Middle Years

The Penguin student is going through a huge perspective leap as they enter into the world of Rule-oriented: they are developing empathy and second-person perspective.

This means the Penguin begins to compare themselves to others (mainly their closest friends), and starts to realise the value in considering and connecting with others.

The Penguin teacher focuses experiences for the students’ growth into thinking about others whilst helping the individual to hold onto their sense of self, rather than give it up to be accepted by others.

Penguins are interested in learning about the rules of the world as presented by the teacher and their friends, with the bulk of the learning taking place in small groups or pairs.

The Penguin learner is eager for feedback, wanting to know how to do it “right”. The teacher ensures the classroom environment remains emotionally safe for students to share confusion or lack of understanding, giving out lots of enthusiasm and encouragement.

This is often the first time that we start to hear the phrase “this is boring”, which is secret Penguin code for “I am not sure how to do this.”

A Day in the Life of the Penguins:

  • Morning meeting

    When Penguins get to school each morning there are a variety of activities set up for the children to engage in. Puzzle games to challenge their thinking, building materials and Zentangles to spark their creativity, audio books, number card games or reading stations. The Penguins get their passport stamped for each activity and the teachers can support them 1:1 or in small groups to grow their learning, social skills and any areas of growth the child and teacher has identified.

  • First session: Training

    Every morning begins with focused academic tasks, and the developing ego means that individual is still at the centre of the planning. The student will work with the teacher, teacher-aide and parent helpers to achieve regular progress. The Penguin teacher will often have a one-on-one lesson during this time or small group activities with their teacher-aide working with the other group. Standard activities cover academic essentials of spelling and maths facts, reading and grammar with weekly writing tasks. The Penguins love playing learning games with friends and sharing their published works.

  • Second session: Exploring

    Depending on the day of the week, the Penguins are working on Science, History, Geography, Technology or the Arts. These sessions are designed on an exploratory model that allows students to deeply explore concepts through their own prism of interest. Therefore during these sessions the Penguins may work on a variety of tasks, depending on their skill level. This is a busy session with students moving around the class to work on topics as they need, going out on mini excursions, researching and making.

  • Third session: Reflecting

    The Penguins take a back seat as their teacher enjoys quiet reading or relaxation with them. Students begin to learn some relaxation techniques and may play some games to highlight kindness and sharing. Friendship skills are paramount! This is also the time of the day when the BIS values are discussed and work on the “Who Am I” book occurs to help develop compassionate communication skills.

    Some days there will be Whole School Meeting or an afternoon sports session with the whole school. This part of the day is always about connecting to self or connecting to others. It is the chance to review the day, think about tomorrow and dream.

A Penguins Learning Journey:

Here are some samples of the kind of learning a Penguins student might work on during the school day.

Students investigate the world around them by learning about the weather.

Ju Jitsu is a great activity for fine and gross motor skill development.

When science is taught through hands-on learning it encourages the children to think independently, plus it is more fun!

Maths is explored in many ways but largely through fun, small group games using manipulatives.

Integration of learning allows the children to be fully immersed in deep projects.

Practicing maths in non-permanent ways as mistakes are valuable!

Handwriting is not a dying art at BiS and is valued and loved by the children as well as teachers!

Trust, choice, focus

Approx. gradeYear 2, Year 3, Year 4
Approx. ageusually 7 - 10 years
Moral development stage(s):

Penguins Educators:

Penguins Basecamp:

A 20-minute overview of the Penguin student’s journey: classroom structure, rules, academic goals and more.

Take a closer look

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