At the start of each lesson, teachers post Learning Objectives and Learning Outcomes on the board in order to help pupils to invest in their learning – a far cry from the learning experience that we had I suspect!?! However, I want to share a wonderful lesson with you that I happened to drop in on this morning. Year 3 were building ‘Reading Comprehension’ skills, something that runs through every subject and defines highly skilled communicators in later life. Most schools will approach this via schemes and programmes that invariably cap the depth of comprehension as there is not the sense of purpose to make the activity real.
However, 3K started with instructions for a board game, to be read in pairs and then followed through. The buzz and sense of anticipation, the team work and empathy, the tolerance and understanding were all outcomes that simply could not be listed in an LO written on a board! The pupils had to then refer to the instructions directly to extract the text that described certain rules. What a great lesson that explains the exceptional performance of Orley Farm pupils in this essential field. I was recently at a highly reputed senior school helping them with their admissions and assessment process. They are tired of seeing the veneer thin tutored outcomes that some NW London pupils are showing…long may we seek to make learning purposeful, real and engaging! This lesson backs up the Orley Farm mantra that we are teaching youngsters far beyond the shallow demands of tests, we are teaching them for life…thank you 3K!
One sad observation…one pupil did say that they had not played a board game before. A little request to mums and dads…board games are extremely powerful for teaching so much and I would highly recommend turning off the screens and opening a box that might bring the family together on a cold evening!