Cluj Study Centre (CSC), opened September 2017, offers a new medium of blended learning education for students aged 11-18 and pursuing courses in international curricula. CSC is the first model of this kind currently in Romania, offering a daily learning lab for full-time and visiting students, monitored by professional international teachers. Our blended education offers online distance learning alongside recognisable classroom instruction. We accommodate the interactive presence of experienced teachers with students, while allowing learners to take more personal control over their learning trajectories. This blended approach is also called hybrid learning, an educational approach in which some traditional classroom interaction has been replaced by digital activities. The purpose of a hybrid classroom is to blend the best of both pedagogic approaches, the classic and the new.
You can find our teachers and collaborators here.
The model of blended learning offered in CSC has a triple layer of quality assurance. Each student is allocated an official online course tutor (in addition to individual subject specialism teachers); there is our own in-class teacher support and guidance; and there are clear parent engagement opportunities. Parents can become more involved with their children’s learning on a daily and healthy basis. The parents of children currently studying here express a high degree of satisfaction with this provision and the attainment levels achieved. Students learn at their own differentiated pace within a more personalized curricula offer. Deadlines for course assignments are established on a monthly basis and with plenty of positive feedback given. Leading education professionals, like Geoff Petty and Ian Hattie proclaim that interactive learning, in tandem with sound feedback provides the most successful learning experience for young people.
Each half-term we take learning beyond the classroom, when we conduct a week-long field trip with mindfulness, ecological and environmental ingredients blended with morning school, and afternoon cultural activities and visits. The skills learned include woodcraft and ceramics, painting, cheese-making, building fires and alfresco cooking.
A Day in Cluj Study Centre
There is no typical day for our students at CSC. There is a daily schedule and a flexible timetable, which will appear familiar to all school age students, yet our youngsters are discovering through flipped education and all experiences are linked to RWL, real world learning. We have structure, but in a blended learning environment each student has chosen different study curricula from Wolsey Hall College in Oxford, England. Our students pursue selected courses of English curricula over distance but enjoy two
tangible benefits over other students following more traditional prescriptions of home-schooling: we have a daily classroom setting, where students do not learn in isolation, and we have a corpus of extremely experienced and international facilitators to guide them in study and to provide essential pastoral care.
Our medium of teaching delivery is through English language but our students are equally comfortable speaking Romanian, German, French or Czech. The general study day is scheduled from Monday to Friday between 10.00-16.00, as students may have separate studies before or after these hours, and so may depart at different moments during the day. For example, our drama specialist offers performance on Monday, after class; there is a music practice early on Thursdays, and there are swimming classes on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Additional maths is offered on Friday afternoons.
The CSC teachers are professionals, selected for their experience and international pedigree, who offer additional choices around our mainframe day. All students pursue their own sports programmes and music options; languages are also popular, as too is art. We offer the core digest in the classroom, for students aged 11-16, across Key Stages 3-4: English (with literature), maths and sciences, history and geography. In the next academic year, 2018-19 we shall introduce a similar rubric for supporting Romanian curricula studies. And we are designing new fabric and facilities to house an expanding audience.
Our daily morning hours are dedicated to Wolsey Hall distance learning provision for KS3-4 content, when our students work privately, with guidance where required, until lunch. Afternoon learning witnesses the flipped or blended approach, where direct instruction is offered from our core team and visiting specialists from the community.
Technology is a key driver in most of our lessons but it will never become a complete replacement for the traditional applications of pen and pencils on to paper. All students are adept at using computers and daily bring a personal laptop into the classroom. However, they know the formula for successful learning means they must listen, speak, read and write in addition to using technology in every lesson. On Friday afternoons we invite successful guest speakers for RWL workshops and learn to apply concepts learned to practical applications. Our visitors are drawn from diverse fields in technology, mindfulness, business, creative arts and universities. You may see their names on our team page.
We undertake at least one field trip each term – to stimulate awareness of environment, rural education and local craft skills and history. We are supported in this activity by our generous partners. In November we went to Maramures. We are heading to Suceava in February, and the Sighisoara area in spring. It is our intention to visit the historical sites of Normandy in the summer. Students bring their own packed lunches to the classroom. They do not wear uniform but come dressed appropriately for work. Our students are comprised of full-time attenders and those who ‘hot-desk’, choosing to come in for selected hours only. Ours is an education model that offers more freedom and choice to young people.