10 Jul, 2020
10 : 00
Over the years the approaches to learning and teaching have evolved and continue to do so to reflect and adapt to current times. In 2016, YCIS Beijing introduced the concept of Learning Communities, a model gaining prominence around the world. This approach, developed by our Primary teaching teams, seeks to move away from the archetypal classroom environment by introducing flexible, student-centred learning and flowing, shared learning spaces that are conducive to nurturing a 21st-century mindset in students. The Learning Community Model expands on the traditional solo-teaching classroom by fostering collaboration both between students and between teachers, while also facilitating increased adaptability, creativity and critical thinking in students. So, what are the benefits?
Learning Communities Build a Sense of CommunityOne of the primary goals of Learning Communities is to facilitate interactive learning whilst building a sense of community amongst students and teachers alike. Although teachers will engage students with a curriculum, it is vital that the students have an authentic learning experience where they can discover ways and solutions to everyday problems by incorporating what they learn to their lives, which is why Learning Communities are essential.
Learning Communities Promote CollaborationIn Learning Communities, students are grouped in different ways to foster collaboration during projects and activities. This can be done by grouping the students based on academic needs or by having student-led groups where each learner chooses which group they feel the most comfortable working with based on the specific project they are doing. This is also beneficial for when learners require support in any form from their peers.
Learning Communities Promote 21st Century SkillsOne of the core principles of our school is promoting 21st-century skills. Often characterised by adaptability, creativity, and critical thinking, these skills ensure that students have a holistic approach to learning. These are often fostered in the Makerspace, the Learning Community’s large, open area dedicated to creative projects.
Learning Communities are Conducive to the YCIS Co-Teaching ModelThroughout the learning process, our students work with at least two teachers whose primary language of instruction is English or Chinese, in some cases both. As the students work on their projects, teachers offer guidance and support in both languages, which supports their bilingual development. Not only this, but teachers have an opportunity to diversify their lesson planning, collaboration skills and develop professionally by working as a teaching team.
Learning Communities Give Autonomy to StudentsPart of 21st-century skills is being a creator. Understanding some instances require acoustical privacy and no distractions, students have the autonomy to create projects and explore various options in their quest for answers. This is often depicted in our school's Celebrations of Learning.
Learning Communities Build Confidence in StudentsBy giving students autonomy over their work, they develop and excel in a variety of skills which translate into confident and creative individuals.
Ultimately, the goal is to provide students with sufficient resources to pursue learning in their own way in purpose-built spaces. Although academic knowledge is vital, we also believe students must develop other soft skills which are critical for life after school.
To learn more about the individual spaces in our Learning Communities, click here.