Thursday, 28 July 2016

Reflections on our second year towards Visible Learning

Last week, I thought I need to blog as our second year implementing Visible Learning was coming to an end.

I had a walk round school and mild panic set it. The environment was changing, the learning pits had come down, the progression ladders were being slimmed down, etc. But what I realised when I spoke to the children that some things had become so embedded they didn't need visual reminders.  All our children can talk about the pit and what to do when stuck, nearly all children can use strategies for learning, respond effectively to feedback, and know what their next steps are.  
The culture change has taken place.  The children are taking much more responsibility for their own learning.

Two teachers attended Shirley Clarke's training in June. All classes from year 2 to year 6 changed the classroom layout to Talk Partners.  It was interesting at first, some children resisted working with certain other children, you know what they are like.  After a couple of weeks, it has become the norm that on Monday morning, they have a new Talk Partner.  


We have moved completely away from ability grouping, we will do an impact cycle in September asking the children's attitudes and perceptions about themselves as learners.  This has been a great start.

Solo taxonomy now forms the foundations of all our learning and teaching. This has really passed the baton to the children.  This is a year one assessing his learning about Florence nightingale


Our VL network has grown this year, for me the network has been very useful in moving us forward.  Particular thanks go to Michelle at Pembroke Dock, Sarah from Midlothian EPS and Simon from Bader.  They have inspired me which in turn has improved outcomes for our learners.
I am really looking forward to visiting Bader primary next term to see how their visits to New Zealand has impacted classroom practice.

So for September
We are starting with Singapore Maths, which we are calling Merllyn Maths.  Our training is on 1st September with Craig Parkinson (would I trust anyone else with our CPD?). Again, it's a whole school approach, fits into an impact cycle, is well researched and supports the teachers.


We've also gone Google- I love google classroom and apps for education. We're going to trial different methods at feedback, particularly voice feedback, should be interesting and worth an impact cycle.  Many thanks to JTRS for help us get set up and their advice and support.

We are also developing our P4C.  We have gathered our baseline evidence, it's a whole school approach, it's impact is well researched and the teachers will be well supported.  

Can you see a theme here?  After doing the impact coach training, these principles are essential before we do anything.


And we are going to relooked at our learning dispositions to see if we can make them more effective. We have had ours for two years and we do feel they need refreshing. We are change agents after all 

I think the last word needs to go one of our year 1 Polish boys who was going off to Poland the week before we broke up.
"Oh no!" He said, "when I go to Poland, I will miss out on my learning, it's not fair, they will be learning and I won't!"

I love it!! 

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