Block Teaching System
Here at The Bridge School, everything we do is based on empirical and peer reviewed data and research. That includes the systems that we use as a whole as well as the individualised targets that we have for our learners. We teach intensively around ‘blocks’ of topics and learning, as this is what research as well as our experience shows is best. All of our blocks come from continual assessment and our ‘ground up’ assessment process that we use.
If you are an earlier learner, this means that you will have an overarching topic each term with fortnightly focuses across your subjects or in the areas that we are concentrating on with you. If you are a more advanced learner, preparing for exams, the focus will be on
‘learning to learn’ and you too will study your subjects in blocks. Ideally you should never learn more than four subjects at a time and, in an ideal world, you will take your exams with us using a staggered approach. We realise that the world isn’t ideal though, so we will
adapt your teaching to suit your learning style, your strengths and gaps and of course yours and your family’s goals.
We learn around the year here at The Bridge, as research shows that long chunks of ‘breaks’ can be massively detrimental to both short and long term learning as well as lots of other processes. The best outcomes come from building an education and life which we don’t need a holiday from, but we haven’t quite got that perfectly yet here at The Bridge (although we are working on it!) and we also know that our families need chunks of quality time together. Due to this, we work in a ‘block’ format.
A Typical Year
A typical year will look like these (with slightly shifting weeks according to government exam periods and public holidays):
Block 1: January to March
Holiday 1: Typically last two weeks in March
Block 2: April to June
Holiday 2: Middle two weeks of June
Assessment weeks: typically last week of June / first week July
Block 3: July to September
Holiday 3: last two weeks in September
Assessment weeks: typically first week in October followed by introduction of new subject(s) in week two
Block 4: Week three of October to week three December
Holiday 4: last week in December and first week in January.
Sorry advanced learners, but your mock exams and your actual exams will be after holidays depending on whether you have Winter, Spring or Summer formal exams. This means that you will need to revise during these! Don’t worry though, we will support you through that as well. If you and your family need a different week or two off, or if you have something fabulous planned for a day or two outside of these ‘blocks’ don’t worry at all. Just let us know and we can adapt your individualised learning programme. Some of our families like to take extended trips during the year, outside of mainstream holidays. We love world-schooling and will work with you and your family to ensure that your child is supported every step of the way and will adapt your curriculum accordingly.
This is for children aged 2-4 years old. We do work with children younger than this, but it is likely that working with your child in their home will be the best environment from them at this age. Please do call or email us to have a chat about your child’s specific situation.
In our Little Bridge class, we have either a 1:1 or a 1:2 educator to child ratio. This is so important for our children to be able to make the gains that they need to. Where needed, we organise for 2 educators to be with 1 child as sometimes this is what they need.
The children who come to our ‘Little Bridge’ class come for a variety of reasons. Some have been with our sister company, NETwork Interventions, from birth because they have had neo-natal stroke, a birth trauma or a have a chromosome abnormality. Other children come to us as their older siblings are on or have been on a programme with our sister company. They may have Autism or a developmental or language delay. This in itself increases the risk factor of a younger sibling facing a developmental challenge. Parents may choose to place their baby or toddler with us simply because of this risk. Others see some red flags or risk factors.
Our Little Bridge programme provides both structured learning and facilitated play. The focus of this programme is teaching the pre-requisite and foundational skills of learning: language; understanding and comprehension; social skills; imitation; joint attention; attending to those around them and self-regulation. We work closely with family to ensure that skills can be taught in a fun, natural way when they are at home. If your child attends a nursery part or full time, we can also come in to this environment to work with their key-worker and other staff to ensure that the very best can be made of the time they spend there.