Wednesday, 12 December 2007


Last Friday. myself and my colleague, Sandy Smith, were at a training course, Learn2Learn, run by Alastair Smith and Mark Lovatt.

They were demonstrating the Learn2Learn approach they have been using at the Cramlington Community High school in Northumberland.

Our reason for looking at this programme is the next part of our school development.

So far we have developed the curriculum with the introduction of Vocational Education, removal of the Age and Stage restrictions and the introduction of Project Afternoons.

We have developed the leadership of staff and Pupils

We have developed the use of ICT. (See the rest of the Blog)

We are now a Stage 3 Excellence as a Health Promoting School.

We feel that we are ready to introduce the basis for true independent learners and actively teach our first years, from next year, how to learn for themselves.

It sounds so obvious but this not done at the moment.

I have some personal reflections about this topic.

When I started at University I was 26. I had trained as an electronics technician, helped run a volunteer workshops on Iona, worked has a service engineer and ended up a service director but nothing had prepared me for University. I didn't understand the processes and systems. I didn't know the language being used and felt too insecure to ask. I didn't know how I learned and didn't know how to reflect on my learning to allow me to understand.

The result, as you can imagine, was that I barely cleared the hoops I was being asked to jump through.

The second example is a recent one, the Handheld Learning Conference. I didn't understand the process. From my paper, which I took to be a proposal of what I was wanting to talk about, to my presentation itself which was too much of a 'pitch' and not enough information. I didn't know the 'Rules' and the way things work.

Getting to understand the rules of academic writing is something I am fighting with at the moment.

So giving pupils the tools of learning is not only required but essential if we expect them to grow and thrive on a world in which the only constant is change.

One of the reason for using the Alite programme is that they have developed a load of software tools and and profiling apps. Therefore we can use the ICT infrastructure as tools to work with the pupils.

We are going to commit to this fully as we see it as the solid foundation for future develop. That means 3 periods per week.

Do you think this will take away from the subjects? Does anyone have any experience of this, or other programmes?



Helen Black said...

Hi there,

I know this comment is directly related to your post, but I wanted to let you know that I've just posted a blog entry on my colleague's trip to Islay High School to run some workshops!

Helen (TAG Theatre Company) x

islayian said...

Thank you Helen!
The English guys are in full Panto mode just now but I know they will be thrilled to read the blog.