embrace a transformative approach: it’s not about fun versus learning; it’s about infusing joy into every learning experience

Let’s reimagine education beyond traditional boundaries and banish the notion that suggests that REAL learning only takes places when words are committed to paper! (Even though the skill of writing is ESSENTIAL and encouraging a passion for writing will ALWAYS be required – no matter how much AI comes into play).

Envision a world where measuring children’s progress ALSO involved the richness of their discussions, the confidence that they exude in class debates, the happiness they feel reading and unravelling an inspiring story or the way they build relationships and delegate in group situations. REAL learning can occur, and can be measured, in SO many ways……REAL learning: the enchanting journey where curiosity becomes wisdom and each new discovery adds to the beautiful canvas of children’s amazing minds.

Picture this: a confident group of youngsters engaging in lively debates, expressing their thoughts with enthusiasm, planting the seeds of critical thinking and teaching each other about everyday life. Witness the joy radiating from each child as they delve into a plethora of captivating stories, exploring worlds beyond the classroom. Broadening their horizons by asking questions, making statements and listening attentively to their peers.

Now, envision them building friendships, collaborating on projects and even taking turns as leaders in group activities. It’s not just about delegating tasks; it’s about cultivating teamwork and empathy. In this realm of REAL learning, a 6-year-old proudly creates a colourful peice of artwork, not just as a project but as a testament to their creativity and self-expression. Meanwhile, a 7-year-old, through storytelling, showcases a profound understanding of complex ideas in a way only their vibrant imagination can portray. How fulfilling! Embracing the fact that we all come to the table with different skills and talents.

As we reimagine education, let’s celebrate these moments where REAL learning, like a masterpiece, unfolds in countless ways—nurturing the curiosity and wisdom that define the amazing minds of our youngest learners.

Consider the 6-year-old explorer, eagerly conducting a science experiment using household items. It’s not just about mixing liquids; it’s about instilling curiosity, fostering a love for discovery and laying the foundation for future scientists. Now, meet the 7-year-old mathematician, not merely solving problems but engaging in interactive maths activities with an inquisitive demeanour. It’s about making learning playful, building a strong numerical foundation and cultivating a positive attitude towards challenges. Getting it WRONG is part of that journey – a really vital part!

As we shape the educational landscape together (and I am sure we agree that something needs to change), let’s remember that REAL learning extends beyond the classroom. Picture a scenario where children confidently raise their hands, not just to answer questions but to ask them—nurturing a culture of curiosity that will stay with them throughout life. It’s not only about academic prowess; it’s about fostering social skills. In the playground, a 6-year-old learns to share and navigate social circles, laying the groundwork for positive future interactions both in school and also society. Meanwhile, an eager 7-year-old, through collaborative projects, understands the importance of teamwork and effective communication to get the job done effectively! An effective leader in the making – and goodness me – we need this!

In preparing our future workforce, we must equip them with essential life skills. REAL learning is about instilling confidence to ask questions, empowering individuals to navigate situations appropriately to get the best out of people and providing opportunities to interact with diverse people across all walks of life. These skills are not just integral; they are the threads weaving the fabric of a future-ready, empowered generation.

It breaks my heart, but burnout is a shared challenge for both teachers and students and we need to rectify this before even more great teachers walk away. Teachers (of ALL ages) should discover avenues to infuse an element of “play” cleverly woven into the subject matter. Many subjects offer playful side paths that can rekindle engagement and enthusiasm. We need to bring back JOY to every learning experience. It’s not about fun vs learning, but rather, it’s about infusing joy into every learning experience. Let’s make learning an adventure, where curiosity sparks discovery and every task becomes an opportunity for growth. For this we need to GIVE teachers and teaching assistants autonomy to be creative. (More about Autonomy coming on my next blog).

As we prepare our young minds for the future, let's remember Mary Poppins' timeless wisdom: 'In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun!' Through REAL learning, we ensure that the journey is not just educational but a joyful voyage of exploration, curiosity and lifelong empowerment.

Once Upon a Time – Home – Once upon a time


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