Want to know how students relied on their self-regulation skills and how students adjusted their approach from a distance? Read on!
It is a difficult exercise: offering practical subjects at a distance. The hotel department of the GO! Talent School in Turnhout came up with a very original initiative to keep stimulating and developing the talent of their students during this period of distance learning.
"Every Monday the students of the hotel department receive at home a 'HelloTalent' box with ingredients and instructions to prepare a dish for 4 people," says Wesley Wouters, co-principal of the group around the GO! Talent school. "They have to work on their own in the kitchen at their home, but of course they also get support from their teachers through video conversations. An initiative that for obvious reasons is applauded by many parents," says Wesley laughing.
The group of the GO! Talent School in Turnhout has no less than 5 locations. This requires a solid piece of coordination and a clear vision to keep everything on track. Wesley is grateful for his policy team in which everyone is on the same page and everyone feels and complements each other. "During this crisis, my fellow principal Peter De Ceuster and I, together with a dozen other colleagues from the policy team, put their heads together much more often than usual. In this way we closely monitor the situation. And yes, you only see those heads on screen, of course, but the distance between us does not matter. We remain a strong team that works together smoothly and in which everyone is each other's sounding board for testing things. Just look at the initiative around the hotel department. A lot of people from our school are involved, but everyone is working on it with equal commitment and enthusiasm".
Every student is unique
The GO! Talent school has grown strongly in recent years and that should not be surprising. The school is strongly committed to 'personal, innovative and talent developing education' as can be read on its website. This appeals to both parents and children. "It may seem contradictory that we focus on the personal, while every year we welcome more and more students. But it remains our spearhead. Every student is unique and we want everyone to be able to develop according to their own talents, rhythm and interests," Wesley explains. "Not only do our classroom coaches have an administrative role, they also monitor the socio-emotional temperature of their classes and individual students.
Our initiative was applauded by many parents for obvious reasons.
- Wesley Wouters, co-principal of GO! Talent School Turnhout
One on one
That this school attaches great importance to personal growth is also evident from the way in which it guides students individually in the search for the right direction. "Twice a year, each of our students has a one-to-one growth conversation in which he or she talks to a teacher about her or his 'goals'. This can be about study choices or current school subjects, but also about personal development. The teacher helps the student to get this in focus, provides tools or, if necessary, refers the student to the right person who can help either inside or outside the school," Wesley says. "In addition, our freshmen regularly follow 'talent modules' as part of educational career guidance. In this way they can already 'taste' the different directions they can take in the second year".
And in times like these, where students are very dependent on themselves to process learning materials, they naturally reap the rewards of the skills they learned here".
The GO! Talent school has been focusing on self-regulated learning for years: students get to work with instructions and schedules themselves. "We work with cross-curricular and cross-class teacher teams and coordinate the timetables of different classes," Wesley explains. "Pupils know when instruction or evaluation moments are scheduled and when which teacher is available for support. They can work on their lessons and tasks individually or in a group". The concept of the flexible learning environment is therefore strongly represented in the school. In addition to classrooms, for example, there are also so-called 'agora's'. "Campus Boomgaard and Zenit have modular open spaces with sitting, reading and working corners. Pupils from different classes and years sit there together when they don't have an instructional moment," explains Wesley. "It's nice to see how this works for our 'guests'. And in times like these, where students are very dependent on themselves to process learning materials, they naturally reap the rewards of the skills they learned here". Dutch post can be read here. #selfregulatedlearning #distancelearning