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What is a "British Primary" Classroom?



Some differences between British Primary and more traditional classrooms include:


Traditional Classroom:
British Primary Classroom:
Children are grouped according to age within a twelve-month range, in single-grade settings.
Children are grouped in multi-age and multi-grade settings.
The curriculum is presented part to whole, with emphasis on discrete academic skills. The curriculum is presented whole to part, with emphasis on integrated learning.
Teachers begin with what the child doesn't know ("covering" subject matter). Teachers use children's knowledge as a springboard to further understanding. Subject matter is "uncovered."
The teacher's role is to be the instructor. The teacher's role is to observe, guide, instruct, and facilitate children's learning.
Instruction is mostly directed to the whole class with small groups for reading, writing, and math. Direct teacher instruction is focused on small groups.
Children's learning is dependent on aural attention and memory- with emphasis on listening to the teacher. Children are encouraged to collaborate with one another and learn through first-hand experience.
Children may spend much of the day sitting at desks or tables. Children may choose where they wish to sit and work.
Parent participation is not strongly encouraged in the classroom. Parent participation in and around the classroom is actively encouraged and valued.
Teacher assistants are used for special tasks. Interns in classrooms act in an apprenticeship role.
Assessment of children's learning is viewed as separate from teaching and  occurs almost entirely through testing. Assessment of student learning occurs through teacher observations of children at work, through exhibitions and portfolios, and through formal assessments, including testing for older students.









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