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.’
‘Our praise poems were great because it had everything we like in it. It made us happy because it was about ourselves. We liked how our classmates came up positive words to describe people – like in my case ‘sassy’, which makes me sound like I own it! We will share it with our friends and family.’
Faith, Manisha and Caitlin
‘We made a big poster about what has changed for the better in Middlefield and what still needs to improve.’
Manor Park P5/6 have been thinking about a healthy, happy and safe school where everyone was doing their best. Here is what they imagine:
- Pet rooms so we can learn about animals.
- Opportunity to learn about different people’s jobs so you know what you can be when you are older.
- No swearing as it is offensive and puts us off work.
- Respect as if you respect people they will respect you back.
- No fighting so that no one gets hurt.
- Healthy food for lunch so that everyone is fit.
- More library books. Everybody respects the books and don’t wreak them.
- Children don’t stay up late at night so they have slept and are ready to learn.
- Bikes for all classes to make everyone happy and exercise.
- The building is made of Lego so children can take pieces from the wall and build new structures with their teacher.
- Friends as they help you when you are stuck.
- Extra playtime as we love playing outside. Plus extra time to run about so we stay healthy.
- More opportunities to dance – it makes everything happy!
We’ve been doing Children’s Parliament work and this week we were doing learning treasure maps. We open the learning treasure, on person reads it out while we listen. Then we decide where to put it on our map. The left is what sounds like you like a learner, the right is what doesn’t sound like you as a learner. There is also the middle.
‘The learning treasure I’d like more in learning is ‘I get on well with others’ because if I stopped arguing I’d find a solution to helping me be more calm and focus. If you start arguing over tiny things it can disturb others too if it gets too loud.’
‘I’d also choose ‘I get on well with others’ and will work on less fallouts with classmates – this would help me do my best. When I fallout I don’t get a lot of work done as I think only about upsetting my friends and this distracts me. Our teacher has put different faces up on the wall so we can show how we are feeling. If I move it to sad and angry the teacher notices and comes and asks me questions. I don’t want to answer as it makes me sad. Getting on well with others would make me choose the happy face.’
Cadhla and Madison
‘I’d choose ‘I keep going’. When I’m doing something and it is good and fun I never give up. I get really into it. I give up on maths. I like doing it but sometimes the teacher thinks you can do it but it is too hard to understand and you give up. If it was easier to understand or I knew the way to figure it out then I could keep going. I will try to do this.’
‘I would pick this too because I give up easily. Sometimes work is really hard and I can’t concentrate properly. I am going to try and not get distracted by ignoring people, this will allow me to catch up.’
Sophie-Lea and Tegan R
‘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.’
‘We described ourselves a the characters, what is like us and what is not like us. I described myself as the reflective person because I think carefully about something before I do it. I did sound a bit like Ruby, Rebecca and Robert. I picked Ruby because I think that I am exactly the same. I always ask questions and know where to look for answers but if I can’t find what I need I ask for help. I am like Robert because when I have completed one challenge, I like to challenge myself again.’
Reece, Cadhla and Sophie-Lea
‘We have drawn ourselves in the middle of our learning selfie. Around the sides we wrote who is important to us, what we like to do, we we have learned in our lives and what we would like to learn.’
‘My mum is important to me because she takes care of me and cares for me. My mum helps me to learn. If I really need help she is always there for me.’
‘I like to watch Youtube, Starwars and play Monopoly. I play this with my mum and dad. On Youtube I watch gaming videos. Last time when I was watching Minecraft I learned about outer space.’
‘I have learned how to read already. Reading is fun and you need to be able to read to help you work and do everything in school.’
‘I’d like to learn French because I haven’t properly learned it yet. It would be good to have just incase I go to France. I’d also like to learn how to swim because it is fun. I feel happy in the water. I’d like to learn before I turn 10.’
Bob Burden, who created Myself as a Learner Scale (MALS) said; ‘Ability alone is not enough: how we think about ourselves matters too.’ Children from Manor Park revisit MALS questionnaire to find out if their perception of themselves has changed.
‘I answered questions about me as a learner. It was more difficult than when we did it the first time [at the start of our doing our best work, investigating learning] because before when we did it I didn’t think about the questions but now I do. I know how I learn and what helps me learn.
One of the statements was ‘I know the meaning of lots words.’ I answered ‘No’ because I don’t but I usually check the dictionary. Like Ruby, I’m being resourceful.’
‘I answered ‘yes’ to ‘when I get stuck with my work I can usually work it out’. Right now we are going our reading labs and I’m halfway through. Sometimes I don’t know the words but I try and figure it out. Other times I have to move one.’
During this learning investigation children have been finding out what helps everyone do their best at school. This task emphasises the importance of environment and also relationships in creating confident learners.
‘In our healthy, happy and safe school friends would be the most important thing because without them you wouldn’t want to learn as school would be boring, like a prison. We want to change our school so there are no arguments or bullying. People would all want to play with one another. We would also have way more P.E. – including climbing and Parkour. It is fun but also healthy’.
Sara, Barty and Kaitlyn