We wanted to explore the learning diet on offer to pupils across the academy, allowing them the chance to play an active role in how we developed the learning across subjects and cohorts. We wanted them to investigate;
- meta-cognitive aspects of learning
- how we learn as individuals and groups
- why we learn
- the discrepancies that exist between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for pupils
- Closing the Feedback loop
- Noticing positive patterns in learning
- What they feel needs developing for the next generation
Chosen randomly from our Y8s, This ‘Pupil Teaching and Learning Group’ looked into;
– Those aspects of learning in the academy that are strong
– The pupils’ understanding of what we mean by Teaching and Learning
– What areas of learning need developing?
– How we could achieve this together?
We felt strongly that developing the pupil’s understanding of how we learn and the actual processes behind it would not only enhance and improve their own abilities; it may also benefit those around them. Pupils were tasked with taking part in short investigations with a number of staff members that were aimed at making a positive impact on the learning of the academy, (I have included an example of one of the sessions we ran for them here).
Together with staff they looked into studying the opinion around the depth and detail in learning that the academy offered, using pupil, staff and governor voice to inform their next steps. There is that common hypothesis from Bjork that ‘observing learning is measurably harder to do than noticing performance’ so how can we ask the pupils, the main protagonists in learning to make this call?
Well for us it seemed evident that as they experienced a plethora of styles, tasks, lessons, behavior for learning strategies and assessment methods throughout their 7 hour day harnessing their opinion to help quality assure the learning, (not arbitrary comments on teachers and teaching which really do not develop anything other than egos), and build for the future. They of course could not do this cold, we needed to created an environment and access for pupils and staff that they understood the reasons behind such a project. The first was to clarify what the initial outcome would be……feedback to staff.
As has been shared before here on the #proudtolearn blog, we run chunked MOT sessions every week for all staff themed to a target we as a school have agreed. This was where we felt the pupil group could feedback, a setting where sharing and discussion was paramount. It also modelled to them how important it is to keep learning and that want to keep improving for the sake of their pupils.
They collected the data
They created the learning walk sheet Oakfield Learning Walk pupil developed sheet
They planned their MOT session (using us as sounding boards for ideas and construction)
They delivered the session Teaching The Teachers To Teach Us To Learn Oakfield
The result? We haven’t been litmus testing something we didn’t already know, and the pupils have been able to use their newly acquired skills to recognise the areas of learning that are great, and those that need to be developed, but the outcome really was creating an environment where conversations about learning were not only confined to the staff.
The pupils opinion is valued, not used as spying or checking up on teachers, but as a valued contribution to our academy. Its an evolving program, one we hope to develop and expand as we move forward.