All teachers introduced ‘marvellous mistakes’ and encouraged discussions around mistakes when they occurred. Children are now more willing to share their mistakes and discuss why they happened. Anxiety has been removed about mistakes – one child who used to cry when she made a mistake doesn’t cry anymore.
One teacher has a marvellous mistakes board display in front of the class.
Two teachers got rid of all dojos and house points. The children now get verbal feedback and have forgotten about those systems. Children are now better behaved.
Rewards are now only given to the class as a whole. Behaviour is rarely addressed now and learning is the focus. There is no competition; fewer complaints and children’s energy is now focused on learning.
Two teachers made a book about the learning powers, written by Y5 children so that younger children can access them.
The children wrote their own learning skills stories which made it more meaningful to them. The Y5 children presented their stories to Y2 and vice versa. It was powerful coming from the children. Now children refer to the stories and characters when approaching their learning.
Regan Ferrella and Holly Elvin – Selincourt Primary
Marvellous mistakes had included teachers’ mistakes. Sharing multiple possible answers with the class and discussing why they are wrong enabled good conversations and allowed teachers to get a better idea of their current understanding.
Another idea was to play ‘detectives’ for them to spot a misconception or wrong answer which they had to correct and discuss. This highlighted typical mistakes and gave children the chance to check their own work. Children also found it empowering – mistakes are not the end of the world. It helped with focus and attentiveness too.
Rewards had been removed which had worked well in the teachers’ classes. It was harder to apply throughout the school. Removing rewards meant there was more dialogue about what was done well.
The learning powers were linked to Disney characters and introduced in assembly and reinforced weekly by two teachers. They also read ‘Your Fantastic Elastic Brain’. There has been an improvement in confidence and children refer to them in lessons.