Have you earned your STRIPES?

We have had a very exciting week with the new staff induction and a “getting to know you evening” for students and parents.  Throughout these events, I have been explaining to the new community at John Taylor Free School what our STRIPE curriculum is all about.  It has a timely coincidence with the release of the EEF guidance report Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning and a flurry of discussion around what this means for schools.

StripeFor our school it is simple; the STRIPE curriculum will equip our learners with not only a rich body of subject specialist knowledge, it will also enable them to understand the process of learning (metacognition) and therefore become better learners as a result.  Research from the Education Endowment Foundation reports that 8 months of achievement is added through metacognition and self-regulation for relatively low financial cost.  Our curriculum will be planned with student responsibility for learning in mind. This means that teachers will plan for how the students will learn as well as what they will learn. Conversations will take place around how a young person is developing their ability to persevere with a challenge, or whether they have been able to use their creativity to look at a challenge in a different light.  As part of induction, we will look at each STRIPE element and consider not just when or how often we use this type of learning behaviour but how we can get better at it.  All of these discussions around how we develop our ability to learn will enable the students to be more successful and enjoy the challenges we present to them.

STRIPE will be embedded across the life of school.  Students will lead their consultations with parents by showcasing the projects undertaken and explaining their learning journey alongside demonstrating their understanding of the subject content.  They will be able to articulate confidently their success, where they struggled and how they made progress towards the intended goal.  Rewards will recognise the different elements of STRIPE and students will be encouraged to demonstrate these behaviours at home as well as at school; have you earned your STRIPES?

Personal Tutorial sessions will explore how the different aspects of STRIPE affect everyday lives and the community – do the students recognise when adults around them are demonstrating and role modelling these behaviours?  The enrichment programme will develop their capacity to learn outside of timetabled lessons; for example, in debating club learning how to argue a case with evidence, in gardening club learning how to be creative in the outdoors, in chess club learning how to develop strategy. Assemblies will celebrate the success of students and staff – particularly when a challenge has been overcome.  We should be proud of all of our achievements and take a moment to share that pride.

If we want our young people to be independent thinkers who are capable, employable and have high aspiration then we have to develop their capacity to learn; from each other, by themselves and from those with more experience or knowledge.  By enabling students to become more powerful learners we are creating the conditions for them to succeed and thrive.

 

Sue Plant

Sue Plant
Head of School

 

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