An advantage of working for a school which is part of a group such as Cognita is there are opportunities to meet other professionals and share ideas and good practice. I was fortunate on Wednesday to attend such an event when I went to the Emirates stadium to attend the Cognita European Leadership Conference. The main focus of the event was to Inspire us to be the ‘Best at getting better’ and I believe that in our Early Years setting that this is something which we do try and attain to on a daily basis. We have a fantastic team of practitioners who are constantly looking for new ideas and strategies to introduce so that we can provide the best teaching and learning. If you have a child in Red and Blue room you may have heard them talking about Helicopter Stories which we have just introduced to promote story writing and acting but also promote confidence and build self-esteem.
One such strategy we do use in Early Years is that of Sustained Shared Thinking. This is when two or more individuals (adults and children) are working together to solve a problem, clarify a concept or evaluate activities. It is strongly associated with high-quality teaching and learning for young children. Children who engage in sustained shared conversations are more likely to do well in school and life.
Sustained shared thinking is about not giving direct instructions such as ‘put you jacket on’, ‘tidy up’ nor asking closed questions such as “what colour is this?”, “did you like the story?”. Effective teaching and learning is promoted by the use of extended conversations between children and adults, or children and their peers. This will be supported by using Active Listening coupled with positive, open ended, questioning.
Example of strategies we can use are:
Tuning in: listening carefully to what is being said, observing body language and what the child is doing.
Showing genuine interest: giving their whole attention to the child, maintaining eye contact, affirming, smiling, nodding.
Respecting children’s own decisions and choices by inviting children to elaborate: saying things like ‘I really want to know more about this’ and listening and engaging in the response.
Re-capping: ‘So you think that … ’
Offering the adult’s own experience: ‘I like to listen to music when I cook at home.’
Clarifying ideas: ‘Right Darren, so you think that this stone will melt if I boil it in water?’
Suggesting: ‘You might like to try doing it this way.’
Reminding: ‘Don’t forget that you said that this stone will melt if I boil it.’
Using encouragement to further thinking: ‘You have really thought hard about where to put this door in the palace – where will you put the windows?’
Offering an alternative viewpoint: ‘Maybe Goldilocks wasn’t naughty when she ate the porridge?’
Speculating: ‘Do you think the three bears would have liked Goldilocks to come to live with them as their friend?’
Reciprocating: ‘Thank goodness that you were wearing wellington boots when you jumped in those puddles George. Look at my feet, they are soaking wet!’
Asking open questions: ‘How did you … ?’ ‘Why does this … ?’ ‘What happens next?’ ‘What do you think?’ ‘I wonder what would happen if … ?’’What did you notice about …..?’ ‘Tell me about……?’
Modelling thinking: ‘I have to think hard about what I do this evening. I need take my library books back to the library and stop off at the supermarket to get some food for tomorrow, but I just won’t have time to do all of these things.’
So next time you start to tell your child to “put on their coat” or “pick up their toys” remember, by following these suggestions and working in partnership with us, you can promote the teaching and learning in our setting.
Ted Talk from Suli Breaks - Follow the Leader
Suli Breaks is one the UK’s leading spoken word poets who captivates audiences and peers alike with his phenomenal wordplay. At LCS, the focus on Character Development and Leadership that Inspires Every Child, form part of the LCS global learning community alongside the Cognita Group values, which opens doors to pupils’ future opportunities. These are complimented through the 3C’s; Connections, Creativity and Collaboration. Influencing and broadening a new generation of careers through a diverse and global platform; an inspiring world of education. We want to ask you all who view this video;
What does it mean to be a Leader?
Tweet your comments: #LCSInspires
Years 2-6 MyBB login can be found here:
Here, pupils will be embarking on a reading journey using MyBookBlog (MyBB), a fantastic new website that motivates children to read books. The new area is proving a big hit already which is stacked full of material for pupils to read!
Junior Disco (years 1-6)
When – Friday 2nd of February
Time – 6-9pm
Venue – Thames Valley Athletics Centre
Cost – £8 per child – this includes entry, food and unlimited squash
Bowling Event (years 7-8)
When – Friday 9th of February
Time – 7-9pm
Venue – Tenpin Maidenhead
Cost – £15 per child – this includes 2 games of bowling plus food and drink
A form has been sent home, please return this by the 31st of January so we can secure your child’s place.
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