Differentiation in our school

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” (Nelson Mandela)

Pick Me Academy provides a curriculum that offers equal opportunities for development in an international, friendly and caring environment. Through enriching activities and structured play, we develop early skills in inquiry, critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity.

Our caring and professional teachers nurture and inspire students with a love for learning and the confidence to explore their world.
In Pick Me Academy differentiation is the process by which curriculum objectives, teaching methods, assessment methods and learning activities are planned to cater for the learning needs of the individual pupil.
To provide for this basic entitlement, pupils in the same group have learning opportunities matched to their particular needs and teaching must take into account the differences in learner characteristics. This in turn requires flexible planning, careful formative assessment, and the provision of a variety of approaches to learning and teaching.

Classes at Pick Me Academy are mixed ability and as such teachers must ensure that all abilities are catered for when planning, preparing for, and teaching a lesson.
Differentiation is not just for the least able students or more able high achievers, but for all students in the class.

Differentiation means matching tasks and activities to students’ learning needs. It is important that we use differentiation in our planning as ultimately it will lead to an improvement in student learning.

It is important to note that differentiation does not mean ‘different work’ but instead refers to the wide variety of resources, teaching styles, classroom activities and support materials that can be used by teachers to help make the curriculum accessible and allow pupils to progress within their lessons.

The aim of this procedure is to provide a clear guide for staff regarding the expectations for differentiation in lessons in order to ensure that all students are extended and making good progress.

In Pick Me Academy we differentiate by:
• Outcome, as long as the language is clear, the objectives are clear and the task is open
• Task, by using core tasks with extension work or using stepped tasks
• Teacher support for students as needed to ensure each is on task
• Teachers planning and preparing to ensure that activities are levelled to student ability
• Teachers planning and preparing to ensure that content is best matched and presented to match students’ interests
• Classroom organisation, by working individually, in pairs, in groups, or as a class; by using common activities, different activities, or a carousel of activities; by rearranging the room, by working in different rooms or even by working outside.
• Resources, which means varying the language, text, balance and variety of resources such as using books, maps, atlases, photographs, videos, newspapers, worksheets, internet and so on.

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” (Margaret Mead)

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