Our Core Vision for Enquiry Learning at Delabole Primary School
At Delabole Primary School, we have been thinking about how we can prepare our young people for a world that will be very different to the one in which we have grown up.
In considering what learning for the 21st century should look like, as a whole school community, we have made far-reaching changes to our curriculum and thought deeply about a set of 8 core skills - or dispositions for learning - that should underpin all our learning experiences. This is our Learning Toolkit.
In order to immerse our children in learning that is rich in context, memorable, relevant and challenging, we have also decided to link our learning each term to a Whole School Enquiry - or Big Question. This enquiry focus sits under the umbrella of one of our 12 Core Values and so, over a two year rolling programme, each Core Value is visited in depth, is brought to life by our Whole School Learning Enquiry, which in term is interpreted via the History or Geography theme relevant to each class, and developed through the 8 dispositions in our Learning Toolkit. It sounds quite complex, but like all powerful ideas in learning, it is based on a simple belief: children learn best when they 'live' an experience and explore it from every angle.
Taking care to refer to the National Curriculum, we have organised each enquiry focus so that it is largely driven by the History or Geography programmes of study, with English as a thread running through all that we do. These core themes are enriched by connections with other subject areas such as Art, Music, Dance, D&T and any other area which sits well with the question. That said, we do not force connections which are tenuous, so in some instances, subjects are taught discretely - such as Mathematics.
Within each enquiry focus, there is a progression of interconnected skills which are mutually enhanced by innovative, immersive experiences and creative thinking.
This is our 'Beautiful Tapestry of Learning'.
Twelve Core Values
At Delabole Community Primary School, asking a question is as important as answering it. We have questions or 'wonderings' about works of art, about stories, about problem solving in Maths and about investigations in Science. In History, we have wonderings about how to unlock the secrets of the past...in fact we wonder about the world in all its amazing complexity. Most importantly, we wonder about ourselves...what makes us unique, human, complicated, similar and different all at the same time.
In thinking about what it means to be human and belong - truly belong - to our various 'tribes' of family, friends, school and wider community, we have identified twelve important values and explored them in depth so that we all understand exactly what they mean and what they look like in action.
These Values are organised over a two year rolling programme so that we can really explore them in depth, and they are linked to our Big Questions or Enquiry Learning. Mr Pritchard takes great care to reinforce these values in weekly leadership assemblies, but they are also discussed in our classrooms and on the playground so that they become the beliefs that bind us together - our whole school tribal identity. We are the Tribe of Delabole.
Our Toolkit for Learning
What does intelligent learning look like?
Intelligent learning is not just about being clever. It is about not giving in to the fear of failure in the face of challenge. It means having the confidence to explore new ideas and shape opinions with conviction. An intelligent learner is curious about their world and wants to understand how the world works.
Intelligent learners enjoy being faced with a problem, a mystery, a puzzle or a challenge. They know that communication is as much about listening as it is about speaking. They love making connections in their learning. They definitely don't expect learning to be 'dished up on a plate' to them. They understand that the best learning is active, requires commitment and sometimes takes great effort.
Sometimes intelligent learning is so tricky that we have to enter 'The Pit'. If you have ever faced a huge challenge, struggled with a seemingly impossible problem or searched for understanding but found only more mystery, you may have struggled in The Pit. Almost always, escape from The Pit is possible with the help of others. Several minds combined can achieve more progress than one mind alone.
Learning To Learn - Curiosity and Questioning
Every day, in every learning experience, our pupils are encouraged to reflect on what they have learned and what they must do in order to make further progress. Crucially, they are also encouraged to talk about 'how' they have learned so that they are empowered and actually own the process of learning. In order to do this, we have devised a shared language of learning to frame our thinking. This language is underpinned by the concept of The Tribe, our shared school - or tribal - values and what it means to be a 'Warrior for Learning'.
Each week, a child from every class is selected as the Learning Warrior if they have really embodied one or more of the learning dispositions from our Learning Toolkit:
- Risk taking