Equality and Equity: A Discussion About Fairness

This session is concerned with introducing children to the concept of equity. We start from a discussion about fairness and we move towards our places of learning – when/ where do we feel welcome and treated fairly. What are the barriers that can get in the way of this happening? 

This is The Imagineers map of “Fairness Island” a place where all children are treated fairly and feel welcome.

Learnometer

The purpose of this session was for the Imagineers to begin to think about what helps them and other children to learn and things that might get in the way of a child being able to learn.

Things they identified that help children learn:

“Learning in an exciting and inspiring way.”

“Getting lots of friends that support you.”

“Getting brain breaks.”

Things that might get in the way:

“Bullies who lower your confidence and affect people’s learning”

“Not getting enough sleep”

“A strict teacher that lowers confidence”

From Primary To Secondary

During the summer break Imagineers who are making the “leap” from primary school to secondary school met up to discuss the transition.

The purpose of the session was to get the children to think about the skills and qualities they have learned at primary school and what they will be talking with them into secondary school.

It also allowed them to discuss ways that the school make them feel welcome and talk about any worries they wanted to share about starting secondary.

“We made cool frog hats, jumped across Lillie pads thinking about what we are looking forward to and worried about going to Northfield, and thinking about how some things in primary that we will take to Northfield”

“It was fun being frogs, we spoke about going to academy, skills and qualities we will bring with us to academy.”

“It was good when we wrote down our worries on Lillie pads, I liked scrunching them up because it was therapeutic.”

“I liked that we all took part in the activity today. It was fun when we played together at the park.”

Places Where We Learn

The purpose of this session was to get the children to consider the places and spaces within their communities where they learn, and think about what sort of things they can learn there.

The children showed that both indoor and outdoor spaces are important for them to learn, and identified people who are important in their lives and how they help them to do their best. And what gets in the way of this.

How do adults help children do their best?

“They help us to learn and read.”
“By talking to us.”
“Help us to do stuff.”
“Let them play games if they have been chucked out of other games and help each other.”

In the community what gets in the way of a child being able to do their best?

“Bullies”
“Parents being drunk”
“Dogs running after you and trying to eat you alive”
“People interrupting us.”
“People shouting, being rude or being a nuisance.”
“Risky people.”
“People who are drunk, because they don’t listen.”

 

Our Joyful School

 In the original Imagining Aberdeen mural, the Imagineers created a Joyful School. In the school there are lots of opportunities to do art, yoga and music. The children are reading books. There are tablets to help them do work. Children are good at maths and the teacher says ‘well done!’ and rewards them with trips. Children and adults speak many different languages and everyone gets along. The boy says to the girl: ‘I will always look out for you.’ In the school things get fixed when they are broken. Near the school there are things to do. Children go swimming, there are places to feel free and relax. A man hands out fruit for all the children.

As part of their investigation into Doing Our Best, the children revisited their vision for a joyful school and discussed what is missing and what every school in Aberdeen needs to become a space where all children feel they belong and are able to do their best.

‘In a joyful school there would be Circle Time at the beginning and end of day to say how you feel. People in the circle will be people you trust.’

‘You would know that you have something that day you really want to do. Everyone would join in with the activities – nobody feels unwanted or left out.’

‘There would be buddies – older children helping younger children. [When you are a buddy it] makes you happy because you are making someone else happy and younger children know who to go to.’

In the school children are ‘inventing things and imagining games with friends at break and golden time. In class there is creative writing and people focus on imagination and not just equations and winning’. 

‘Teachers would ask about your weekends – so they know you and you know that you have someone that will listen to you.’

‘Teachers would help you when you are stuck and explain things to you without telling you the answer.’

The teacher is someone ‘you can have a laugh with, that will make you feel safe. Then if you haven’t done your homework or forgotten it you won’t worry about telling them. A joyful teacher should say “you can have another day or two to finish it”.

‘Children and adults help each other and are able to put smiles on everyone’s face.’

‘Adults don’t shout or boss people. If you shout at people you might hurt their ears and make them sad.’

‘Children shouldn’t have to take breaks by pretending to go to the toilet’, in a joyful school there is ‘a break room with bean bags or children can go for a walk. The teacher should say go and have some time when children need it.’