Advanced Teaching Practices
At Rosemont the teaching staff integrate advanced teaching practices into their curriculum. By offering these varied approaches in a meaningful way, students achieve on a higher level.
Rosemont's advanced practices:
- Individual Coaching
- Language Immersion
- Virtual Learning
- Utilising Learning Styles
- Conducting Research
- Presenting work
- Hosting Outside Speakers
- Varied Assessment
- Structured Discussion
- Group Work
- Reflective learning
- Practical Learning
- Role Play
The coaching system is a cornerstone of the Rosemont education and is one of the reasons our students perform so well academically. Students direct goal-setting while coaches ask probing questions that bring students to important discoveries. Read more.
Our students learn to use their second and third languages in real situations by being immersed in them in class, at events, and during exchanges.
Rosemont periodically teaches students a variety of subjects through second and third languages. For example: maths taught through French, science through Spanish, or History through Irish.
The school's upper-year students and teachers also host language immersion events, and organise outings. In an example, advanced French classes host a French cafe, where the whole school participates in French.
Finally, Rosemont offers a first-rate language exchange programme, sending students to academically challenging institutions where they are totally immersed in the local language. While abroad they make significant progress learning the local language, and maintain a strong work ethic.
Teachers use a virtual learning module to enhance class discussion, provoke further thought on class subjects, and make a wide variety of materials available to students online. Rosemont is embracing this practice at the same time as universities across Ireland do the same. Read more.
Utilising learning styles
Teachers and students work together to identify each student's individual learning style, focusing on what methods will lead to the best result for each student. The teacher adjusts their approach to the student's learning style. For example, a teacher would show a visual learner how to study using diagrams and illustrations. The student can then use the most effective methods to learn and study.
Once students have identified their preferred learning style, they are also challenged to undertake learning using methods for styles they are less comfortable with. This extends each student's capacity to learn through maximising the effectiveness of study and class time. A student who understands their strengths and identifies their challenges can be more successful in secondary school, and develop essential skills for success in a third-level education.
Students learn how to conduct research analytically and using scientific approaches. For example: biology students conduct fieldwork at the seaside, collecting marine life samples to work on under a microscope. In another example, history students travel to London and visit England's National Archives. They gain access to primary documents and use the information in class projects and to prepare for the Leaving Certificate exam. These hands-on experiences supplement the material learned through lecture and reading, and equip students for third-level education.
After completing a project students present their findings to the class. By being accountable to their peers for the quality of their work students learn professional responsibility. They can be required to perform an oral presentation, learn and demonstrate PowerPoint skills, create displays and supplemental material to articulate their points, or combine a variety of methods. They learn to be compelling public speakers and to take pride in their work.
Hosting outside speakers
Lectures from lawyers, authors, businessmen and women and other career professionals can have a significant impact on young inquiring minds. By painting a picture of life in the world of work, speakers encourage students to think about their own future and their career aspirations. By making the most of these opportunities, teachers encourage students to identify and pursue ambitious long-term goals.
Students can achieve on a higher level if they are assessed using a variety of methods. Providing grades with clear, concrete feedback on how to progress on to the next grade is one method. However, teachers also employ self-assessment as a tool to get students to take more responsibility for their work. Students determine where they can improve, and how they'll do that in the future. This method encourages ownership of learning, and teaches students to be more critical of their own work before submitting it for grading.
Teachers also selectively use comment-only marking. When students receive comments without a grade, they learn to focus more on the progress-based feedback. They learn to be more interested in the quality of their work, and raise their personal standards.
Students engage in structured discussions on subjects of global interest: philosophy, religion, world issues, and history, for example. By engaging in a class-wide discussion students learn to voice and defend their opinions. They are required to take a position, and any points they make have to be put forward in a clear and concise manner. This teaches adult qualities needed for success in a third-level education and the workplace.
Working as part of a team is an essential skill and is best learned through mixed group work. By continuously mixing up the groups the overall academic standards of the class are elevated, and even the highest achievers are challenged. Group work makes students accountable to their peers, their teacher and themselves and encourages individual contribution within a cooperative group setting.
Teachers employ reflective learning to get students to think independently about what they learn each day, and how it affects them. Students are invited to evaluate their own progress within a given course framework. They learn to reflect on what they're being taught, how certain exercises work for them, and at the end of it all, what they've learned.
Some classes require students to submit reflective journals. This provides an opportunity for students to articulate their thoughts, and are an excellent method for teaching self-expression and clear writing.
Practical activities and role play
Many people find it easier to learn by doing, so certain classes employ role-playing to bring about a more solid understanding of a concept or an issue. For example: Rosemont's history students try preparing food on a Bronze Age cooking device, or the class debate the pros and cons of the 1921 Treaty of Irish Independence.
Rosemont makes use of opportunities to pair two subjects to create a richer educational experience for students. Cross-curricular education shows students that knowledge from one subject can be useful in others, and learning is constantly reinforced. For example: Rosemont's extensive language immersion programme. In another example: students exercise principles learned in chemistry in creating baking powder, which they then use to bake scones in home economics. Finally they compare the effectiveness of the class baking powder to commercial baking powder using scientific taste panels.