Life Skills and Effective Learning Habits

Our approach is to help students become effective learners. We ensure that they develop good learning habits that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Young people today need preparation for an ever-changing world, a world where knowledge becomes rapidly outdated. This is why Academy teachers design lessons that focus on developing learning habits rather than spoonfeeding content. This also makes learning engaging for students as they are actively involved and able to take responsibility for their own learning.

Why are learning habits important?

Below are some important habits of successful people:
  1. Overcoming frustration: They persevere and never give up in the face of difficulties.
  2. Collaboration: They work effectively as a team, learn from others and help others learn.
  3. Reflecting: They consider the what and how of what they do and learn from mistakes.
  4. Revising: They are flexible and willing to change and make revisions.
  5. Questioning: They do not take things at face value, are curious and want to know more.

What would you expect from a Route 39 Lesson?

  • A duel focus - on subject matter and learning habits. Students will be aware of the learning habits they are developing.
  • A 'Driving Question' at the beginning, designed to warm-up and exercise these habits.
  • Teachers spending as little time as possible at the front of the class delivering information. Lessons are very active, involving student-led research, group discussion and collaboration. 
  • Students being encouraged to get stuck, make mistakes and learn from them.
  • Students learning how to question effectively.
  • Students learning how to offer and accept critique, drafting and redrafting to produce best work.
  • Time allocated for students to respond to critique, marking and feedback.
  • A theme or Project which links different subjects across the curriculum.

Linked Learning and Projects

The first phase of a Route 39 education focuses on building a firm foundation of good learning habits. To achieve this, students learn some subjects together via projects, for example:
 
  • English with Humanities
  • STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths
  • Community, Philosophy and Ethics

Teachers model good learning habits through regular collaboration with each other. They plan ways in which their disciplines can interlink. Maths and Modern Languages are taught separately but often follow themes explored in other classes.

How does it work? 

  • Every project has a Project Launch - a key activity or focus day - which inspires engagement and interest.
  • Students then begin a process of investigation. They explore their ideas independently and in groups, providing each other with constructive feedback.
  • Each project culminates in a Project Celebration - a common goal towards which the students work together. This can be a performance, show, exhibition or product which is publicly shared with parents and the wider community. It is a celebration of their best work.
  • Projects take place over an extended period of time, usually half a term.

Why is it effective?

  1. Projects are very active - based on learning through doing, rather than sitting passively.
  2. Projects generate deep subject knowledge during the extended exploration of a topic.
  3. Projects are relevant, linking student's work to the bigger picture.
  4. Projects encourage students to develop good learning habits.
  5. Projects have an end product that students can be proud of and can be celebrated.