Learning community and learning communally
The children buddy up to learn together in many different ways - for example, to support new members of the group manage the transition to class and to help emerging readers; but they also do things that enable them to pass on their passion and outside interests for the benefit of us all and contribute to our community of learning and learners.
Over the last two terms, individual children have designed strategy and zoology games for the group, have run projects that resulted in each child taking on responsibility for researching one aspect of the study to then share their illustrations and stories with us all and shared their home working research, for example on 'Naughty Chaucer', much to everyone's delight and enjoyment.
We have benefitted so much from one lad sharing his intense interest in all things scientific in coaching friends in the periodic table and in circuitry and showing us all how to split water into hydrogen and oxygen atoms. And we have had children build on their interest in geography to make additional pin maps - of the UK and the Arctic as a learning resource for their friends to then use.
One of our leavers, who is naturally highly competitive, wanted to do something for the group to enjoy as a finale to the end of term. His gift was to chose to design a sports event for us all. He took into consideration that we have mixed ages, mixed interests and mixed natures - some as competitive and some very much not. The care that went into creating mixed teams and events that would appeal to the whole group and coaching an older child to run something similar the next week - was a fun, generous, loving, parting gift to us all.