TMS Learning Beyond the Classroom Policy

Introduction


At TMS we strongly embrace the belief that learning occurs in many different settings beyond the walls of a traditional classroom. We believe that every student should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development, whatever their age, ability or social circumstances. In this light we have established activities that introduce students to a variety of exciting, stimulating and enriching experiences beyond the classroom. ‘Beyond the classroom’ activities include participating in sport events, functions and school societies and clubs.
In our schools, learning happens everywhere, from the library, the ICT labs, Robotics labs, the corridors and communal areas, as well as outside of the school environment. We believe that our students need to understand that the world around them is not always like TMS. We nurture our students’ social and emotional development, both within our lessons and with our variety of extended learning activities and educational and recreational visits. Students have many experiences beyond the school, such as going on internships which are activity and culturally based, visits to the theatre, visiting local attractions and taking part in national and international functions, events and competitions.
We want our students to be inquisitive, problem-solving, explorative, responsive, curious, in order to anticipate, discover, to be persistent, initiate and investigate. We nurture our students’ social and emotional development as integral to every part of their learning within and beyond the classroom and the school day. 

Aims of the Policy


  • For students to develop self-awareness and what they are capable of doing
  • To increase students’ sense of personal confidence
  • For students to develop an awareness of their physical abilities and physical capacities and to develop an increased level of agility and physical coordination
  • To expose the students to activities which are challenging, to help them realise that their capabilities are far greater than they realise
  • To improve students’ self-image, self-worth and self-respect by having each student successfully accomplish some difficult activities that are physically or intellectually challenging outside of regular classes
  • To increase mutual support and abilities to work collaboratively within a group

Extra-curricular Activities


TMS has a strong commitment to the added value of learning beyond the regular school day and beyond the school premises by the use of carefully planned visits and participation in functions. This is how all TMS schools provide a broad and balanced curriculum that promotes moral, cultural, intellectual and physical development and prepares our students for the opportunities and experiences of adult life.
Each year schools should arrange a number of activities that take place off the school site and/or out of school hours. Therefore, the following policy statements apply:

  1. Teachers and Extra-Curricular Activities
    • Teachers will take an attendance list at the beginning of each activity and keep as a record to be given to the school Head
    • Teachers must be aware of school policies, Health and Safety procedures and fire evacuation/ security procedures prior to commencing any activity
    • Teachers are responsible for ensuring that all furniture, materials etc are returned to their original state at the end of any activity
    • Teachers are responsible for matters of discipline during extra-curricular activities. Any discipline problems must be reported immediately or as soon as possible to the school Head
  2. Discipline and Extra-Curricular Activities
    Normal school rules apply to all extra-curricular activities. In the event of repeated and continual disruptive behaviour by a student, especially where this can cause harm to others or damage to property, a student should be excluded from an extra-curricular activity.

    The teacher will discuss any minor issue of discipline with the parent, as a means of resolution, prior to raising the issue with the school Head.
    In the case of serious discipline issues, the teacher must make a written report to the school Head. The Head should then contact the parent to discuss the issue.

Clubs and Societies


There are a wide range of clubs and societies in operation at TMS. For many students, their involvement with clubs and societies is an important feature of their school lives, providing opportunities for friendship, social development and personal growth, as well as adding to their academic development. The clubs and societies supported by TMS paint a picture of what its students consider important to themselves, to their place in their school, and to their place in the world.
A complete listing of clubs and societies are provided on the TMS website.

At TMS, clubs and societies reside within the following broad thematic areas:

  1. Environment
    Clubs and societies which focus on interests and issues around the environment are a means by which TMS students are empowered to participate and take up meaningful environmental activities and projects. Involvement in such clubs helps students realise the power they have to reach out to influence and engage their peers, parents and wider communities in promoting sound environmental behaviour. Our environment club empowers our students to explore environmental concepts and actions beyond the restrictions of the school curriculum.

  2. Community Service
    Community service and active citizenship is an important component of the TMS ethos of developing global understandings and local action. Students organise and participate in charitable events, campaigns and local service projects through being involved in such clubs and societies. Through community service clubs, our students gain confidence as they realise that they can make a difference in their community. 
  3. Arts, Languages, Music and Cultural Societies
    The main point of these clubs and societies is to promote creative, traditional and also performance skills of students. Through these clubs and societies various events related to developing and honing students’ interested in creating art and promoting art in all its forms. At TMS we support students’ involvement in activities relating to their interest to follow the Pakistani traditions, promote regional cultures, as well as exploring a wider world of arts and cultures. These clubs and societies provide entertaining extra-curricular activities for students, encourage creativity, and build students’ confidence.

