How we Learn (approach & Pedagogy)
At Barnsole Primary School, our commitment is to provide an enriching and effective educational experience for all our pupils. To achieve this, we have adopted an approach and a pedagogy that shape our teaching and learning approaches: Kagan Cooperative Learning (our approach) and Retrieval Practice (our pedagogy). Here is a brief overview of each:
1. Kagan Cooperative Learning:
Kagan Cooperative Learning is not just about pupils working together, but doing so in a structured, collaborative manner. Developed by Dr. Spencer Kagan, this approach focuses on creating classroom activities where pupils are interdependent and responsible for each other’s learning. Key features include:
Positive Interdependence: Pupils rely on each other to achieve a shared goal.
Individual Accountability: Each pupil is responsible for their learning, ensuring no one is left behind.
Equal Participation: Activities are structured so that everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute.
Simultaneous Interaction: Multiple pupils participate at once, increasing engagement and participation rates.
By integrating Kagan structures into our classrooms, we cultivate an environment where pupils actively engage, communicate, and support one another's learning journey.
Here are summaries of the four Kagan Cooperative Learning Strategies we use at Barnsole:
Timed Pair Share:
- Setup: Pupils are paired up.
- Process: Each pupil gets an equal amount of time to share their response to a question or topic with their partner. The partner listens without interruption. Once the first pupil's time is up, the roles are reversed.
- Purpose: Ensures equal participation and allows each pupil to articulate their thoughts.
- Setup: Pupils are paired up.
- Process: Pupils take turns providing answers or responses to a question or topic in a rapid, back-and-forth manner. For example, if the topic is "fruit," the pupils might alternate saying "apple," "banana," "cherry," and so on.
- Purpose: Encourages active participation from both pupils and helps generate a large number of ideas or responses quickly.
- Setup: Pupils are grouped in teams (typically 4 pupils).
- Process: A question or topic is posed. Pupils take turns sharing a response within their group. Just like Rally Robin but applied to slightly larger groups.
- Purpose: Ensures that each pupil in the group has an opportunity to share, promoting equal voice and participation.
- Setup: Pupils work in pairs.
- Process: One pupil (the "doer") solves a problem or answers a question while explaining their thinking out loud. The other pupil (the "coach") listens, provides feedback, and offers encouragement or suggestions. Once the task is done, roles are switched.
- Purpose: Promotes peer tutoring, active problem-solving, and verbalization of thought processes. Helps pupils to not only understand a concept but also be able to teach it.
Each of these strategies fosters active participation, collaborative problem-solving, and equal voice among pupils in a classroom setting. They are often used to break up traditional instruction and inject more interactive learning opportunities.
2. Retrieval Practice:
Remembering information is a vital skill, and Retrieval Practice hones this skill by encouraging pupils to recall information from memory without looking at their notes or textbooks. By doing so, the process of retrieving strengthens the memory, making it easier to access in the future. Here is why it is central to our teaching:
What is Adaptive Teaching?
Adaptive teaching is a teaching method tailored to meet the unique learning needs of every pupil. Instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach, our teachers adjust their teaching styles, strategies, and materials to ensure each pupil is engaged, challenged, and supported in their learning journey.
Enhanced Memory Retention: Regularly recalling information strengthens neural pathways, solidifying the learning.
Building Confidence: As pupils notice their increasing ability to remember, their confidence in their learning abilities grows.
Effective Assessment: Retrieval practice serves as a diagnostic tool, highlighting areas where pupils might need further support or review.
Active Engagement: It shifts the focus from passive note-taking to active recall, keeping pupils actively involved in their learning process.
How Does Adaptive Teaching Benefit Pupils?
- Personalised Learning: Recognises that every child learns differently and provides individualised instruction based on each pupil's strengths, weaknesses, and pace.
- Maximises Potential: By meeting pupils where they are in their learning journey, adaptive teaching ensures that every pupil can progress and reach their full potential.
- Encourages Engagement: By making lessons more relevant and tailored to individual needs, pupils are more likely to be engaged and motivated.
- Builds Confidence: Pupils who receive personalised support are more likely to understand and master new concepts, leading to increased confidence in their abilities.
How Do Teachers Implement Adaptive Teaching?
- Assessment: Regular assessments help teachers understand where each pupil is in their learning process. This is not just about tests; it includes observations, discussions, and classroom formative assessments.
- Flexible Grouping: Based on assessment data, pupils might be grouped differently from one activity to the next depending on the skills being targeted.
- Differentiated Content: Teachers may present content in various ways using videos, hands-on activities, interactive software, and more to cater to different learning styles.
- Feedback and Adjustments: Teachers provide timely feedback, allowing pupils to understand their areas of improvement. The teaching approach is adjusted accordingly.
At Barnsole, we believe that by integrating this pedagogy with approach, our pupils not only receive the information but also develop essential skills like collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. This dynamic blend ensures they are well-prepared for future academic challenges and life beyond the classroom.