In the beginning
The whole thing started with the idea that a mind map for the children could be a useful way to highlight the work to be done that week. The school were already using mind mapping and other visual tools for planning and teaching and this seemed to be a logical extension of their use.
It looked like a brilliant idea, but actually it wasn’t. It just didn’t work. There was too much input from the teacher and not enough from the child. What we needed to develop was a way for the children to construct their own maps in order to develop their thinking skills.
We moved on and it got better. The new approach was to provide a simple central image with a reduced number of subjects allowing children to add more of their own thinking and learning to their learning log.
Now we were making progress!!
We still had a long way to. However, we didn’t realise this at the time.
State of play at the moment
Things have moved on and the quality of the learning logs has improved enormously.
How did we get there?
- Through challenging dialogue
- Through a recognised process of leadership in depth
- By taking risks
- By making lots of mistakes
When do we use them?
At the end of the day
When the children think it’s appropriate
For peer partnership learning
Are they creative?
You be the judge
The view from Ofsted
• Independent learning is promoted well, for example through the home learning logs, and pupils are very good at working independently or with their peers
• The use of the home learning logs successfully develops pupils’ enthusiastic attitudes after school, and pupils show off their efforts to all who will listen.
• Parents also felt that the logs were useful both in engaging their children and in ensuring that they, as parents, had a clear understanding of how their children were doing.
• They have a very good view of how they can shape their own learning and performance through home learning logs, and are increasingly aware of their personal targets for academic subjects and personal development.
• The home learning logs have inspired many parents to participate in their children’s enthusiastic learning.