Samba to success

17th November 2006 at 00:00
Who Went?

Charles Pomeroy, assistant head at Collegiate High Sports College in Blackpool.

What course?

Learning to Learn by Alite, Leeds.

What did it do?

It looked at what schools can do to help children become resilient, resourceful and reflective learners. You find out how the brain works, and why different people learn in different ways.

Why go?

I want our pupils to be more independent. Employers and universities say children are being spoon-fed, and I think schools need to address this.

Message, motto, or mantra

Learning should be at the centre of things, not teaching.

Hand-outs or hands-on?

Some of it was quite didactic, but there was also some group work, and it was never dull. At one point we were doing a samba round the room.

Something I liked

Teachers from three schools already using Learning to Learn principles came along to act as case studies. It was helpful to hear first-hand about the benefits - and about the difficulties they'd faced in making changes.

Something I learned

Shallow learning is when you know the facts. Deep learning is when you understand the relevance and application of those facts - and that's what we should be aiming for.

Has it made a difference?

We're changing the way we do things in Year 8 and will monitor that group as a pilot. I'd like to think that in a few years' time our results could soar.

The verdict

An excellent course - particularly for middle or senior managers who can diffuse the ideas among their department or school

Coming soon

Over the next few months there are Learning to Learn courses in Manchester, London, Birmingham and Dunblane. pound;245 plus VAT.

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