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LEARNING WALKS. How we can share good practice and learn from one another. Why have a learning walk?. A learning walk can have many different purposes: To monitor or audit practice throughout the school. Providing a ‘snapshot’ view.

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learning walks

LEARNING WALKS

How we can share good practice

and learn from one another.

why have a learning walk
Why have a learning walk?

A learning walk can have many different purposes:

  • To monitor or audit practice throughout the school. Providing a ‘snapshot’ view.
  • To share good practice and promote consistencye.g. everyone walks their own school.
  • To raise awareness e.g. visits from or to other schools.
  • To check for progression e.g. a learning walk to focus on how addition is taught throughout the school.
  • Training e.g. display for learning
  • To provide quality time for reflection and to stimulate professional discussion.
how do you organise a learning walk
How do you organise a learning walk?
  • Decide on a focus

- pre-set criteria or your own?

- general observations or a checklist?

  • Is prior reading required?

- good way to introduce new initiatives such as Every Child

Matters

- can raise awareness of provision for groups e.g. EAL or SEN

  • Decide on a timetable [ 5-15 mins in each class]
  • Share the purpose, the focus and any criteria you might be using with the whole staff – including support staff.
how do you organise a learning walk4
How do you organise a learning walk?
  • Publish a timetable for your walk
  • Don’t forget to allow time for feedback amongst the group and to the staff concerned

- will you have an outside facilitator to chair the discussion?

- will any form of written report be produced?

- who will be responsible for feedback?

- who will be responsible for any action points which arise?

who goes on a learning walk
Who goes on a learning walk?
  • Staff [home and away]
  • Pupils
  • Parents
  • Governors
  • Other professionals
what are the rules
What are ‘the rules’?

There are certain ways to behave on a learning walk:

  • Always stand to the side or the edges – don’t distract from the teacher or block someone’s view.
  • If the children are working independently or in groups agree whether you are going to mingle and ask questions or simply be a ‘fly on the wall’ observer.
  • Don’t chat amongst yourselves whilst the teacher or pupils are addressing the class!
  • Are photographs permitted if the purpose is to gather evidence?
what might be the outcomes
What might be the outcomes?
  • Written report highlighting strengths and areas for development.
  • Identification of good practice and a plan on how to extend that across the school.
  • A change of policy, practice or routines.
  • Further information required to gain a more detailed picture.
slide8
The Learning Environment

Our aim is to enhance children’s learning through providing a stimulating learning environment.

A rich learning environment can enhance learning by:

  • Stimulating children’s creativity, curiosity and

thoughts.

  • Providing a bridge between the student and the

subject content.

  • Building self-esteem, self-worth and confidence.
  • Informing, motivating, influencing and exciting

the children about topics.

slide9
Providing children with a sense of ownership,

belonging and responsibility.

  • Promoting positive feelings and attitudes towards

school, the classroom and learning.

Recent research into the brain suggests that a classroom that is interactive, interesting, personalised and relevant will enhance the developing brain. Classroom displays must be changed and updated regularly to keep them relevant and interesting to pupils.

checklist
Checklist

Here is a basic classroom checklist that can be used when assessing the learning environment that you create.

  • The room is clean, tidy and organised.
  • Drawers and resources are clearly labelled.
  • Materials/resources are in working condition and appropriately stored.
  • Display boards are appropriate to the topics currently being taught.
  • Display boards are intact and appropriately presented.
  • Display boards will stimulate the children’s learning.
  • Side tables and tabletops are used for interest tables and to consolidate or to stimulate or further learning, not to pile books and papers on.
  • The children have a place for their personal belongings.
  • The space in the room is utilised to encourage maximum learning power.
checklist11
Checklist
  • There are clear learning areas/zones within the room, for example, book corner, numeracy area, and literacy area.
  • The temperature is between 68 and 72 degrees fahrenheit and there is good air circulation.
  • Classroom walls are a pastel blue, light green, yellow or aqua colour.
  • The focal point of the room (where the board is) is kept clean, simple and aesthetic. The side and back walls and surrounding tables are where the most important stimuli are positioned.
  • Coloured chalks, whiteboard pens and flipchart pens are used.
  • Lighting is natural (not fluorescent) The focal point of the room is well lit.
  • Music purposefully used at appropriate times.
  • Water is readily available to learners.
  • Resources are accessible and encourage independence, table trays containing a range of stationary.
  • Blank learning tools readily available for children to access and choose from.
slide12
Display for Learning Criteria

These are the criteria used to successfully incorporate display for learning into the school environment,to reflect and consolidate the learning process.

  • Key Words/Phrases:

Topic, Literacy, Numeracy, Phonics/Spellings;

Vocabulary that is related to the year group.

  • Key Information:

Definitions, facts, information, posters, diagrams.

  • Big Picture/Little Picture:

Annual, termly, topic, overview; Learning aims displayed;

Progression of a topic displayed, for example, displaying planning with work.

  • Artefacts/Objects (3D Display):

Interest tables, interactive tables, children’s 3-D work.

  • Learning Tools:

“Toolkit” reminder poster with symbols displayed for staff and pupils. Learning tools as plans displayed with finished work, blank learning tools displayed for inter-active use by the children and for whole class work.

  • Colour and Visual Representations:

Symbols and pictures displayed with key vocabulary. Use colour for key words in display.

  • Interactive: Blank learning tools, touchy /feely, flaps, moving words /numbers
  • Attitude/motivational posters:

“Getting stuck isn’t a problem, staying stuck is!”

“Pupil of the week /day”.