Differentiation of Educational Strategies

A Unique Learning Environment

An integral part of the Vision of Whitby School is to "offer a compelling educational continuum, recognized for excellence and for embracing innovation." Through the dedication of this educational standard and the integration of both Montessori and International Baccalaureate teaching, Whitby is able to create a learning environment all its own.

Forget the "One-Size Fits All" Approach

The staff and faculty at Whitby believe there is no such thing as a "cookie cutter" education. Students learn in different ways and at different speeds, and teaching must be adapted accordingly.

Here are some of the ways learning is differentiated at Whitby:

  • Teaching and learning engages students as inquirers and thinkers.
  • Whitby's curriculum engages students in reflecting on how, what and why they are learning.
  • In Lower School there are two fully certified instructors in each classroom, allowing for more personalized attention for students.
  • Regular ongoing formative and summative assessment helps teachers and students know where students are in their understanding of classroom material.
  • The Lower School classrooms are strategically designed to facilitate exploration and student choice.
  • DRA scores are provided to children so they know their own reading level.
  • The school provides environments in which students work both independently and collaboratively.
  • The school provides for grouping and regrouping of students for a variety of learning purposes.
  • Low student-teacher ratios in many classes allow for individualized instruction.
  • In our Lower School, multi-age classrooms allow for more opportunities to create groups or pairs of students with similar abilities/needs.

Benefits of Differentiated Learning

  • Teaching and learning addresses the competencies, experiences, learning needs and styles of students.
  • Differentiated teaching and learning addresses the diversity of student language needs, including those for students learning in languages other than mother tongue.
  • Students are encouraged to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways using strength-based strategies.

As a result of this unique approach, students have a better understanding of their own strengths, feel more positive about their individual ways of learning, experience better relationships with their classmates, and have no ceiling on achievement.

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