My S1 class are very fortunate to currently be involved in Children in Scotland’s Leaders of Learning project. Phase one of this project involved Children in Scotland consulting with children and young people on their learning which culminated in this report. In the current phase of the project Children in Scotland are working with various schools on some of the key themes which arose through phase one. My class are working on the following theme with Linda Young and others from Children in Scotland:
Children and young people want a more active role in planning around their learning
Following an introductory session the project began with an ice-breaker spaghetti/marshmallow tower challenge which was fantastic for getting the class talking to our new visitors to the class, and also was very effective for getting them thinking about and sharing the skills and attitudes they’d used to complete the challenge.
In the introductory session the pupils were asked to think of something which they could teach others. The second half of session one saw them work in threes to teach these skills. These ranged from dancing, maths, keepie-uppies and the clarinet. In their threes they arranged themselves into a teacher, a learner and an observer. The role of the observer was to make notes on what both the teacher and learner were doing to make the ‘lesson’ effective. I was really amazed by how well the observers were able to complete their task and their feedback was really excellent.
From this task we then began work on planning a lesson together. The class helped me to plan which lesson we would do, what the learning intentions and success criteria would be and how they would know if they’d met these success criteria. Linda then went on to inform the class they would not only be learners in this lesson, but they would also be acting as observers. She then asked them what questions they might have on an observer feedback form, in about ten minutes they came up with the following:
I thought that this was an astonishing response. We agreed that this was too many questions for one form, so the class decided to split them over two forms with half the class completing one and the other half completing the other. You can see their completed forms here.
The next stages of the project will involve the class researching the rest of their learning in school to find out when they have a say in their learning and then they’re going to work on producing something to share the outcomes of the project.
Yet again, this class has already demonstrated that when given the opportunity young people can consistently astonish you with what they’re capable of…we really need to be finding ways of providing them many more opportunities to do so.