Do you think the word ‘struggle’ is positive or negative? In half term, staff took part in some imaginative training in order to reflect on this. Mr Bohanna, Senior Teacher, Teaching and Learning, asked them to build flat-pack furniture blindfolded and without instructions. It certainly takes trust and teamwork to let someone who can’t see use a hammer near your fingers! We rediscovered the importance of including everyone through good communication and being willing to keep trying different approaches until something works. Mr Kellaway, Teacher of Theology, commented that ‘this was an amazing activity and we loved the opportunity to become learners once again; we had fun and were pushed out of our comfort zone’.
We then looked at the ‘Learning Pit’, a concept students learn about in Year 8 as part of our Growth Mindsets programme, and followed this up with observation fortnight, when each member of staff visits another lesson. The theme this year is ‘struggle time’, with the aim of planning lessons which increase our students’ determination in the face of challenge. For the past two weeks each member of staff has been undertaking a peer observation within a subject far removed from their own. Mrs Mason, Teacher of French and Spanish, observed a computing lesson and reported that ‘It was a brilliantly scaffolded fall into the abyss; they all happily took the plunge and were doing great things when I left’.