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    The British School Warsaw has been running the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme since 2001. It is the best course to follow for entry to the best universities, worldwide.

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The importance of Reflection

Reflection or the act of being reflective, is one of the key principals of the International Primary Curriculum that we follow here at The British School Warsaw.

Primary children in classroom

It is part our learning Journey, the process that facilitates our children’s learning and gives us time to think about what we have learnt, how we have learnt and what, perhaps, we would change or improve upon next time.

As part of the Learning Journey children take part in a range of research and recording tasks and activities such a researching from a text or website, interviewing a guest or expert, collecting data or information and then showing what they have learnt in different ways.

So far this year I have seen models that show the digestive system and skeletons in Year 3, plans and maps of circuses in Year 2 and data being recorded as part of scientific investigations in Year 5 and 6. These are all fantastic ways of researching and recording children’s knowledge. However, if the learning process stops there, pupils would miss out on the opportunity to think about how they got to that end point. This is so important when developing positive behaviour for learning and enabling our children to develop as independent learners.

Reflection can take many different forms and still have a positive impact. Even something as simple as sharing what went well and what could be even better with a friend or classmate will have a beneficial result on how we learn.

Reflecting on our learning allows us to identify barriers or stumbling blocks to learning and finding ways to overcome these potential challenges using the first hand experiences that they have just had. Reflecting on our practice also encourages us to stop and think. In our busy school days, taking the time to reflect is half the battle! Through this process of reflection, we give ourselves time to find new ways to learn. Reflection is also a really useful way to help develop our problem-solving skills. Through questioning what they have done and the choices they have made, children become more aware of their own learning styles and become more flexible in their approach to learning in different ways.

All of these ideas offer our children time for self-assessment, but perhaps most importantly, time for the appreciation of children’s triumphs and successes. It is not enough to look at what could go or did go wrong but we should always use reflection as an opportunity to identify children’s strengths and celebrate these! In that way, children won’t worry so much about making mistakes but are encouraged to be brave and take risks, knowing that they will have the chance to reflect as an integral part of their learning journey here at the British School Warsaw.

Thomas Holmes

Year 3 Teacher

Assistant Head, IPC Leader