SEAL and the LP at Bradon Forest School
Social and emotional skills are essential for all those who learn and work in schools. This includes all pupils and staff, not just those pupils with identified social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Effective learning, high academic standards, an inclusive culture, positive behaviour, good attendance and good professional practice by school staff are challenging to develop unless both pupils and staff have social and emotional skills, and the ability to manage their own behaviour.
The evidence is overwhelming that well-designed programmes to promote social and emotional skills can result in gains that are absolutely central to the goals of all schools. At Bradon Forest SEAL has been a whole school focus for a number of years and it has been combined with the school’s LP in a number of ways to focus on the six goals enshrined in SEAL.
Independent Enquirers –The new Controlled Assessments in Business and BCS require the pupils to learn independently. By providing guidance, resources and links on the LP the pupils are able to work at their own pace during the research phase. To prepare the pupils for this new form of assessment there are also mini practice runs in year 8 and 9.
SCORM resources embedded into the Science pages have allowed the pupils to prepare for module tests despite snow closures.
An important aspect of secure independent learning is to see the Big Picture. In ICT, all years have an Overview so pupils can see an overview of the course. These take the form of tick list or mindmaps that the pupils can download from the LP and update as they progress. The y10 Theory mindmap allows the pupils to RAG the topics as they complete them.
Creative Thinkers – Pupils connect their own and others’ ideas and experiences in inventive ways when they are involved in collaborative projects. The wikiwilts collaborative project with Malmesbury School enabled an AGAT group to decide what people wanted to know about their local area. The Olympic Collaboration project with schools from Wokingham pitted a business group against their peers from other schools in a number of Olympic business related challenges.
Reflective Learners – Peer assessment is an important aspect of SEAL and the pupils look at each others work to learn from each other throughout KS3 ICT. The y9 Party in the Park website project culminates in the pupils assessing each others website on a forum that the pupils then use to improve their sites. In y8 the pupils use a Peer Assessment form on the LP and the y7’s ask their test buddy for feedback to their Recipe Booklet.
The KS3 ICT level descriptors have been amended to pupil speak so the pupils can understand what level they are on and what they need to do to progress. These are available via the LP so the pupils can access them at any time. The pupil engagement module of the LP that we are hoping to launch after Easter will allow the pupils to check their attainment on line any time.
The LP is used to obtain feedback from the pupils. Surveys on the usefulness of the Pupil review Day and forums on Flexidays have allowed pupils to give their reflected views on these events
The pupils are encouraged to reflect on their learning through their Homepages. In the My ecospace Competition the pupils reflected on how ecofriendly they were. This year the My Learning Space template encourages them to reflect on many more aspects of their learning
Team Workers – the examples of collaboration mentioned above are applicable here as are the tutor pages and Captains pages. Each tutor group has an ICT representative who builds the tutor page. By talking to other members of the tutor group they all decide what should be on the pages ranging from Homework Help forums to Videos of the week. Sports captains have made pages to report on their teams.
Self Managers – Making resources available on the LP is the perfect way to encourage self management. The resources are available 24/7 so pupils can decide when they want o use them
The DiDA GCSE course requires a lot of self management as it is a continually assessed course with minimal teacher input. Instructions are posted on the LP via resources and the Calendar so the pupils can see exactly what is required when.
The use of Podcasts in History, French and German GCSE classes allows pupils to download listening exercises onto their MP3 players so they can manage their learning to a time that suits them.
Effective Participators – Classroom discussion of issues will engage many pupils but by their nature they cannot involve everyone at the same time. By using forums pupils can all contribute and then challenge each other in an open way. The ‘Internet:Good or Bad?’ debate during safer internet week used forums to get all y8’s views. Forums have also been used by Science to debate issues such as Global warming and its effects.
The Social/Physical/Learning Climate is most challenged during the transition from Junior to Secondary school. The Transition projects with St Mary’s and St Sampson’s schools have allowed groups of pupils to build pages on the LP and to find out about the ‘big school’ in the process. Regular Newsletters record the Transition projects. Each day during induction a series of pictures are posted overnight so that the y6’s can share their experiences with their parents at home.
The LP is used by subjects like French and ICT to share resources with schools during their Primary Liaison visits so the pupils can access these resources in their own time in and outside school.
Overall in all aspects and in most subjects there are examples of the LP being used to enhance the SEAL experience at Bradon Forest.