April 28, 2014

April 16, 2014

April 14, 2014

Hillingdon, the first part of Ascham-Sydney

In Hillingdon there is real sense of enjoyment every day. The girls have a rich and varied program including visits, festivals, excursions, assemblies, concerts, year group cafés and parent events that provide them with a strong sense of community as well as broadening their horizons. The strong visual arts, music and languages programs, taught by specialist staff, are also incorporated into their classroom activities.

Our highly qualified staff is dedicated to caring for and engaging with the girls on a daily basis. They provide strong foundational skills across the curriculum. We use The Spalding Method to teach literacy which provides each girl with excellent skills in reading, writing and spelling.

It is important that girls experience the enjoyment of co-curricular activities early in their schooling. There are many opportunities in Prep and Kindergarten (violin, cello, speech and drama, gymnastics and swimming), which expand in Years 1 and 2 to include chess, tennis, piano, and soccer.

We develop confident learners. We encourage positive social skills and building community bonds through use of the You Can Do It program, buddy groups and service to others through charity days and sponsorships.

All girls in Year 2 have an opportunity once a term to carry out various responsibilities covered by the many Leader and Monitor positions. In Terms 1, 2 and 3 students experience a range of responsibilities and in Term 4 the girls nominate which position they would like to undertake. The girls look forward to fulfilling their responsibilities well and are excited to be developing a range of leadership skills. This commitment helps to foster independence as well as team spirit as the Monitors assist teachers and girls alike in Hillingdon.

There is supervised care of the girls daily from 8.15am and a full after school care service is available Monday to Friday until 6pm.


April 13, 2014

A great internship at the Ascham School!

24th of February was a very exciting day, because it was the first day for us at the Ascham School in Sydney! The first impression was amazing!! The school is so big and so beautiful…
The size is not comparable to any school in the Netherlands. We loved it!  All the teachers were so kind and they know exactly what they are doing. The girls looked pretty and they were all smiling and asked a lot of questions about where we came from and if they could learn some Dutch words.

The first day we could look around in all groups of Hillingdon and saw a lot of Dalton Education. Hillingdon is the location for the youngest girls where we do our internship.
Our internship is for 2 months, 5 days a week. We are 3 days a week in our class. Leonoor in Kindergarten and Nanoe in Year One.
We saw on our first day that we could introduce some extra Dalton elements in the Prep-School. After an interview with the teachers and the head of school, Judith Butcher, we knew all the wishes and things that we could improve.
The team of teachers really wanted an ‘assignment board’ to improve the self-reliance. The girls have 4 jobs to do during a week and they can decide when they want to do it. So, we made a board with colors. We gave tables different colors and so we marked the place to do one of the jobs. If a girl finished the assignment on table red, they can sign off the red color behind their own name and personal picture. 

The teachers told us that they wanted to show the girls what the program is for every day.  
So we made some cards for every part of the program during a week. You can introduce it to the children to let them know what they going to do on, for example, the Thursday. 
For some girls it would be better if you show it the day before, because when they go home, they know exactly what they can expect during the next day. The spot for the cards is very important, because it must be an orderly place. The teachers picked a good spot in the classroom.
We made also a ‘weather map’. The girls have to choose which kind of weather it is today and they can show it on the chart by putting the arrow at the right place.

The next two weeks is holiday. So after this period we have two weeks left at Ascham. We look forward to tell you how we have used it and what initiatives we have been able to take in the classroom. We like to introduce more Dalton elements at this Prep school part of Ascham.
In four weeks you will hear from us again!
Hope that you enjoyed it! 

Kind regards, Nanoe Lorkeers and Leonoor Berghuis
Students Katholieke Pabo Zwolle & interns at the Ascham School.
You can contact us at: nanoelorkeers@hotmail.com


The detailed program will follow soon !

April 12, 2014


During the Dalton Congress last Wednesday in Deventer, Rene Berends gave a very interesting workshop about the new kernel value of Dalton: REFLECTION.

In this context he mentioned at a certain moment EXPEDITIONARY LEARNING and this triggered me also because I never heard about it before.

Expeditionary Learning Schools are models of comprehensive school reform based on the educational ideas of German educator Kurt Hahn, the founder of Outward Bound. Expeditionary Learning Schools exist in more than 150 schools in 30 states and the District of Columbia. They are exemplified by project-based learning expeditions, where students engage in interdisciplinary, in-depth study of compelling topics, in groups and in their community, with assessment coming through cumulative products, public presentations, and portfolios. The model emphasizes high levels of student engagement, achievement, and character development.

