As part of our work on teaching and learning at school, we felt it was important to have a group of children to represent their peers. These children meet each week with myself and other staff to discuss T&L and talk about how we can become more effective learners. Over the past three years, different groups of children have produced some great research, presented findings to their peers and collaborated with children in staff in our partner schools both here in the UK and in Australia via video conference.
In the beginning the children led surveys into preferred learning styles and MI which they then presented back to the rest of the school through assemblies and powerpoint. The rest of the children loved fnding out all about how they learned best and the findings also helped teachers plan and become more aware of their children’s needs.
The group made films entitled ‘What is Learning?’ where they interview children across the school and ‘The Ideal Teacher/Ideal Learner’ where they used the findings of research they had done with the different classes to create an informative film which we shared with our partner schools (who all made a similar piece based on their own findings.)
The films provoked some great discussion among staff and children and helped make us all aware of how we can become more effective as both teachers and learners.
This last year the children have worked on Guy Claxton and Chris Quigley’s research into learning. Along with all our partner schools the children have worked through Quigely’s five Rs of learning. The first R we looked at was reflectiveness. The children decided to create a learning mat with prompts for children to be more reflective. They chose to work with a Y3 class who they observed and then discussed with the teacher before deciding how the learning mats could hep them. They then led a session with the class on how to use the learning mats and went back a couple of weeks later to see how they had been used. Some small alterations were necessary but the mats helped the children reflect on their learning.
Other projects this year have included a learning inventory to help learners become more resourceful and a poster campaign to help children become more resilient. All this work is shared with our partner schools as we agreed the themes in advance. The children enjoy looking at differences and similarities in the work of their peers in other schools. We ended the year with a T&L conference where the children presented thier findings to each school’s T&L group, reflected back on the year and agreed ways forward for the groups next year.