What is Learning Without Limits?
Learning Without Limits is a philosophy that we wholeheartedly believe in here at West Leigh and Backwell Juniors. We offer our pupils every chance to succeed and are developing many different ways in which they can do this by taking greater ownership of their learning:
Self-Selection - Our pupils regularly choose their own level of challenge within lessons. Differentiated activities or challenges are available for the children to decide how best to take their learning forward.
'Goldilocks' Reviews or 'Purple' Learning - Once the pupils have chosen their own level of challenge, they reflect on their choice against various success criteria and decide if they have been working at a level that is 'Just Right' for them. This is also known as being a 'Purple Learner' and the pupils reflect on their work, highlighting it in purple if they think it has been completed with the right level of challenge for them.
Collaboration and Challenge - We aim to offer all of our pupils a wide variety of opportunities to work together to investigate and challenge themselves. Linked to self-selection, they can often choose if they work independently, together or with help from their teacher. Offering the pupils this level of choice, gives them real ownership over their learning choices and has a positive impact upon motivation. Allowing the children time to 'Grapple' with problems in class before offering our teaching input is also developing reasoning and problem solving skills.
Our school participates in the Learning Exchange 'Learning Without Limits' Network.
The Learning Exchange summarise Learning Without Limits as "based on the beliefs that can be summarised as follows:
North Somerset Learning Exchange
"Red means you're finding it really hard. Purple means you're finding it just right and blue means that it is too easy!"
"We colour in the face in our book - red, purple or blue."
"It tells how much you've been thinking about a challenge."
"I always think it will be hard but when I've finished learning it is easier."
"If I've picked a challenge that is too easy or too hard I know I can choose another challenge."
"If it is too easy you go on to the next challenge."
"I like it when you can choose Challenge 3 after Challenge 2."
Updates - Newsletter Extracts
15th December 2016
I can’t quite believe we’ve reached Christmas already! There has been so much going on at both schools that time has flown over recent weeks.
Our continued focus on Learning Without Limits has seen the pupils being offered increasing amounts of independence over their learning – often choosing work for themselves and then spending time reflecting on their choices and how they can develop and improve what they’ve done. The power in this level of autonomy has been clear to see. Amy Townsend, Alister Meredith and I have spent lots of time in classes, seeing loads of exciting and imaginative learning taking place. The pupils have been ‘Grappling’ with questions and investigations earlier during lessons (often at the start) to offer them more chance to problem solve without any teacher input. They’ve also had the choice whether to work on tasks independently, collaboratively or with adult support.
We will be offering you more information and examples to see this style of learning early in the New Year.
Monday 5 September 2016
Welcome to a new academic year!
I really hope you have had a great summer break and are ready for many exciting learning opportunities that the next year will bring. This promises to be another busy year for the Federation of West Leigh Infant School and Backwell Junior School. Our focus on inspiring and motivating the children through giving them greater ownership over their learning choices will continue and will be enhanced with some new initiatives which I will let you know about in due course. I’d like to continue to involve you in this process and so if any of you would like to be involved in inspiring the children with some of your own achievements, please get in touch!
I feel lucky to be the Head teacher of 2 such excellent schools with fantastic staff and supportive community. I look forward to working with you to ensure we offer your children the very best possible school experience.
21st July 2016
We’ve reached the end of an action-packed school year, which has seen the children involved in many exciting learning and enrichment opportunities:
From arts and sports weeks to castle visits...We’ve been visited by explorers, Indian musicians, Egyptians, and den builders to name but a few.
The pupils have been challenged and have begun to challenge themselves more often by selecting their own levels work. Our new focus on Aspiring, Achieving and Celebrating has seen the children being given more time in class to reflect on their own learning and the areas that they need to develop. We want to celebrate their successes as often as possible. These will all be key foci as we move in to the next academic year in September.
31st March 2016
As the end of term is nearly upon us, I thought I should summarise some of the many exciting events and developments that have taken place since the start of 2016 across the Federation.
Pupils at both West Leigh and BJS have been very busy in class, working hard across the curriculum and this has been supplemented greatly by a wide variety of enrichment opportunities. Our focus is very much on offering the children an exciting and vibrant experience at school through the lessons that are taught and the collaborative and investigative nature of many of the learning opportunities that we are developing. Our theme of ‘Learning Without Limits’ and inspiring the children has been looking closely at offering more and more chances to choose their own level of challenge within their learning from Reception to Year 6. This has been a key focus for teachers for this year so far and moving forward. It builds confidence in the pupils and a greater sense of ownership over their learning.
This focus on inspiration has been an important theme of school assemblies (some of which have been run by parents – thank you all!) and some key messages which are being displayed across each school. We want to celebrate the amazing work that is being produced on a daily basis and much of this can be seen on our ‘Beautiful Work’ displays by each school office.
The key developments and learning opportunities over the past 3 months have been summarised below.
Tuesday 5th January 2016
Happy New Year! I really hope you have had a fantastic Christmas break and enjoyed all of the seasonal festivities on offer.
The start of 2016 sees a new beginning for us all with many exciting learning opportunities for the children at both of our schools. I feel very privileged to be the new Head Teacher of West Leigh and Backwell Juniors and also feel very lucky to be working alongside such a dynamic and hard-working staff team. I know that, with your continued support, the pupils within the Federation will be given every opportunity to enjoy an enriching and exciting curriculum.
We have spent our Inset day looking at ways in which we can further motivate and inspire our pupils to ensure that they get the very best from their education at each school.
I will very much be continuing our ‘open door’ policy, so if there is anything you’d like to discuss with me or Alister Meredith, please feel free to catch us most mornings on the school gates or you will be able to see us most days at the beginning and end of the school day. I see the very positive relationships that both schools enjoy with the wider school community, as an integral part in your child’s education.
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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