Mrs Harrison's Blog -… | Independent Primary School Buckinghamshire

Mrs Harrison's Blog - Pupils take the lead!

Today we welcomed our Gateway community into school to enjoy our wonderful ‘Take One Picture’ exhibition. Over the last few weeks 'A Shipwreck in Stormy Seas' by Claude-Joseph Vernet picture has been on display in many different rooms and the learning experiences that the talented Gateway staff have facilitated have been so creative and varied. It's amazing how one painting can stimulate so many threads of work and the exhibition is testament to the fabulous child-led learning that has taken place.

And that’s what makes ‘Take One Picture’ such an inspiring week - the children absorb themselves in the project and most importantly, they lead their own learning. Child-led learning gives pupils the responsibility to decide what to learn and what methods and materials they will use. We are all naturally curious and by allowing children to explore, ask questions and guide their own learning, we are encouraging them to be life-long learners and to take responsibility for their own education. Giving children a central role in their learning makes them more aware of their own preferred styles and personal interests. When we put trust in our pupils, they develop confidence and a more positive self-image.

This was shown in abundance during the Year 6 STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and Maths) day last Friday. Working collaboratively, Year 6 pupils were given the task to design a snack that has clear health benefits and produce packaging that celebrates and promotes their product. Each team presented their product to a panel - Dragon’s Den style! Not only were the pupils engaged and excited about their learning, they were in control. The staff did an amazing job of facilitating and guiding pupils, however, the whole day was focused around child-led learning. This led to an amazing outcome - confident, engaged pupils, working together to present a product they believed in and were proud of.

Pupil empowerment and ownership is one of our key priorities at Gateway School this year. Staff have seen, first hand, the benefits of a child-led approach and plan regular opportunities within the curriculum for pupils to guide their own learning. Just because children are taking the lead, doesn’t mean staff are absent from the equation. In reality, the opposite is true. Teachers at Gateway work hard to cleverly provide the right kind of support, including resources, encouragement and the structure pupils need to make progress and achieve their goals.

Ultimately, our job as educators is to instil a lifelong love of learning in our pupils so they are inspired, curious and self-motivated to learn more - not only whilst they are with us at Gateway, but in their further education and careers too. We know that our pupils enjoy their many and varied learning experiences and our teachers enjoy helping them get the most from them too.

Gateway in Pictures

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Gateway Pupil in music lesson