Norris Bank Primary School
29 January 2015 | By Helen Sanderson
Tabitha Smith is the Inclusion Co-ordinator and acting Deputy Head at Norris Bank Primary School in Stockport. At Norris Bank, they are exploring how person centred approaches can be used across the school with children, parents and teaching staff, to deliver personalised learning.
Whole Class One-Page Profile
The new year brings new projects; always exciting.
I have worked with Gill from HSA on developing a whole class One-Page Profile. I decided to take this focus, to see how we can expand the advantages of an individual One-Page Profile, to benefit the whole class. The session went really well, with learning points along the way. Having reflected on the afternoon, I feel confident that the process can be rolled out across the school next half term.
The three headings of the profile (Appreciations/Important to/Ways to support) informed the structure of the afternoon.
The session started with the children looking through their One-Page Profiles, and choosing the two appreciations that they like the most. These were written on pieces of paper, and each child read them out before putting them on display.
Reflection: This worked very well. The children like to revisit their One-Page Profiles, and having to publicly acknowledge appreciations visibly boosts self esteem. We did have some children saying that they sound ‘big headed’ but it is important for children to feel comfortable giving as well as receiving compliments.
Once the board was filled with individual appreciations, we went on to discuss what – having read the individual appreciations – would be classed as wide appreciations. We talked about the key words that would be used to describe the class if a new pupil was joining us. We did this by categorising and sorting. So for example, lots of children had put that they were good friends. This was then translated to ‘In this class we are friendly.’ Many children had an appreciation linked to sport, which translated into ‘We are sporty’. Many children had an appreciation linked to their ability to work hard. This became the whole class appreciation ‘We work hard; we like to get our brains buzzerling, (buzzerling is a word invented by one of the pupils, to show how we want our brains to feel after a work session).
Reflection: It was actually very easy to pull out around 10 whole class appreciations, building these phrases on the individual appreciations.
In order to collect meaningful whole class ‘Important To’ we moved the session on to talk about what were the elements of a really great day at school (The ‘Good Day’ exercise). Gill collected the children’s comments whilst I wrote them up. The children were very insightful in analysing essential elements of a good school day. Some of the issues raised were: When we get rewards, when everyone is friendly at playtime, when we have outside visitors, when we can choose the group that we work in.
Reflection: If we were to do this again, I would direct the children a little more, to focus on the specifics of a school day. For example I would say: ‘what behaviours must we see for a successful lesson /a successful lunchtime /a successful afternoon etc. This will focus the children more, and encourage more self reflection. We deliberately didn’t do the ‘Bad Day’ exercise as there was the possibility that individual children’s behaviours might be highlighted as a negative influence. It was useful having two of us at this point – one to collect the ideas and interact with the children, and one to write up their comments.
From this, we then gave the children three stickers, and they were asked to put their stickers on the statements that they felt had the highest priority, had the greatest importance. We then asked them to write onto their own One-Page Profiles, the statements that were the most important to them.
The children loved this aspect. Next time, I think that we would have a better spread of stickers if the statements were more focused on the specifics of aspects of a Good Day. The children enjoyed being able to add to their own ‘important to’ section.
When doing this exercise again, I would stop at this point. The children were ‘buzzing’ and had achieved a great deal, but needed a break.
From the ‘Important To’ work we were able to pull out ways to support the class. This session would have been more effective if it had been done on a different day; our class were tired at this point. However, we managed to pull key messages out: ‘We like to be rewarded when we work hard, when we achieve well and when we are kind and friendly. So please give us team points and pieces of our jigsaw’. Another one went like this: ‘We all want to get on together and be friendly.’
This was the hardest part of the session, to make meaningful links between the ‘Important To’ and the ‘How to support’ section. This is why I feel it needs to be done in a different session to the other sections. Teachers will need to think about how effective support is pulled out of the previous sessions.
We hope to have the whole class One-Page Profile to share with you soon.
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