Critical skills a 'fab' way of learning

10th November 2006 at 00:00
Amy Kerr P7 pupil Gullane Primary East Lothian

I was shocked to read the article (TESS, October 27) by Marj Adams, stating her opinion on critical skills. I think what she said was unfair as she has not given critical skills a fair chance and, therefore, has not been able to explore to its full extent how very useful and enjoyable it can be.

Marj Adams mentioned that a colleague described critical skills as "the very poor man's co-operative learning", which is its not. She had no right to criticise our way of learning as I don't think she understands what critical skills is all about.

I find critical skills is a really good confidence booster, and I now am more confident in all areas of the curriculum. We do learning logs (assessing our week), and the challenges are made more demanding as we have more to work towards.

Critical skills is a fab way of learning as we have talking partners, sweeps and thumb tools which ensure every class member has a voice.

Our teacher is not telling us what to do anymore. We are given something to do and, whether we further our learning by doing it or hold ourselves back, the choice is ours.

SOBs (specific observable behaviours) let others know if we are giving our best. We have class challenges and we debrief at the end of each session.

We community-build if anyone feels down.

I hope readers realise critical skills is not a topic. It is an aspect of learning, used in everything we do, not just for school.

When we self-assess, we are trusted to give an accurate account, and that teaches us to be confident. School is for teaching us to cope and get a good job. Without critical skills, I wouldn't see the point, as life skills are what critical skills are all about.

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