BSB Revamps Year 6 as a Centre for Innovation

The start of the new school year at The British School of Barcelona has seen a transformation of the teaching and learning approach of Year 6 students in the Castelldefels campus. This change basically applies to the way children learn by placing a strong focus on the development of the much required 21st-century skills that will help them be successful in an accelerated, changing environment.

The three Year 6 classrooms have been redesigned into a single space to create a more open and flexible learning environment, which now enables children to learn in a variety of ways that are more suited to their preferred learning styles. Whilst the curriculum will not change, and the timetable will still have a clear balance of subjects, the new setting provides fresh opportunities for teachers to work collaboratively, tailor learning experiences for individuals, work in smaller groups, pairs or individually, assess learning and apply early intervention. This is extremely important in enabling all children to reach their full potential. It also allows for enhanced creativity of curriculum delivery, where REAL Projects (Rigorous, Engaging, Authentic Learning) will be the vehicle the team will use to complement the curriculum with the essential critical thinking skills required for the future.

Emma Overton, Head of Early Years and Primary at BSB Castelldefels, explains: “This will enable us to stabilise the transition process and really get to know the children, identifying the way they learn best and with whom. These groupings will be fluid according to different lessons and activities. Our Year 6 students are a very mature group, who are becoming a lot more independent and selective in their choices. By starting this adaptation into a skills-based curriculum, we will be able to prepare the students for their transition into Secondary.”

Rather than classroom walls, the BSB has created learning zones with a range of fixed and flexible furniture that adapts to the different subjects being taught: from a large open space for a drama class to a more closed off, intimate area for a quiet grammar or spelling lesson. The new Year 6 Innovation Centre includes different features for Science and Technology, engineering and robotics, and even a green screen area with an audio-visual feature and computer editing tools.

This practice is common place in many schools across Europe and leading schools across the globe. The whole team is very excited about the countless enriching opportunities that lie ahead to help children flourish both academically and beyond.