And this summary I found on internet:

Expeditionary Learning is built on ten design principles that reect the educational values and beliefs.
These principles also reect the design's connection to other related thinking about teaching, learning, and the culture of schools.

Learning happens best with emotion, challenge and the requisite support. People discover their abilities, values, passions, and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure and the unexpected. In Expeditionary Learning schools, students undertake tasks that require perseverance, fitness, craftsmanship, imagination, self-discipline, and significant achievement. A teacher’s primary task is to help students overcome their fears and discover they can do more than they think they can.

Teaching in Expeditionary Learning schools fosters curiosity about the world by creating learning situations that provide something important to think about, time to experiment, and time to make sense of what is observed.

Learning is both a personal process of discovery and a social activity. Everyone learns both individually and as part of a group. Every aspect of an Expeditionary Learning school encourages both children and adults to become increasingly responsible for directing their own personal and collective learning.

Learning is fostered best in communities where students’ and teachers’ ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust.
Learning groups are small in Expeditionary Learning schools, with a caring adult looking after the progress and acting as an advocate for each child. Older students mentor younger ones, and students feel physically and emotionally safe.

All students need to be successful if they are to build the confidence and capacity to take risks and meet increasingly difficult challenges. But it is also important for students to learn from their failures, to persevere when things are hard, and to learn to turn disabilities into opportunities.

Individual development and group development are integrated so that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear. Students are encouraged to compete, not against each other, but with their own personal best and with rigorous standards of excellence.

Both diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas, creative power, problem-solving ability, and respect for others. In Expeditionary Learning schools, students investigate and value their different histories and talents as well as those of other communities and cultures. Schools and learning groups are heterogeneous.
A direct and respectful relationship with the natural world refreshes the human spirit and teaches the important ideas of recurring cycles and cause and effect. Students learn to become stewards of the earth and of future generations.

Students and teachers need time alone to explore their own thoughts, make their own connections, and create their own ideas. They also need to exchange their reflections with other students and with adults.

We are crew, not passengers. Students and teachers are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others, and one of an Expeditionary Learning school’s primary functions is to prepare students with the attitudes and skills to learn from and be of service.

April 10, 2014

New website Dutch Dalton Association

During the opening of the Dutch Dalton Congress on April 9. 2014, the new website of  the NDV was introduced. 

At the same moment five new picto's were introduced. 

They symbolize five kernel values of Dalton.

April 8, 2014

Dutch Dalton Conference

Every two years the Dutch Dalton Association NDV is organizing a conference in Deventer.
Theme of this conference:

"Dalton on course"

Most of the Dutch Dalton schools will send a delegation to this conference.
21 workshops, but also the meeting of so many Dalton colleagues, will give new inspiration.

April 7, 2014

How actual is Dalton?

It is always a challenge to compare The Dalton Plan with  trends in the educational world.

During the last months I was triggered by two developments.

1. Primary Years Programme

2. 21st Century Skills

Lets have a look.

What is the Primary Years Programme?

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a curriculum framework designed for students aged 3 to 12. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It is defined by six trans disciplinary themes of global significance, explored using knowledge and skills derived from six subject areas, with a powerful emphasis on inquiry-based learning.
The PYP is flexible enough to accommodate the demands of most national or local curriculums and provides the best preparation for students to engage in the IB Middle Years Programme.

The IB Primary Years Programme
           - addresses students’ academic, social and emotional well-bein
-encourages students to develop independence and to take responsibility for their own learning 
-supports students’ efforts to gain understanding of the world and to function comfortably within it
-helps students establish personal values as a foundation upon which international-mindedness will develop   and flourish.

The Primary Years Programme: preparing students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.

21st Century Skills.

The elements described in this section as “21st century student outcomes” (represented by the rainbow) are the skills, knowledge and expertise students should master to succeed in work and life in the 21st century.

1. Core Subjects (the 3 Rs) and 21st Century Themes

2. Learning and Innovation Skills
·         Creativity and Innovation
·         Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
·         Communication and Collaboration

3. Information, Media and Technology Skills
·         Information Literacy
·         Media Literacy
·         ICT Literacy
 4. Life and Career Skills

Of course we stay close to our Dalton roots, but it is obvious that we will adapt and integrate elements of new developments. 
Like we did since 1924 !