  4. Governance, Leadership and Entrepreneurship
    Developing an understanding of business, leadership, government and issues around global social justice is provided through these clubs and societies, giving a unique and powerful perspective to the holistic development of TMS students. Through these clubs our students develop a better appreciation of the world around them.

Field Experiences


An integral part of our courses is having our students participate in a number of field trips. We aim for our students to participate in relevant, exciting field experiences that enhance their understanding of a subject and provide valuable hands-on learning about the world around them.
There should be opportunities for field trips or excursions that allow students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to the real world embedded into every course. Connecting the classroom to outside life experiences should be an integral part of the TMS curriculum and a powerful method for students to gain knowledge, authenticate learning, build confidence, and develop critical thinking skills.

Internships


Internships allow students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in a professional setting. Internships should offer carefully planned and monitored work experience with the goal being for TMS students to gain additional knowledge from on-the-job exposure.

Signature Events, Festivals and Concerts


Many TMS students delight in initiating, planning, hosting and taking part in events and programmes.  At TMS we recognise that students’ experiences and success outside the classroom are integral to their education and holistic development. Through the shared experiences with their peers and teachers, students learn about team work and leadership and these invaluable opportunities foster relationships, trust and mutual respect. Through an array of events through the school year, students are given the opportunities to acquire self-awareness, develop potential and realise aspirations

Consent


For regular out-of-hours clubs, parental permission should be sought through the return of a consent slip. For school teams and nearby visits requiring transport, parents should be asked to sign a letter of consent for participation in these activities. Parents must be given the information for the activities that students are involved in and should be informed either by letter, phone call or through their son/daughter (as appropriate) if an activity has to be cancelled.
For any visit lasting a day or more or involving significant travel, or adventurous activity, parents must be asked to sign a letter which consents to their son/daughter taking part.
As part of the parents’ consent they should be fully informed by the school of the activities and arrangements for the visit.

Staffing


TMS recognises the key role of teachers in ensuring the highest standards of learning, challenge and safety during visits and with students’ learning outside the classroom environment. Teachers are encouraged and supported by TMS to develop their abilities in organising and managing students’ learning in a variety of environments. There is an expectation that teachers will use both the internal and external environment as a learning space.

Expectations and Behaviour


  1. The Expectations of Learners and Parents
    The school has a clear code of conduct for learners. All learners going on trips or visits should be reminded of the TMS Code of Learner Conduct. Therefore there is the potential of withdrawal of a learner prior to, and during, a visit.

  2. Supervision

    Recognising that teachers give up a large portion of their own time voluntarily to ensure the success of out-of-school educational learning and other events/ functions, teachers should be extra vigilant when taking students out of school, having to pay attention to such things as road safety, behaviour on transport/ vehicles, risks posed by particular venues, and the health and safety of the students at all times.

    To this end, clear thought should be given to the following:

    • School management setting appropriate levels for supervisor/student ratios. These levels will vary according to the activity being undertaken, its duration, and the ages to the students taking part
    • Providing teachers with any necessary equipment and emergency contact details
  3. Coordination and Planning
    Coordination and planning can contribute greatly to the smooth running of ‘beyond the classroom- activities, so to this end, school should establish procedures and parameters for effective planning of activities well in advance of the events/ activities taking place. These include:

    • Drawing up a yearly plan for the school (this may require amendment as the year progresses)
    • Having a clear plan for managing finances, allocation of resources and providing equipment required for events and activities
    • Development of an evaluation process to assess various events and activities to help improve planning of future activities
  4. Overnight Stays
    When events or activities require that a group of students spend one or more nights away from home, there are added issues that the school must address from a supervisory perspective. These include, but should not be limited to:

    • Ensuring that the accommodation is clean, safe and appropriate for the students
    • Establishing a list of items that students should bring with them for such a trip
    • Being aware of whether students are prone to any problems that may have particular relevance to overnight stays (e.g. health conditions or dietry requirements)
    • Having an evacuation plan/ emergency plan in the event of a fire or other incident and ensuring that the students are familiar with this
    • Establishing and policing a curfew for students
    • Conducting a headcount every evening and morning to ensure that all students are accounted for
    • In cases of overseas trips, making provision for medical care if it should be required
    • Providing students with a mobile phone contact number that they can use if needed