Last week I wrote of pupils sharing their learning. Working collaboratively. Teaching each other.
This week I want to celebrate some more cross-year group collaborative learning that has impressed me this week.
Our new General Assistants Mrs Beddowes and Miss Diamond are already having a huge impact here at St Peter’s Prep School. They have become involved in surveying what the children would like to do at playtime and where they would like to do it. This has led to some exciting plans beginning this term and continuing into the Summer term.
New playtime equipment has arrived this week and they are both teaching playground games to all ages; best of all the games are being taught to children ACROSS year groups. We love having mixed-aged children working and playing together.
Mrs Beddowes and Miss Diamond have only been at the school for three weeks and they have already understood that when we all learn together it has a powerful effect on the children. The children LOVE sharing their ideas with our new General Assistants. Last breaktime I heard… “Excuse me, Miss Diamond – I have an idea I would like to discuss with you…“ Great stuff.
My favourite moment from the last fortnight that I observed involved learning from others…
- Finn K was very quiet in the Falkner House meeting.
- Mrs Ball worried that something was wrong.
- Mrs Ball made a mental note to check in with him at lunch.
- No mention of it in front of other pupils from Mrs Bal.l (Try never to do this to a child).
- Finn K does not add his normal 4000 ideas in the House meeting. Strange – a change in Finn K’s normal approach?
- Mr Hoban brings the House meeting to an end and proceeds to move on to the House shout song (a postponed event from the Autumn Term).
- Finn K politely asks Mr Hoban if he might just recap the ‘minutes’ that he had been taking throughout the entire House meeting.
- Finn K holds up a small notebook (of his own) that he had prepared the night before and stored in this blazer pocket in preparation for House meetings.
- Finn K shares with the whole of Falkner House that it is always a good idea to confirm actions at the end of a meeting so all participants are clear of their own responsibilities.
- ‘Good idea’ says our Head of House Freddie K (Y8) looking agog at the brilliance of a Year 5 pupil.
- Mr Hoban has no option, but to stop the House shout song and oblige Finn K.
- Finn K recaps the meeting with agreed actions.
- Falkner House pupils from Y3 to 8 are completely clear of our House’s next steps moving forward.
Below is the Falkner House Google Classroom, where – even more amazingly – Finn K later in the day typed up the minutes into our Google classroom chat so that everyone could refer back to them – including you!
- Oscar H is looking at making a mascot for Falkner.
- The eco council are looking at new paper made from Elephant poo.
- We are looking at putting all our names on a picture. Some of the suggestions were: Waterfall, flag and on the picture of our mascot. If you have more suggestions put them in the comments.
- We are looking at getting a bear mascot who will go on holidays with Falkenears and then we put a mark on the map to mark where he has gone.
- Katie H is making a Falkner logo.
- Put any newspaper ideas in the comments
Well done Finn K. Now all the Falkner pupils know about the importance of taking minutes and agreeing actions.
Look at our Google classroom above: India C then commented that she had even managed to complete her ‘actions’!!
While we’re on the subject of actions being followed up and seen through to conclusion:
Welcome to ‘Freddie the Falkner bear’.
An idea that sprung purely from pupils of all ages working together. This bear is named Freddie after our current Head of House: Freddie K.
It is his legacy, as one child put it!
Are these kids amazing or what?
On the subject of seeing things through to completion and helping kids to help themselves, please see the blog below that was written by me and Mrs Anna Bruce-Jones back in 2019. It was certainly one of our more CONTROVERSIAL blogs and at the time caused quite a storm in the car park conversations. Agree or disagree I think it is worth sharing this ‘marmite’ blog again. Timely I feel.
Teaching & Learning: Mollycoddling Our Children – St Peter’s Prep School
Deputy Head Teaching and Learning