Primary Research Project.
Schools that have run the project have explored a range of areas with children and young people, and have:
Written a transition policy with the children after work on temperament which led the children to explore how they respond to new things in different ways. For some they found they needed greater support as they were more anxious about change. For others who enjoyed new adventures too much support felt restrictive.
One school used the Circles for Learning project to explore resilience with the children in Year 2. Their class teacher felt that the children gave up when struggling with a task too quickly. Through watching their class baby struggle with a shape sorter she introduced the concept of resilience and perseverance. The children grappled with this and were able to explore and support each other with this in the classroom. They shared and suggested ways that they managed frustration and kept themselves going with a task. This made an impact on their academic success. They developed the ability to tolerate frustration and understand that learning was something that grew as you used it.
One Year 6 class debated whether ‘love grows brains?’ This question was raised by one of the children. The class researched this and then explored this during a class debate. This work led to individual projects focusing on a range of work including: The babies digestive system: From mouth to nappy. Immunisations positive or negative? The importance of nutrition for a young baby. Teeth and how they develop: An animation to help young children clean their teeth. Child Development: The first year of life.
A year 3 /4 class watched their baby look to her Mum when she was upset and couldn’t cope. This led their class teacher to explore how the children managed to regulate themselves and to calm when they became cross. This piece of work extended emotional literacy as the children had to discuss and decide on words that described angry feelings and rank them. They then shared strategies that they used to calm themselves. This supported a range of work that followed on managing frustration in class as well as arguments in the playground. It also led to work on getting yourself into the Learning Zone. This explored how their focus and concentration peaked and ebbed during the day and how they could affect this.
Another Year 6 class worked on what skills made a good learner after watching their class baby learn to put rings on a stick. They worked in groups to explore the skills they used to learn something new and then put forward their case for each of the skills. The work of Ruth Deaken Crick and Bristol University on developing learning dimensions and the ELLI project was then shared with the children. This work continued throughout the year. The work supported a creation of a shared language for learning within the class and enabled a greater focus on learning which in turn had an impact on academic success.