☰ Independence and Personalised Learning, innovation and Draw My Life?!

Independence and Personalised Learning, innovation and Draw My Life?!

Posted on: June 5th 2015

I read with interest, Mr Smith’s lovely article in today’s newsletter about Form 6’s presentations to parents and have to say I am in agreement with the level of effort and confidence that the children displayed in researching and presenting their learning, at their recent parent afternoon.  

The range of presentation software that the children chose to use independently was impressive, and none more so than Tilika’s choice of ‘Draw My Life’ iPad app! She clearly had spent a great deal of time not only researching her project, but in animating every scene to great effect by hand. The end result was innovative and impressive! This kind of work can only be achieved when children have a confidence about what they do and are truly independent in their learning.

We place great emphasis on independence and give regular time over to Personalised Learning; this is truly a way that children can engage properly with their interests within a topic and develop knowledge and understanding in a much more holistic way, by devising the question they would like answered, how they will research it, how they will synthesise their findings and present their learning.

It also provides superb metacognition of learning – a fantastic example of this that I saw recently was a child who was not quite as far on in his project as his peers; when I asked him why he had come to a standstill, he replied, ‘Well, I did my research like everyone else, but I was so excited to be making a model of an Indus Valley house that I forgot to write down what I’d found out and now I realise that I can’t remember all the things that go into it.’ Instead of being dejected by this, when I asked him what he had learned for next time, he said, ‘That I must write down what I’ve found out so that I can refer back to it and that I need to not rush straight into the exciting bit because it falls flat if I don’t have some kind of plan.’

For a 9 year old to be able to evaluate their learning style and its shortcomings with such a degree of thought is invaluable and provides the skills that in the past have often been reserved for university undergraduate level students. Learning about learning and how best we learn is the greatest skill we can offer our children. Allowing them to present learning in a way of their choice gives rise to some of the most innovative classrooms and allows children to shine in subjects that traditional methods of presentation might not allow. And it’s a view shared wholeheartedly by the staff here and very much loved by the pupils. 

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