A learn-o-meter is a special tool that shows what helps with learning and what can get in the way. The skills school children created one for Manor Park School.
The Skills School group were asked to think about where they learn at Manor Park School. In groups they explored the school and thought about how different parts of the school made them feel and helped with their learning.
The children went to their classrooms, the gym hall, the library and the playground and took photos with different coloured dots depending on if the place is somewhere that helps them to learn, makes them feel calm, is somewhere they like to be, or a place that they would like to change.
Afterwards the group came back together to share their experiences of different places they learn in at Manor Park. They thought about what could be better and came up with some solutions to things that get in the way of learning at school.
‘The PE hall and outside are places we like to learn because you learn active stuff and how to be fit.’
‘Our classroom needs more toys. In P1 you get lots but in P3/4 there aren’t many’
‘The space with the sofa in the corridor is a calm place to learn because there is no one around you.’
This is the Learning and Teaching group. Here are their thoughts on how they have their say about their learning at Manor Park.
‘Sometimes people like me don’t like to speak. There should be a box or something that we can write things down and the teacher can read it out.’
‘If the classroom feels like MY classroom it helps me learn. It’s MY classroom because I’m in it. I have friends. We don’t just have a say in how it looks, we get to do it too – like decorate it with polka dots.’
‘You need the right ingredients or it won’t go well. Sometimes the teacher might be stuck on something that the children could actually help with.’
‘I like to learn about boats and cars. We got to learn how boats float and draw our dream car.’
‘We get to choose in my class after we’ve done our jobs.’
‘I like to learn to make things like a pretend house.’
‘I don’t get help because I don’t talk.’
‘My class is noisy it’s hard to learn.’
This is the Relationships group. They were asked to think about how Manor Park makes people feel like they belong.
‘When people encourage me it makes me want to do even better’
‘The teacher says good work and your doing well. It would make me feel happy.’
‘I’ve drawn all the children at school and they are sharing their favourite toys like play doh and cars.’
‘Adults at the best school encourage children to do their best and help them when they are stuck.’
‘Adults look out for you at school and teacher help you learn’
‘No fighting would be my favourite school.’
This is the House Captain group. They were asked what makes a child feel important and special at Manor Park and what might get in the way of a child having human dignity.
‘If you are interested or if its fun you can learn better – learning deteriorates when you’re bored.’
‘Being house captains we are closer and talk lots, we are friends now.’
‘If you are doing what you enjoy doing you have human dignity.’
Bullying [gets in the way of having human dignity]. Sometimes it might be the teachers fault if they say ‘just ignore them you’ll be okay’ when someone is being bullied.
[Around a family bereavement] I had a really hard time and no one really knows that I’m hurt.
‘When you talk about things and get it all out, you might feel better. I like talking to my PSA. She understands a lot of things. Every class should have a person like her.’
This is the Successes and Achievements group. They were asked to think about how achievements are celebrated at Manor Park and whether all achievements are celebrated equally.
‘Certificates from teachers and posters to share achievements with other people in school.’
‘When I look back in my jotter and my teacher has put ‘haha’ or ‘well done’ when I have written something fun.’
‘Friends celebrate your achievements by cheering you on and saying well done.’
‘Some people don’t stand up in assembly to get certificate because they are shy.’
‘People are not always happy for you because they are jealous. They might be jealous because they thought they did well too. Sometimes you aren’t noticed.’
‘If you help someone, it doesn’t get celebrated.’
In a school where all achievements are celebrated equally: you would get a sticker for good listening; in the playground if someone is hurt and you help them, or friends play together that could be an achievement, but it might not be celebrated; if you are enjoying what you’re doing then you are achieving; drawing is achieving; and kindness should be celebrated.
This is the School and Community group. They were asked to think about what makes children feel safe at Manor Park School.
‘Police could come into the school more often, we don’t speak to them because they are always in their room.’
‘You could communicate with adults so you know them and talk to teachers at soft start about you.’
‘If you had the same teacher for a long time they would know what type of person you are.’
‘More men teachers – there is only two in the school.’
‘If you spend time with the adults at school and do activities with them – like games or ask them what their favourite colour, then I feel safe with them.’
Manor Park Parliament is made up of 28 children from P2-P7. Each child is in a group investigating a different theme: relationships; teaching and learning; successes and achievements; school and community; health and wellbeing; and human dignity.
The groups were asked to think to the future and imagine that Manor Park PS is winning a big award for being an example school because at this school all children are able to be happy, healthy, safe and do their best. To join in on the celebrations the children had to make a special cake that would get them thinking about what Manor Park Primary School is doing well, what gets in the way and what could make it better.
To prepare the children made aprons and chefs hats with drawings showing things that Manor Park is already doing to make it a good school. Then they wrote recipes with all the ingredients needed to make the best school and mixed them all together ready to bake the cake.
Before baking the cake the children had to heat up the oven. They raised the temperature on the thermometer by thinking of solutions to things that can get in the way at school.
Finally everyone celebrated with cake and party hats!
“Human Rights Defender’ is a term used to describe people who, individually or with others, act to promote or protect human rights,” Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner
As part of a consultation on behalf of the Scottish Government on the Action Plan for Progressing Children’s Rights in Scotland, Manor Park Parliament were asked to create Human Rights Defender shields. Here are their ideas:
‘Dogfender defends the right to have a family. He gives you cuddles when you are sad and makes people feel included.’
‘Legoman defends the right to play. He saves toys and plays with other children.’
‘Night-play defender defends the right to play. This is my granny as she lets me play and relax on the Xbox and asks me lots of questions about the game.’
‘Relax and Play defends the right to play and is made of cards. She gives toys and plays games with people when they are bored.’
‘Miss Friendship defends the right to have friends. She makes people talk it out, eradicating bullying so that everyone is friends.’
‘Mr Memah defends the right to play and makes sure everyone has something to laugh about.’
‘Mr Not Shoosh defends the right to have a say and your voice heard. His hands are loudspeakers and his hat is a microphone. He shouts ‘don’t be afraid to speak up’ and ‘children should be listened to’.’
‘Respect man asks people what is wrong when they are sad and helps protect their feelings. He wears a suits because if you are respectful you can get somewhere in life. (NB: This provoked a debate from the children that established that Trump is not an example of this).’
‘The Golden Son is defending people who don’t have names by giving them names.’