Stakeholders Conference 2014
Date: 8th November, 2014
Academic Atmosphere by Mr. Frank Sontim-Buor (Academic Consultant)
Angels Specialist has always given priority to academic work in its quest for excellence. In all three departments great attention is paid to the progress we make in areas of academic attainment. Teaching and learning are carried out in an environment that makes it more pleasant for children to imbibe lessons.
In the Pre-School, the culture and regime of academic is manifested in the positive feedback obtained. What used to be Nursery, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten but now Nursery, Pre-Reception and Reception under the Cambridge Programme pursue the curriculum with zest.
In the lower Primary, the Cambridge programme, interspersed with local content such as Ghanaian Language and Culture is on track. In the Upper Primary, where the Cambridge programme and the local content are run alongside, parents have the free hand to make a choice between the two when their wards enter Grade 6.
In the Junior High, students who pursue their chosen option from Grade 6 continue with the trend till the exit point at Grade 9 where the students in the local programme sit for BECE and proceed to SHS while their counterparts terminate the Checkpoint and move along for the IGCSE in Secondary School.
At this point, we should like to disabuse the minds of parents and other stakeholders who are of the view that we place greater premium on the Cambridge Programme at the neglect of pursuers of the local content. To demonstrate our position in fairness and equality we have appointed a foreign teacher in charge of the Grade 6 which subscribes to the local programme. To maintain the equilibrium is just right. In a broader picture, we are encouraged by the degree of commitment and sacrifice our hardworking teachers put into their jobs.
Calibre of Teachers
Angels School continues to enjoy the privilege of having the top-cream teachers that will make our competitors go green with envy. We are one of the few schools with multi-cultural staff of teachers. The caliber of teachers we have poached or appointed include:
- Graduate Teachers
- HND holders
- Certified Teachers
- Specialist Teachers
The speculation on high turnover is an over-hyped issue. Angels does not fire teachers at random or under slightest excuse. If a teacher is noticed not to be performing to standard or indulging in practices that put the children’s welfare or security at risk we cordially show such a teacher the exit. It is not like we make the conditions unbearable for teachers to spend a life-time here!
The school is passionate about raising the stakes in Reading. It calls for full participation on the part of BOD, Management, Teachers, Parents and the Children. Teachers’ involvement is paramount because they will appraised for their efforts in inculcating reading among their charges. Children will be awarded for demonstrating their reading abilities. Just before the mid-term break the primary department organized a highly patronized reading competition that showcased participants from all grades. This exercise will be replicated in the other departments. In Junior High debates will be featured as follow-up to the reading. Teachers in the Primary Department are being taken through the Angels Reading Curriculum that features Speechwork. Parents are roped in to make time to read stories to children, especially those in the lower primary. Teachers will make available to parents list of supplementary readers they could obtain for their wards in the drive to boost their reading skills. It has been established by researchers that every child can improve in reading provided he or she is given the necessary support.
Training – Manpower Development
We in Angels take cognizance of the fact that to get the best out of a teacher, there is the need to provide him with the right tools and training. In collaboration with the Director of Human Relations we consistently take our teachers through the Manpower Development process. The Academic Board has responsibility of ensuring that freshly recruited teachers are taken through an orientation programme that equips them with the knowledge, practices and traditions of the school. For serving teachers periodic in-service training programmes are organized for their benefit. In some instances facilitators drawn from British Council train teachers on Cambridge Programmes, whereas officials from GES (Tema Metro Directorate) take the rest through relevant areas. The school encourages and supports teachers who desire to undertake sandwich courses with the tertiary institutions in order to upgrade their skills.
Finally, as educators we are conscious of the fact that children have different learning styles. A teacher who expects all children in his class should understand the same thing at the same pace should be thinking of changing jobs. We have introduced the independent Study Programme with the view to buttressing our motto that “each child at a time.”
The ISP is handled by specialist who targets:
- Gifted children who are not challenged in regular classrooms and wan to accelerate their studies
- Children who have fallen behind in some areas and need targeted instruction
- Children who feel frustrated, bored, disconnected or frightened in the class setting
- Children who are learning at a slower rate.
Here, the ISP instructor in collaboration with the class teacher, the head of department and the Academic Board identifies the child who needs support. The parents of the child in question are invited to give their consent and support for the child to be enrolled in the ISP. The programme is consciously monitored by the head of department. In the end the report is written by the instructor and submitted to the Academic Board for implementation.
It is practice of this school to discourage the running of extra classes en masse by teachers. However, if a teacher sees the need to run extra one-hour session for a child or two who might not have understood the lessons taught at the regular session, permission could be granted by the head of department for that action. It is important to give the parents of the child in question prior notice to the extra tuition mentioned.