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.’
‘We have been plotting learning treasures on our map. If it is like me as a learner we put it on the left of the island. If it is not like me as a learner we put it on the right.’
‘I make a plan when I’m in my house and my mum says “tidy up your room”. I gather all toys and put them in a pile where they belong. At school I’d make a plan when using timetables. If I was doing 2 x 1, I would draw out two squares and then write 1 in each of the squares. I can then add them up. Making a plan helps me get everything done. I also use watch and learn a lot. When I was five I came to Scotland. I couldn’t speak English. I watched everyone else and copied what they were saying. This helped me learn.’
‘I like to work things out carefully like maths and writing. If I am doing 8 x 8 I’d use my brain and my fingers to count it out and get the right answer.’
‘I listen and understand how others feel. When other people don’t know the answers I know how they are feeling; sad, stressed and angry. I’d give them a number line if I was doing maths. This can help them.’
‘I do not get on with others because sometimes I get annoyed by people and annoy them back. This then gets us into trouble by the PSA, teacher or Head Teacher.’
‘Making a plan is not like me. I usually never come up with stuff in advance. I need to work on this as school work could be easier if you knew what I had to do.’
Katrina and Dexter
‘I don’t keep going when doing maths. I skip the hard questions and go onto the easy questions.’
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.”
As we are nearing the end of the project we created Praise Poems for each of the children as a huge THANK YOU for all their effort and hard work and also to serve as a reminder of what they have learnt about themselves not only as a person, but as a learner too.
The poems were presented to each child and read out in front of the class before the children decorated their own poem. Here is Teu’s poem, beautifully decorated:
This was a great opportunity to celebrate everyone’s achievements and reflect back on how far we had come as individuals and as a class.
‘My friend came up with the ideas for my poem and I loved it as it was so positive. It described me as funny and that I am good at making people laugh.’
The girls from the Imagineers group talked about what women in their communities need to be healthy, happy and safe. Why? Well, if children are healthy, happy and safe, the adults need to be too. Then Imagineers met the Community, Housing and Infrastructure Committee. The girls played the fortune-teller game with the councillors, designing their own questions.
Miriam asked the councillors ‘how do you make sure all children have enough to eat?’ Demi-Leigh inquired ‘how do you help to make the parks poo-free?’ and Tijana asked ‘how can you make sure children have a say at home and school?’
The boys form the Imagineers group talked about what men in their communities need to be healthy, happy and safe. Why? Well, if children are healthy, happy and safe, the adults need to be too. Then Imagineers met the Education and Children’s Services Committee – quite an occasion. The Imagineers did a grand job representing their vision for the city.
‘We went to an office in Marischal College. We talked to a grown-up from Education Scotland about what we’ve done for the past year. We showed her the Imagining Aberdeen film and she asked us questions. It was a little bit scary but fun and good. Afterwards I had a smoothie!
I am now a vice captain for Balnagask house in my school, which I don’t think would have happened if I wasn’t part of the Children’s Parliament.’
This week at Children’s Parliament we have been looking at how our environment effects our learning. We focused on four main areas which were: what makes a healthy school, what makes a happy school, what makes a safe school, and how we can do our best.
Together, in small groups we made mind maps of all the different factors we could could think of and the discussed it as part of a wider group. Here are some of our findings:
One thing we thought of for healthy was the importance of exercise. We had an opportunity to participate in the mile run challenge today and some of us even managed to score some house points! We also thought that having a healthy breakfast and snack could help by giving us energy and get our brains working.
Some things which made us happy included: Fridays, using the computers, play time, spending time with friends and helping each other.
Thinking of things which kept us safe was a bit harder but we decided that the school was secure with the self locking doors, the receptionists who didn’t allow strangers in and having PSAs in the playgroup during break. We also thought about the importance of safety outside of school such as looking both ways before crossing the road.
Finally, we looked at how we could do our best in school. Things such as working hard, listening to the teacher and helping each other were all key points. Other important ideas included: respecting others, not being violent towards anyone and following the rules.
Why don’t you have a think and see if you can come up with some more as we would love to have your input!
These 30 ideas for adults come from the children who are Imagining Aberdeen…. Go on! Pick one!
My new year’s resolution is that I will:
- Spend less time on my phone
- Give up smoking
- Drink less alcohol
- Spend more time having fun with my kids
- Be a good role model for children
- Realise children make mistakes and so I won’t get angry with them
- Give children more respect
- Stop swearing in front of children
- Take more interest in my children’s work
- Always treat people the same
- Not be sad, be happy
- Always smile
- Get on better with my family
- Help my children to learn to stay safe
- Shout less
- Give help to people when they need it badly
- Give more love to my kids
- Do what I can to stop racism
- Do what I can to stop bullying
- Do what I can to stop killing and bombing
- Not leave my children in the house
- Get on better with my children’s grandparents
- Won’t lie to my kids (surprises are okay)
- Stop drinking in front of my children
- Help my children with everything
- Eat healthier
- Do more exercise
- Go to the gym
- Stop taking drugs
- Do stuff with my children that they want to do
The treasure chest is full of ideas about how children learn. The treasures are written on individual scrolls and put in a treasure box. Every child is given a treasure map and they have to plot the learning treasures depending on how much they are like them as a learner.
‘The learning treasure I would like to use more in my learning is I can manage distractions because I get distracted so easily from noise. I could manage distractions by wearing ear defenders. I would then stop going in tantrums as I would be able to get on with my work.’
‘The learning treasure I would like to use more in my learning is learning with others. I don’t use this because I don’t get on with other folk and shout at them. If we did work well together, we could help each other with the times tables, like if they are bad at the two times table and I am bad at the six times table, then we can help each other.
‘I notice things – if I have made a mistake I go back and look at it and see it. The learning treasure I am going to use is watch and learn. I don’t do this a lot as I get worried people think I am copying them and they would tell the teacher. I don’t want to get into trouble.’
‘I’d like to use the learning treasure listen and understand how people feel. This could be done by not shouting out anymore or speaking to them in a quiet place. Instead of shouting out you could go outside the class and calm down. I find it hard not to shout out – you want to have your answer out there and listened to.’