As part of our academy culture, we want our young people to not think twice about remaining in full time education until they have at least a first degree. For many children, they will not know anyone who has been to university or undertaken an apprenticeship and they would therefore not normally consider this unless we make it part of their ‘normal’. Whilst not all our children will choose to go on to higher education, our aim is to as many children as possible will have this option open to them at 18.
We want our young people to 'dream big' and really believe that they can and will go to university. We also want them to understand that earning a place at university takes many years of study and hard work and this starts in primary school. If you think its all about being born with talent or intelligence, then dowatch this short video by Matt Syed who explains that success if largely about getting in lots of practice.
In the academy we use the research of Carol Dweck to ensure that our pupils do as well as they can. Prof Dweck is a world-renowned psychologist who has undertaken work to show that pupils can become 'smarter' if we praise their effort rather than the outcome of their work. For example, if a child gets full marks in a maths test we would say "well done, you obviously put a lot of effort into learning your maths" rather than "wow, you are amazing at maths". We also talk regularly to our pupils about the importance of giving 100% effort. You can read more about the work of Carol Dweck here or watch the video below. We also teach pupils about the process of learning and that it is perfectly OK to sometimes feel confused, this is all part of the learning process. We also reassure our pupils regularly when they don’t get things the first time, again, this is all a part of learning. Indeed, we positively encourage our pupils to fail regularly as long as they don’t give up trying. The more they fail, the more they will learn!
In the academy we teach the children a number of different routines. These cover common things that happen during the day such as lining up and walking in the academy, taking the register, paying attention in class etc. We know that having well established routines is the key to good learning. Whilst these routines may seem pedantic, they teach the children the importance of paying attention to detail and working as a team. They also make sure that we minimise any learning time lost by being efficient in the things that we do frequently and the children know exactly what each member of staff expects of them – because it is consistent throughout the academy (with the exception of EYFS where the children will gradually be taught all our routines ready for their move into Year One).
You can see an example of one of our routines in the poster below, which is displayed in each classroom. We ask our children to ‘SLANT’ frequently during the day and they all should be able to explain to you exactly what this means.
If you would like any more information about the academy routines that we are currently using, then please do ask your child’s classroom teacher.