Lifelong learners – we use this term a lot to describe something that we would like all the children in our school to be. We nurture them and try to provide them with the necessary skills and attitudes to learn independently and to gain the rewards this brings. We cannot predict the future, or imagine the technological advancements that will happen and are undoubtedly already planned. All we can do as educators is to enable our children to be adaptable and resilient and to continually take up the challenge of learning new skills, knowledge and understanding of the world around them. It starts in F1 and never ends: this is lifelong learning.
Our highly professional, dedicated and qualified teaching staff possess this very skill too. They are themselves, as our Aide Memoire states, self-reflective. They learn and develop new skills and adapt them to improve the opportunities and progress made by your children, almost on a daily basis. They share ideas and learn from each other. We know children learn well this way so as adults, we use this approach as much as possible.
Before the children came back to school, our teachers and teaching assistants were visited by an educational expert in the field of writing; encouraging children to first begin with lots of oral storytelling before beginning the writing process. We were given a clear structure that teaches the children to use gestures and pictures and story maps to tell stories. Then they build up the number of stories they have in their repertoire and they can apply this knowledge and confidence to new situations and to new writing styles. It is a well-known technique throughout the educational world, called ‘Talk4Writing’ and you can see much information about this on the internet. As I have walked around school this week, I have seen it being successfully introduced in both Vietnamese and English classes. When we have developed the movements and gestures for the different actions in the stories, we will share them with you and you can have a go at home. Our staff, your children, and hopefully you too will discover and keep alive the love of storytelling. This undoubtedly improves their writing, but has the added benefit of increasing their oracy skills too.
Have a great weekend.
Mr Nicholas West – Head of Primary