A leading Shropshire independent school has unveiled a new ambitious system of learning for its youngest pupils, launching this September.
Wrekin College is aiming to improve children’s key learning skills focusing as much on how they learn as what they know.
The school already runs Lancaster House for pupils aged 11-13, which has its own territory, leadership and reward system, allowing pupils to develop and settle gradually into senior school life.
Now the leadership team has also developed the Lancaster Learning system based on a growth mindset and metacognitive approach.
Headmaster Tim Firth said a clear goal at Wrekin College was to encourage lifelong independent learners who enjoyed their education and understood how to use it to their best advantage.
“We want to shift the focus from a teacher merely passing on information to actually nurturing the skills for how a child learns, engages with and absorbs that
The fact is that the league table culture has led to too many schools by-passing the children because the results are deemed too precious to the school's reputation to be left to the pupils.
“We need to take a longer view - serving the children and society better by enabling them to learn for themselves more than we are at present.”
The new system at Wrekin will look at the language used within lessons, how to make the learning steps more visible, then enable pupils to set their own goals
and both evaluate and monitor their own journey.
Research shows that pupils do not become effective learners by themselves,” Mr Firth explains. “Rather pupils need to learn how to learn and become metacognitive - use processes such as planning how to approach a certain lesson and evaluating how they are doing as they complete a task.”
Teachers and pupils will also be asked to document evidence of growth and visible thinking such as conversations, actions taken and how small groups work, which will help all involved to see how each individual child thinks and learns.
“This also encourages a great deal more enthusiasm about lessons because they have made that contribution directly; success can then be measured not just on outcome but how well they have mastered those learning skills.
This confidencebuilding, more often than not, leads to a child performing better academically and achieving greater results in exams.”
Mr Firth said letters had been sent to parents explaining the new approach and it had been met with a great deal of support.
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