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☰ ‘Banning the Eraser’

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‘Banning the Eraser’

Posted on: 28 Feb 2018 by Weston Green School | Category: Early Years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2

We have asked the children this week "Would you rather have a star or a wish in your books?" Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the nature of Weston Green pupils, the overwhelming response was that they would prefer to have a wish. When asked why, they simply told us that without a wish, they were unable to improve and get better.

This culture is something that we look to instil within our children from an early age. They are encouraged to try things and to get these things wrong, so they can have another go and learn from their mistakes. Videos published of children in Early Years trying to get into a pumpkin show children who are more than willing to try different things, with not one of them deterred when they did not succeed the first time.

As children travel through Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2 they are asked more and more to adopt the attitude of the squirrel, our Learner Profile who encourages risk-taking. We ask the children to try things they have not tried before and rather than be disappointed if they do not succeed, ask them what they have in fact learnt from this experience and what they may do the next time they are faced with a similar challenge. We have introduced them to ‘purple pen power’ whereby they go back and reflect on how they can improve their work, telling them not to rub out their mistakes but instead look at how they are a learning opportunity. We ask them how they can make their work even better and to show us in purple. This has encouraged pupils to add more to their work when they can and change elements they feel will improve what they have done, two of the key principles of Magenta that we have been working on. This purple pen technique also allows them to take a risk and try something different, a challenge the children have come to look forward to.

The risk-taking element of education is something we feel is an incredibly important part to aid children’s growth mindset and we encourage the children to look for opportunities to take risks with their learning as often as we can. In providing them with different situations and tasks, pupils have shown us how willing they are to try new things and how this acceptance of not always being right, ends up teaching them many important lessons.

At Weston Green, we ensure that pupils are not afraid of failure and that they look for the lesson they can learn from their mistakes. We ask them to try new things and teach them to be comfortable with not getting it right the first time. We use the squirrel Learner Profile to remind us of this and believe the words once spoken by Albert Einstein...“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

Miss Watson (Assistant Head & Head of Lower Key Stage 2 & Assessment)

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