The Parliament peeps were asked to think of things that might help children at Manor Park when they don’t feel ready to learn. They made comic strips to illustrate their ideas.
The Manor Park Parliament were asked to think about different children at their school.
Some children considered a ‘thriving’ child at Manor Park. This a child who is able to do their best, problem solve and have positive relationships. When faced with a challenge, the keep going and give it a shot. The children thought that a thriving child is happy, loves learning and thinking of new games. They run about with their friends, but they are confident and enjoy spending time by themselves too.
Other children considered a ‘surviving’ child at Manor Park, this is a child who only just managing, they might be at school but there are things that get in the way of them being able to do their best. The children said that a surviving child might feel like their is a storm in their head and find it hard to listen at school because they are worried. They might feel unconnected and not in the mood.
The children were asked to think of things that might help a surviving child at Manor Park.
‘Adults should listen to children, and ask them what is wrong before giving them into trouble. If a child is naughty it might be because of sadness or anger. If a child is bullying someone it might be because they feel bad and want others to feel bad too.’
If a child feels like they have a storm in their head take them outside. It smells good outside and its sunny today, that would take their mind off it.
‘When a child is sore in the head or stressed they need to get it all out so they know why they are angry. A special person should come into school and talk to them about their feelings, when you talk to someone you trust you feel safe.’
‘Help children feel listened to by listening to them every time in class.’
‘Look after children and laugh with them.’
To help the Parliament Peeps think about themselves as learners they have been introduced to some learning characters who have different learning characteristics: resilient, reflective, resourceful and relationships.
‘I’m a technical person and I like electronics. When I play Minecraft, I feel like I am in the game and I learn how to build things.’
‘I like to learn through drawing. I get distracted when people talk to me in class and like to learn in quiet places in the library.’
‘Basketball helps me to learn as I work in a team. I like helping other people to learn.’
The Manor Park Parliament created a board game, they made the board, dice, cards and invited adults in their school and community to play.
There are good cards and bad cards. On the good cards there are drawings of things that help children to be ready to learn, and on the bad cards there are things that get in the way of children being ready to learn. If you get a bad card you have to go back a space on the board.
If someone rolls a question mark on the special dice everyone has to think of solutions to one of the cards and think of ways to make the school better.
After the game the adults were asked to make a pledge, something that they will do to make Manor Park a school where all children are able to do their best.
The Parliament Peeps were asked to think some more about teachers at Manor Park and what they can do and say to make sure everyone can do their best.
They thought these things would help:
Do more fun things – change the lessons up everyday
When children come into school in the morning, cheer them up if they aren’t feeling good.
Let children learn at their own pace and their own level.
Be clear – make a lot of sense.
This is Miss Rabbie. She like to draw and show other people how to do it. She has a space for painting and drawing. She helps children with maths and writing. She is funny.
This is Mr Cool. He is tall and red haired and not funny but very kind. He helps people if they need help. He teaches children how to be a good child by being kind.
This is Miss Weir. She’s wearing a stripy cardy and has ginger hair. She’s kind. She like to do fun things with her class. She has a pen, so it corrects all the children’s work automatically. This means she isn’t tired and not grumpy in the morning.
This is Mr Maths. He like turquoise so wears it and has a hat on, which makes him smarter. He has a special pen – when he does maths it changes so that it is different for every pupil, at their own level. He has buttons that go red when people lie. This is the only time he gets angry.
The Parliament Peeps invited children from across their school to contribute to a giant Learnometer!
The children told them what things help them to learn at Manor Park and what things get in the way. When all the different answers were gathered, the Parliament Peeps looked through them and put them in an order of the things that came up for lots of children.
Things that help children to learn were things like, teachers helping and going over things again when your struggling, when there are no bullies in your class and having music in class to help you relax.
Things that get in the way of children learning were things like people shouting in class or saying ‘I’m better than you’. Other things were people not being able to speak the same language as you and finding writing difficult.
The skills school group at Manor Park have created a map of their school and surrounding community.
The map shows all the places children go to and the different people that use those places. The children spoke about the places they like in the school and where they live. They also added things in that aren’t as good and they would like to change.
There was also time for the children to use their imagination and add things to the map that would make the school and area the best place for children to be and to learn.
The Manor Park Parliament will be sharing their work and ideas with adults soon. The skills school children made a list of adults they would like to invite, including teachers, the police, PSA’s, the management team, the janitor and office staff.
They made invitations decorated with drawings of things that would improve the school and worked together to write this invitation:
“Join us, you are invited!
Children’s Parliament is a place where kids speak freely. We share our emotions and have fun! We help Manor Park School be a kind place and do things to make the school and playground better. It feels important to be in the Manor Park Parliament.
Adults come and learn about our work. We can teach you to stay calm and tell you what is good about our school. Never stop learning to make a place better!”