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Developing Critical Thinkers through Personalized Learning

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Gulf Insider interviews Susanne Penner, BC Offshore Representative of the Canadian School of Bahrain.

What sets the CSB apart from other schools in Bahrain?

Canadian School Bahrain aims to deliver global education in an engaging and safe environment while developing children’s wellbeing and embracing their confidence in their culture. Below are factors which set CSB apart:

  • Personalized  learning
  • Offering the British Columbia, Canada curriculum integrated/enhanced with Bahraini Social Studies, Islamic Studies, and Arabic Language.
  • First certified Canadian BC Curriculum School in Bahrain.
  • All English teachers are certified by the British Columbia, Canada Ministry of Education, whereas the Arabic teachers are Bahraini certified.
  • All teachers and teaching assistance receive the same professional development to ensure consistency of learning opportunities for our students.
  • Delivers the latest education concepts in well-equipped new amenities that create the right learning environment 
  • Owned by a reliable well-known Bahraini family

What is the British Columbia curriculum and what is unique about it?

The Canadian School Bahrain (CSB) offers the British Columbia (BC), Canada curriculum. The BC Curriculum is an internationally renowned education program of the highest standard. This curriculum teaches students through fostering a lifelong love of learning. This outstanding program offers a balanced, concept and competency-based, inquiry approach to teaching and learning that is personalized and focuses on the whole child. Along with literacy and numeracy foundations, the curriculum emphasizes on building a set of core competences. The Core Competencies are sets of intellectual, personal, and social and emotional proficiencies that all students need to engage in deep, lifelong learning.

BC students at Canadian School Bahrain will receive a Personal Education Number (PEN) which is a nine-digit number that follows the student through their B.C. education path from Early Learning, to Grade 12. This number is used for multiple purposes including; transition analysis between schools, exams, and student reporting and access to global post-secondary education.

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Do the teachers undergo special certifications to teach the BC curriculum?

All teaching staff at Canadian School Bahrain are certified teachers and have to go through a strict accreditation process to be certified teachers. The English teachers have to be certified by the British Columbia, Canada Ministry of Education, whereas the Arabic teachers have to obtain the Bahraini certification before teaching at CSB.

How does the school help prepare children for the future?

All our students engage in deep, lifelong learning through the focus on 3 core competencies-Communication, Creative and Critical Thinking, and Personal and Social competencies. These competencies are taught and experiences through a variety of content as required by the BC Ministry Education Curriculum.

The Communication competency encompasses the knowledge, skills, processes, and dispositions that are important for students to gain in order to effectively exchange information ideas, experiences, and interact with, explore the world around them and prepare them to engage collaboratively and effectively in their post-secondary world.

The Creative and Critical Thinking competency encompasses the knowledge, skills, and processes we associate with intellectual development and is demonstrated through creative and critical thinking. Our goal is for students to become creative problem solvers who can impact future change.

Personal and Social Responsibility competency includes personal awareness sense of cultural identity, social and emotional health and wellbeing as well as knowledge and understanding of being socially responsible. In developing these competencies our school focuses on our mission; building the values of integrity, responsibility, respect, and courage.

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These core competencies enhance our students to be future-ready in intellectual, personal and social proficiencies.

How has the response been from parents and students who are new to the BC curriculum?

The response from both parents and students to the BC curriculum is overwhelming. They feel the learning methodology is personalized and enhances multiple intelligence. Few of our parents’ testimonials:

  • “CSB is a school that is preparing students to be the citizens of future”
  • “Center for Innovative learning”
  • “School where learning is not limited to class but takes place everywhere”
  • “Developing students to be creative and critical thinkers”

What is the online learning setup here at the CSB? Does this pose challenges to the BC style of teaching?

When it comes to virtual classes the Canadian School Bahrain being an offshore school, has a set structure and guidelines to be followed from British Columbia Canada. British Columbia has been offering alternate on-line learning for students since 2004, with an emphasis on learning outcomes and collaborative opportunities for students while learning on-line.

Currently, the school offers virtual classes from Preschool to Grade-5, and all our staff are equipped with the latest tools and technology and have undergone training from BC in conducting online sessions.

How would you compare Bahrain’s educational landscape to the rest of the world?

With over 79 private schools and 211 public schools, the education landscape is healthy and competitive in Bahrain. With schools offering International Baccalaureate (IB) Curriculum, British Columbia (BC) Canada Curriculum, British Curriculum, American Curriculum, the educational landscape in Bahrain is on par with the rest of the world in offering choice in education. 

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