What do the four purposes look like in learning?
Children are always interested and curious about the world around them. They become highly motivated within their learning if it concerns real life events.
One activity carried out in lower school to develop the core purposes- ambitious capable learners and ethically informed citizens was to allow the children to read actual newspaper articles about the devastating earthquake which happened in Turkey and Syria. This event linked into our theme of ‘disasters’. The childrn had to cooperate with each other to read, find and discuss the main points within the article.
The children were then given the task to create their own newspaper articles about the tragic event. The children were highly motivated in becoming reporters and reporting on a real life event. They were able to write fantastic newspaper articles and were very empathetic towards the people caught up in the awful event.
This activity developed and encouraged the children’s skills within the English literacy and communication faculty by encouraging their speaking and listening skills, communication skills, writing skills and their reading skills. It also developed the children’s skills within the faculties of life and science and technology by encouraging their knowledge of the wider world and the effect events can have on the environment.
One activity carried out in Middle School to develop the core purpose- ethically informed citizens was for pupils to consider the question ‘can war ever be justified?’ focusing on the statement of understanding and considering the impact of their actions and choices. This linked into our theme of ‘conflict’. The children had to communicate their ideas and opinions and justify their arguments either for or against this question. This topical discussion became somewhat heated with the pupils in year 5 who provided some great arguments for both sides. An excellent debate.
This activity further developed pupils' ability to justify, and voice their opinions correctly, further developing their sentence starters and vocabulary whilst supporting their understanding of historical events in our world.
Another activity focused around the statement of ‘find, evaluate and use evidence to form views’. Pupils in year 6 are currently studying the theme of ‘change’ and have been looking at the different societal changes in history. When doing so, posed the question ‘which societal change has had the biggest impact on the world?’
Pupils researched the differing key changes which they felt the most significant before hosting a debate around this question. The debate, which they hosted, clearly demonstrated the passion and determination our pupils have in arguing their point of view and justifying each with supporting evidence. The debate was concluded with a statement from a pupil: ‘all of these changes can all be the most important, it depends on the perspective of the person making the decision’. A very mature statement made by an eleven year old pupil who further explained their thought process.
Across upper school the four purposes are developed across all curriculum areas and also within form time.
We expect pupils to approach their learning with a positive attitude, but also encourage them to question, take risks and, of course, make mistakes. Through this process, underpinned by the four purposes, we look to build resilient, self-motivated, lifelong learners.
During form time, pupils have been focusing on different aspects of ‘ethical, informed citizens’.
Year 9 considered: ethical, informed citizens who understand and consider the impact of their actions when making choices and acting. They were tasked with discussing a variety of different scenarios, what the consequences may be and whether the consequences were proportionate.
Year 10 considered: ethical, informed citizens who respect the needs and rights of others, as a member of a diverse society. Pupils looked at their own identity and individuality. They then considered differences and how this supports a diverse and inclusive society.
Year 11 considered: ethical, informed citizens who are knowledgeable about their culture, community, society and the world, now and in the past. Pupils considered a range of cultural customs and the interlinking theme. They then discussed why it is important to be knowledgeable about their culture, community, society and the world now and in the past.
Pupils really engaged in the discussions, and were active and engaged in their learning.
Faculty lessons also develop the four purposes and some examples of this are as follows;
Faculty of Life - Enterprise
As part of their enterprise qualification, our year ten pupils have started to plan their own business idea, gathering a range of primary data from peers and secondary competitor analyse information to help them decide on a final product.
Faculty of Life - RVE:
In RVE, pupils have been completing a medical ethics SOL this term in years 9 and 10.
They have been exploring IVF, abortion, blood donation, organ donation and euthanasia.
Pupils have been exploring different worldviews and texts, to form their own opinions. This week year 10 have explored Bob Marley and how his beliefs influenced the treatment he believed was acceptable when he was diagnosed with a melanoma. They then engaged with quotes from different religious and non religious texts about different topics within the theme and reached a judgement as to whether they agreed or disagreed with the statements and why.
Faculty of Science and Technology - Digital Technology:
Year 10 and 11 have been creating their own animations during Digital Technology lessons. The task requires them to become independent, confident and knowledgeable users of existing digital technologies. The specifics of the task enable pupils to interpret data before designing their proposal aimed to fulfil the assignment brief. Pupils will then be required to use appropriate technical skills to develop their animation. The logging of issues, problems, hurdles and solutions allows the pupils to develop a digital product that meets the identified needs of the context.
This is just a flavour of the types of lessons and work going on across faculties to develop our learners in line with the new curriculum and the four purposes. We have seen improved engagement and skills development across the board where these experiences have been fully exploited.
We continue on our learning journey as we develop our unique Ysgol Nantgwyn curriculum, and we continue to look for further opportunities to develop our young people’s knowledge and love of learning!