Saturday, 10 May 2008

Independent learning

Earlir this week we decided that it was time to remove the stabilisers from our daughters' bikes. I have to admit that I was rather hesitant to do this. I simply didn't believe they were ready. How wrong I was.

Within 24 hours, after umpteen scrapes and bumps, both girls had mastered the art of balancing and were cycling round the garden as if they had been doing so for years.

Reflecting on what had happened, I feel that the difficulty I had experienced as a child in learning to ride a bike had significantly influenced what I believed my own kids would be capable of. My expectations of my daughters were much lower that they ought to have been. This has really made me think and appreciate how much more difficult it can be to engage educationally with children whose parents had a less than positive school experience. Undoubtedly for me, raising the expectations of all who are associated with my school will be crucial if we are to continue to make progress on our journey to excellence. I also need to think further about how we can remove the 'stabilisers' that can make our pupils so dependent on others and miss out on the really deep learning that takes place when you take control of your own learning.

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