reconcile it with their previous ideas and experience, sometimes changing what they believe, or sometimes discarding the new information as irrelevant. Learners, then, become active creators of their own knowledge rather than passive recipients of ideas gleaned from the textbook or from the teacher. In order to construct new knowledge, students must ask questions, explore, and reflect on what they have learned.
In the classroom, the constructivist approach takes the form of engaging students in hands-on, minds-on learning activities like experiments and real-world problem solving in order to create more knowledge. Students then reflect on and talk about what they are doing with their peers and identify how their understanding is changing.
The teacher is a facilitator who assesses the students' preexisting conceptions and guides the activity to address and build on the students’ ideas. By designing problem-solving and inquiry-based learning activities, the teacher encourages students to formulate and test their ideas, draw conclusions and inferences, and communicate their new knowledge in a collaborative learning environment.
Inclusion and differenciation
At BES and BAPS we believe that every child is a unique and special individual. Every student has a particular talent and personal resources which we use as entry points for furthering the child’s growth and development.
We aim to give every student the opportunity to experience success in learning and to achieve to their maximum potential through a flexible and differentiated programme. Our faculty values students of different abilities and supports inclusion as a preferred model for special educational needs. In each class teaching and learning styles and classroom organisation will be flexible to promote effective learning. Grouping to support children with special educational needs will be part of this process.
We recognise that students learn at different rates and that there are many factors affecting achievement, including ability, emotional state, age and maturity. We understand that a differentiated approach based on best practices in education supports the learning of all students in our classes. We recognize that many students, at some time in their developmental continuum, may experience difficulties which affect their learning, whether they are long or short term. We aim to identify these needs as they arise and provide teaching and learning contexts which enable every child to achieve his or her full potential.
Our Child Study Team
psichology and counseling
Our well-established and professional team works alongside the teachers and students so as to enhance the children’s learning skills and self confidence. Our Child Study Team is composed of a School Counselor, a psychologist and a play therapist. When needed, this team motivates and stimulates the child’s learning process; helps build self-confidence and recognition of personal strong points, considering the objectives to be reached.
BUILDING A TRANSNATIONAL DIGITAL SCHOOL PLAN
We are proud to share this article written collectively by several of our teachers and published in the International Journal of Education Bricks. The challenge that the pandemic has thrown at schools around the country and the world in recent months is unprecedented in the history of education and has involved the radical redefinition of concepts that underlie the experience of "doing school" such as the very idea of "learning," "planning," co-constructing meanings, and "interacting." It is our priority to give back the experience of building the Bilingual European School digital school model through the direct testimony of those who contributed firsthand to building it, renegotiating it and making it solid: the teachers themselves. Schooling-since time immemorial and today, perhaps with even greater urgency-is an experience in which the word "together" has a fundamental value: schooling exists because we learn "together," grow "together," and dream "together." The following entries aim to return a polyphonic picture of the school, a reality where "doing together" is the basis of any transformation and, in the long run, of any realistic prospect of reopening. Below is the full version of the article published in the international education journal, Bricks. We thank the teachers who participated in the writing of the article: Mauro Spicci, Silvia Bettini, Stefania Di Resta, Cinzia Corti, Francesca Malara, Giacomo Magistrelli and Valeria Pepè.