Agora Portals International School provides an active and creative learning environment whereby each pupil, guided by their teachers, becomes a proactive participant in their own learning process. Pupils are expected to actively participate in classes, to thoroughly examine and analyse subject matter, to discuss issues with their classmates with respect and tolerance, to work experimentally and cooperatively and to establish habits of hard work and self-discipline. The teacher’s work is to motivate and guide their students, helping them to find their own solutions to the problems under investigation. Students are encouraged to use communication skills, critical and analytical thinking and team work to develop their knowledge and understanding and to acquire the skills that they will need to succeed in the future.
Students learn better when their work inspires and motivates them and presents an appropriate degree of challenge and at Agora Portals International School we use innovative and experiential teaching and learning strategies to encourage our pupils to learn how to learn. Thus, the science laboratories become places where pupils not only conduct experiments, but learn how to think scientifically and develop critical and analytical thinking skills. Cultural excursions and sporting trips break up the routine of the normal school day, making learning more exciting and immediate and contributing to their overall educational development.
The role of our teachers is, not only to teach, instruct and guide our students, but to act as coaches and mentors, selecting, combining and adapting all available resources in a way that will bring out the best in each child. This process commences with an assessment of each pupil’s abilities, aptitudes and preferences. Teachers are then able to personalise a broad range of teaching strategies and resources to meet the needs of each individual student. This may involve introducing a range of different learning styles and study techniques such as project work, direct instruction, Problem Based Learning or Challenge Based Learning.
The basis of collaborative learning is team work, meaning that social and communicative interaction forms a key part of our students’ daily life. When working in teams or small groups, all the students are involved and participate actively and equally, and every member of the team has to play their part in order to achieve a shared objective. This type of activity helps pupils to learn how to work responsibly together and requires them to develop skills and values such as tolerance, leadership, cooperation and empathy.
Pupils at Agora Portals International School are encouraged to “learn how to learn” and in this way to develop intellectual independence. From Preschool onwards children are encouraged to investigate, analyse, evaluate and think creatively. We want our students to be able to form their own ideas and opinions and to acquire the knowledge, maturity and clarity of thought to be able to discuss and debate different points of view intelligently and impartially. We want our students to learn because they want to learn rather than because they have to learn.
Student evaluation is constantly evolving and improving at Agora Portals International School. The evaluation process is based upon a variety of sources and inputs, including correction and analysis of set tasks, classroom observation and talking to pupils. By providing regular and incisive feedback our teachers are able to identify the next steps to be taken in each pupil’s learning process and to optimise teaching and learning strategies, facilitating greater academic success.
“Throughout all these academic years I have discovered the reach of our Educational Project, how far it really goes. Agora Portals is much more than a school, it is its own style: singular, unique, different. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to pupils I taught in my first few years at the school, who are now in the upper years of secondary education, and it’s amazing to see the profound changes they have undergone.”
6th Primary Tutor