Reflections on learning

Children at Rosendale spend quite a bit of time (still not enough in 5TM!) reflecting on their learning. Sometimes the reflections are on paper, sometimes on Evernote (a sort of electronic camera, notepad and filing system combined). There’s research evidence that “thinking about learning” (‘metacognition’) can have a big impact on achievement, which is why the school invests so much time and effort in this area.

The children should aim to complete at least three reflections a week.  I usually make it one of their targets in independent learning. They might want to write a reflection at any point in the week (when they’ve just understood something for the first time, or got over a hurdle, or produced a piece of work they really like, or solved a tricky maths problem). I encourage them to write a reflection after they have their weekly 1:1 meeting with me – I want these meetings to be weekly but am not always managing to keep this up. And sometimes we stop as a class to reflect, all together, at the end of a unit of work.

I don’t want the reflections to be formulaic. But the general aim should be for the children to reflect on what they’ve learned and how they learned it (or, alternatively, and equally usefully, what stopped them learning).  Here’s an example of what I think is a good reflection – on the week’s literacy lessons on debating.20140414-174707.jpgThe tags at the top (which would be typed in an Evernote reflection) are intended to help the students or teacher search for past reflections on a particular topic. As well as cataloguing the work (e.g. literacy, debating), children assess how they think they’ve got on (red/stuck, amber/OK but areas to work on, green /going well and blue/confident enough to coach) and they pick an emotion that describes how they feel about this area of learning.

Tadpole update

The 5TM tadpoles are getting bigger and fatter and one or two are just starting to grow back legs. They seem to spend most of the day energetically snuffling around in the gravel and dirt at the bottom of the tank. I don’t know what they’re doing really! Any other tadpole updates?


My London


Tower Bridge folding in and out
The London Eye whizzing around
Sunlight bouncing off The Shard and reflecting back to the River Thames
That’s what I call My London
Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus; busy places
Museums, galleries, shops.



London to me is a box to explore
Some things are bad but the rest is amazing
The wonderful parks, the delicious food, the culture
Who would not like London?
London is a magical place to be
You can go up The Shard
Watch an exciting football match at Wembley
Go to parliament
And at the end of your day you go to bed and look forward to another day exploring London.



London is a place full of joy and excitement
People full of humour and vibrant hearts
Everywhere you go you won’t have a frown
Because London is a place nobody owns.



London, a multicultural sea, a place of love
Going up The Shard
Strolling down the river bank
People busking on the streets for cash
Every day there’s something new to explore.
Waking up in the morning is like arriving at a new world
With so much to explore
This is My London.



People, people everywhere
On red buses, on the eye
Tubes are filled, to the top, before they say stop!
Days in landmarks, nights in clubs
People running here and there
Gorgeous parks everywhere
This is My London



The big eye of London that turns around every minute
The big clock that chimes
My beautiful London a moment of time
The GIANT river called The Thames
The moving bridge
Everyone walking around shoes clattering
My London
Parks filled up with kids and adults making so much noise
Trafalgar Square
The great big castle called Buckingham Palace
And Nelson’s Column



A big city
It looms over us
Great things, terrible things
All squashed together.

Trains pulling along the rails
The constant hubbub of voices
Merging into one noise
The pulse of a city
The city called London.

Inspiration lies in every corner
Waiting to be found
Waiting patiently
Waiting for the right person
To have a spark

My city
My London



London is free!

At the end of term we were experimenting with some little pieces on London – I hope that they might form part of the exhibition at Mall Galleries in the summer.

I read out Olivia’s ‘My London’ below, as an example of a piece I liked, and Erin wrote a fantastic, funny response on the spot.  A bit like a rap ‘battle’!


I live in London
London is my home
I belong to London
London belongs to me
Being in London matters to me
Because London is my London!

On summer evenings, I walk through parks
Hyde Park, Brockwell Park, St James’ Park
All the parks
Then I go to famous landmarks
Buckingham Palace, Nelson’s Column, Westminster Abbey
All the famous landmarks
Then I go home!
I do this because London is my London.



Nobody knows what London will be like tomorrow
Every day is an adventure, a new dawn
Nobody owns London, not even Olivia
London is free!


Holiday reading

Update:  I’d also very much like some comments on Jim’s review of Skellig

I’d love everyone in the class to read or re-read David Almond’s brilliant, award-winning Skellig.  Even better, review Skellig on the 5TM book club website.  All six members of the class who have reviewed the book so far have given it 5 stars.  Literacy lessons after Easter will be based on Skellig.

Wandsworth Museum trip

An excellent trip. We didn’t have much time to look around the museum itself but the museum’s education team ran a great workshop.  Part of the workshop was exploring some of the “push” and “pull” factors that have led people to emigrate to Wandsworth from all around the world.

Refugees from Poland – escaping war and persecution


From Ireland – driven to emigrate by extreme poverty


Huguenots – fleeing religious persecution in France


Immigrants from the West Indies – seeking new opportunity, emigrating to work in the newly-formed National Health Service


Romans – coming to Wandsworth at the time of the Roman Empire



Still a work-in-progress, but here’s a spectacular mural of London the children produced today, working with Josey Scullard, Lucy’s mum Ania, and artists from The Mall Galleries and Wandsworth Museum. The mural will be displayed at Mall Galleries before the summer together with lots of other work that we’re planning on ‘London identities’.20140403-220902.jpg


Discussing London identities and planning the mural earlier in the day20140403-221008.jpg