Learning for Life is a venture within the school curriculum that is unique to St Ives. It embraces the wider perspective of learning, extending above and beyond the traditional curriculum.
Its purpose is to help children develop a broader range of skills and knowledge to become independent, creative and reflective thinkers and learners. It is another avenue for St Ives pupils to gain confidence socially and personally, helping them to make the most of their futures now, at senior school and beyond.
The foundations for Learning for Life begin in Year 2 and 3 where children have sessions in creative thinking. These sessions encourage lateral, flexible and creative thought processes and a confidence to think outside the box, which will be a vital in a future, fast changing world. The children also prepare presentations on a subject of interest and share them with their class in this session.
The full Learning for Life curriculum begins in Year 4 and is a progressive three-year programme with three main strands:
1. Extended project work
2. Life skills
3. Senior school transition preparation.
Extended Project Work
Extended project work allows the girls to study an area of the curriculum of interest to them at a deeper level than may be possible in curriculum time and enhances a lifelong love of learning . The girls undertake a couple of projects each year. There are always a variety of topic titles to choose from. These either relate to current areas of study or are titles which encourage variety of interpretation dependent on a child’s interests. (e.g. the title of ‘Winter’ that may be expressed through a written project, poetry, art, dance, etc.)
The Life skills element covers the following areas.
Examples of areas which are investigated in the Life Skills Sections include:
- Current Affairs
- Social skills-first impressions and presentation skills
- Keeping a healthy mind-facing fears and anxieties
- Caring for a pet
- Debating and philosophy
- Packing for a trip.
- Planning a party
- Branding Advertising and Body image
- Time management
- Team work
- Race and gender discrimination here and around the world.
- Practical community involvement
- Basics of government
- Debating and philosophy
- Preparing a community meal
- Moving on and growing up
- Running a business
- Drugs and Alcohol
Senior School Transition Programme
In the Autumn term of Year 6 there is also a comprehensive Senior School Entrance preparation programme through which Non-Verbal and Verbal reasoning are taught and useful skills such as interview technique and dealing with exam pressure are acquired.
Learning for Life is taught every other half term, back to back with Design and Technology. It is not a tested or graded subject at St Ives but its benefits are evident throughout the curriculum.