The Imagineers rounded up the 2016/17 school year with invitations to accept prizes for all the great work they’ve being doing to ensure children’s voices are listened to. First they met with Gayle Gorman, Aberdeen City Council’s Director of Education and Children’s Services, who presented them with certificates. The following week they were awarded a GREC Anne Frank Award for their amazing work and commitment to human rights.
‘I loved getting an Anne Frank Awards for my hard work as an Imagineer. Anne Frank was a girl who lived during WW2. She kept a diary and wrote in it every day because she was hiding from the Nazis and couldn’t go to school or play. She then was taken to a concentration camp and died. Her awards go to children who help show respect and fight discrimination in their communities. It felt good getting it because I was representing my school.’
“On Tuesday 23rd of May we went to London with Catrin, Sarah and Mr Gray (our teacher). We went to the Houses of Parliament to get a tour. Our MP Kirsty Blackman was going to do this but because of the election we met with her before we went and asked her questions about her job and her life between London and Aberdeen.
One our tour we seen where Queen Victoria sat and where she got changed into her robes for the opening of Parliament. The roof in Elizabeth’s dressing room was covered in gold and the carpet red.
We learned a lot of things but here are a few things that stick in our minds:
There are paintings of Henry the 8th and all his wives. We learned a poem to remember what happened to them all. It goes like this ‘divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived.’
At the end of the anteroom there was a statue of Queen Victoria. The purpose of this statue was to make Queen Victoria feel more comfortable while she said her speech. Queen Victoria used to be so nervous she would scratch at the side of her chair and tap her feet on a small stool.
In the past no man or women had the right to vote. Men got it first but woman had to continue to fight for it. They came into parliament and threw flour everywhere last century. After protesting they finally got the right to vote.
The parliament is split into thirds. The parliament is colour coded for different groups. Blue represents the Queen’s part, green for the House of Commons and red for the House of Lords. The Queen is now allowed in House of Commons because it shows the separation of the House of Commons from the monarchy. She can’t interrupt what they are deciding on.
My favourite part of coming to London was the bus tour because it took me to different landmarks and beautiful buildings. It made me feel privileged as we are the first people to do this in our school.
We London because the lights at night looked incredible. The city feels alive. We liked the building designs and how unique they are. It made us feel even smaller!
The London trip made me happy because we got to share rooms. The girls with the girls and the boys with the boys. It was fun!”
Over the last two weeks we have been on a treasure hunt. We have been searching for learning treasures.
‘The treasure maps showed us what we were good at and bad at learning.’
We used our treasure maps to identify the learning skills we were good at and used a lot as well as those we found harder.
When we thought about how this activity made us feel, we used adjectives such as fun, peaceful, joyful and calm.
Abigail found that this activity reinforced what she had already learned in previous weeks which was a helpful reminder.
We agreed to try and use one of the treasures we found harder but would like to get better at this week.
‘These are our learnometers. They show what helps us learn and what gets in the way of doing our best.’
‘My AHDH and autism get in the way. Whenever I try to get on with work I get hyper for no reason. I find it hard to listen. When this happens to me I go crazy and walk out the classroom.’
‘Art helps me cope with being at school. That and P.E. is what I like.’
‘Lunchtime helps me because I am always hungry. Food refuels my belly and gives me the energy to learn.’
‘When people listen to you it helps me learn. It makes me feel good that they are listening. I feel important and special.’
‘Being in a good mood in the morning helps me start school. If you’ve woken up and are happy, it makes me ready to start my day.’
‘People shouting makes me go off my work as it annoys and disturbs me.’
‘My friends help me learn. Working in a group is great as we can help each other with ideas.’
This week we did learnometers. ‘One side which is nice things and one side which is not nice things.’ These things are ‘things that stop you from learning and things that keep you going.’
– Keira and Megan
‘You can do the good things and not the bad things [because] when we’re doing bad things we’re stopping people from learning.’
– Jnr and Megan
I learnt ‘to listen to instructions and don’t talk when your not supposed to.’
Also, ‘don’t talk over other people.’
We agreed that learnometers can be a helpful reminder of the tools we have to help us learn and they can help us see what can make learning difficult. We also learnt that if we do the helpful things then we get to do more activities we enjoy.
This week at Riverbank we were making learnometers.
‘A learnometer is a thing to show how we learn and what makes it difficult.’
– Wes and Daniels
On one side of the board we wrote what helped us to learn and on the other side we wrote down things which got in the way of learning.
Some of the ideas we came up with include:
‘Don’t distract people while they’re working or laugh at them.’
‘I learned lots of different ways of listening.’
I learnt ‘how to fix a (drawing) mistake I made.’
Hopefully these are something we can refer back to if we need a reminder of tools we have to help us learn and to decrease distractions.
We learned all about how learn-o-meters can change our feelings. A learn-o-meter has a good side and a bad side. The good side is what helps us learn and the bad side is what makes learning difficult.
“If you don’t want to speak you can point to how you feel at school.”
“I felt a bit scared at the start but at the end I felt quite good because it wasn’t so scary.”
“I felt like I could do this bit but then I couldn’t so I asked for help and that made me feel happy.”
“I felt like I was going to take ages and then it didn’t. and that made me feel good.”
Today we have been looking at some people with different learning personalities.
This was a fun activity because you learnt how to describe yourself and what your actual learning personality is. When we looked at the cards our personalities where kind of the same. Some of us were very like one character and others of us could relate to two or three!
In March the Imagineers visited Hazlehead Park. They made 3D daffodils to celebrate the change in seasons and mark the coming of Spring. The Imagineers reflected on their experiences as Imagineers and wrote what they think has changed for them in the past year on their daffodils. They also considered what they still think needs changed in their home, school and community.
‘Being more confident, speaking to adults more and having a say is what has changed in my life’ said Imagineer Demi-Leigh. ‘We made a daffodil to write what we can still change. I said school can get better by asking pupils for their ideas’ Imagineer Malachy.
The Imagineers have developed important messages for everyone – one of which is ‘be kind to us’. In this poster, some of the Imagineers think about how kindness can change communities.
To download the poster click here: ActsofKindness