12:27 Wednesday 29 January 2014

Marchington pupils find their inner beast

Written byJENNY MOODY

MARCHINGTON pupils have been discovering their inner animals.

Smallwood Manor Preparatory School has seen its pupils take advantage of the ‘learning journey’, an innovative system of teaching which is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

The aim of the scheme is to give children flexible skills to develop the drive and ability for life-long learning.

Head teacher Mike Harrison said: “We do not know what the future really holds for the children presently in our care but we do know it will be much different from now. It is likely many of the top ‘in-demand’ careers when today’s pupils enter the job market have not yet been invented.”

To achieve this flexibility, learning characteristics are linked to animal characters with independence depicted as a badger, while perseverance looks like a snail.

To assist children’s engagement with positive traits, the school has given names to certain characteristics, so that risk-taking – depicted by a frog – is known as ‘leapability.’

The plan was devised in 2009 to address variations in lesson planning and delivery. Mr Harrison added: “The idea was to create a consistent approach in which teaching and learning are considered together, in order to personalise and tailor the experience to each child.”

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