Before I launch into this blog post, I want to thank Tom Sherrington aka @headguruteacher for his help, encouragement and support with this. I first heard about the idea at #TMEssex last year and decided it would be a great thing to do at my school. Read Tom's blog post <here>.
Part 1 - What We Did
What is the Family Learning Project?
Quite simply we asked Y6 students and their parents to go to the British Museum over the summer and show us what they learnt. It was completely open and students were encouraged to 'dazzle us'.
I had to play hockey the night of the launch with the parents, so I had to hastily make this:
Parents were given this letter at their information evening: <download>
Students had this in their welcome pack that they filled in during the first few days: <download>
Why did we do it?
I tweaked Tom's rational, as included in our letter to parents:
- School is all about finding things out and exploring new ideas.
- Learning is something that happens beyond the school gates.
- Families have a key role to play and can enjoy sharing in the learning process.
- Students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning.
- Learning takes many forms and there is not always a ‘correct method’ or specific goal.
- Creativity, resourcefulness and independence are all key attributes for learners.
- It is important to take an active interest in culture; museums are wonderful places to do that.
- Rigour and scholarship are important to us in our learning.
It was organised by our ACE team, but mainly me! It was a dream to start with, that people were quite sceptical about. I was given the go-ahead by the headteacher; the AHT lead of the ACE group and the Head of Y7 were very supportive too.
Ultimately the aim was to improve the independence of our students, get them to strive for academic excellence early in their school life, plus show staff what they were capable from the word go!
Part 2 - What We Got
We had projects from 117 out of 122 students... I had quoted 97% return rates from other schools and I raised a few eyebrows. They were kind of right, as we only got 96%. Do not underestimate your own students; they are just as good as anyone else's!
The standard was also very high. We produced a microsite which you can look at here: tiny.cc/shomflp
I also produced this video (using photos from one of the Y7 form tutors):
Blogs Coming Soon:
- The Prizewinner
- What I learnt
- What students and staff said