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'How fascinating!' - Learning from our children's mindset

Mindfulness and well-being are perhaps two of the most used and of course vital words of 2020.

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This year has for all of us been unprecedented and like no other. Many of us are left thinking 'I wasn't prepared for this' or 'I wish I knew that was going to happen'. If only we all had a crystal ball and could see into the future then life would be much easier. However, for many of us as parents and teachers, we have been left amazed and admiring how our children and young learners have taken everything in their stride and flourished.

Of course in terms of curriculum, this year has left us with some gaps that will of course be closed in due course. It is however the skills developed and utilised and the mindset of our children that perhaps we should take a minute to commend and even learn from. In Year 1, we discuss for the first time our Personal Learning Goals as part of the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). These Personal Learning Goals have been refreshed and updated for 2020 and many have been seen to come to the fore. Our learners have shown themselves to be 'resilient' and willing to tackle the hurdles no matter how high. Their skills as 'communicators' have been extended by Zoom and Teams meetings, uploading onto Seesaw and Tapestry and even arranging virtual play dates. Our children have shown themselves to be more 'adaptable' than we ever thought possible and willing to try new things and develop new skills. As 'thinkers', these children are very willing to look in the mirror and reflect on themselves and their learning and ask could I improve it or could I have made a better choice today? The art of 'enquiry' which is also so fundamental to our thirst for new knowledge has also been extended and the need to question has never been so vital.

At our Dąbrowskiego campus, we are so proud of what our children have achieved and our amazement has continued since we welcomed them back this term. In Early Years, our personal, social and emotional development, our physical development, our understanding of the world and how we express ourselves are amongst our key goals. Since we returned we have stood back to appreciate how these children approach challenges and show us a different way of thinking.

In Year 1, we have been thinking about our goals as well and wondering why sometimes adults use such complicated language and then our teachers ask us to simplify them for us. During our 'Brainwaves' unit we have thought about the different sides of the brain and the different skills which are generated by each side. We have also thought deeply about our choices and how we can control our thinking even when the wrong choice might be more tempting than the ethical one. We also understand how healthy choices impact on our brain and we are learning 'a healthy body means a healthy mind'.

One of the greatest challenges we face as teachers and parents is to prepare our children for the unknown occupations of tomorrow.  However it is wonderful to be able, in uncertain times, to imagine thinking like a child and to try to learn from our children's approach and mindset.

Henry W Guyler

Year 1 Sharks Teacher

Year Level Leader

Assistant Head (Pastoral, Communications and Logistics)