Brighton and Hove
One school used Chris Quigley’s ‘Secrets of Success’ wheel with the whole school focusing on two: ‘Don’t give up’ and ‘Try something new’. The whole school had a day of challenges. The Friday assembly was based on this and each class presented their displays. New aspects will be introduced next half term. Children use the language of these aspects in their conversation (e.g. ‘I tried something new today’).
Another school, focused on Claxton’s learning superheroes and their attributes. Children designed their own heroes (e.g. Resourceful Rita and Resilient Robin). These are referred to in lessons (e.g. in a geography lesson Rita was researching different sources). Children refer to the powers using the appropriate vocabulary and are more aware of the skills they need. Children are showing more resilience (e.g. when making Christmas calendars when things are tricky). Some lower achievers are showing a more positive attitude: having a go rather than shutting down and having tantrums.
One school introduced a learning journal to record children’s thinking. Children thus get to voice their ideas and feel more empowered.
The schools have a learning culture policy with clear displays, linking to assemblies and ‘Going for Goals’. Children know how to work on their learning and are able to discuss their learning.
The point was made that focusing on one small thing at a time meant it was more effectively embedded.
Posters were put up in one school saying ‘Are you ready to learn?’ ‘Star of the week’ was changed to ‘Learners of the week’. One area, such as resilience was focused on for a week. Children set their own goals and had bookmarks with their targets. So far the impact has been that children are beginning to take risks in their learning.
Another school has bought into Claxton’s ‘TLO’, using a story a week. After a year, Year 2 children talk about their learning in terms of resilience and resourcefulness. It is best taken slowly, as one school found when they jumped too far into all the aspects.
Discussing learning powers at the beginning of a lesson was seen as useful, reinforced in assemblies, leading to children being able to gradually identify which learning powers they will be using in a lesson.
One teacher had a ‘choose your attitude’ display under the whiteboard which consisted of elements of learning the children had identified. Focusing on this for every lesson has led to more positive social behaviour and more independence. Another teacher developed ‘Superpower Man’ to illustrate all the learning powers. Children recognise and can identify their various learning elements.
One teacher asked the children ‘What type of learner are you?’ Children recognised positive and negative elements and how those impact on learning. They developed aliens to embody the features of fixed and growth mindsets, resulting in everyone wanting to be like a Zoogle! The teacher saw children who often felt very negative develop into positive learners.
A similar approach was used by another teacher using a grey and white mouse. Verbal praise was given for positive mindsets.
Brighton & Hove
Suzanne Morgan | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellesmere Port, Cheshire
Anne Vickers | email@example.com
Paul Wilson | firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Parry | email@example.com