Learning to Learn in our Federation

We have been thinking about the future of learning in our federation. We have grouped ourselves according to 9 different areas of learning and have started to think about the kinds of tasks these groups will undertake over the next 3 and a half terms. Here is where we have got to so far:


The SLT have created an initial list of projects that we could undertake over the course of the coming 4 terms. We have grouped the projects according to the notional areas of leadership identified at our SLT meeting on 26th April, however feel free to add other projects if you think they are usefully distinct from the existing ones.

The Purpose

  • Transform the children’s learning experience starting after half term for some projects and September 2010 for all others
  • Massively expand our ambition for activity levels within and beyond the curriculum or school day
  • Empower innovation and support initiatives across the entire workforce

Where Next?

Once we have completed our projects list we will assign initiation / completion dates, attach costs and allocate lead professionals to progress each project. We will aim to complete this process by Friday 21st May 2010.

The Projects

Creative Development

  • International performing arts collaboration at London theatre
  • Musical master classes with a London orchestral schools outreach project
  • Violin, Woodwind and Brass tuition in KS2
  • Free tuition in Samba drums and Steel drums in KS2
  • Art Academy
  • Musical / Artwork Showcase evenings for all children and parents (artwork £6 – £3 to school)
  • Links with HE Performing Arts for drama based project
  • Develop ways in which the school could increase use of its keyboards
  • -Develop links with local secondary schools to increase dance provision – Link with Elmgreen up and running.
  • Refresh the school curriculum and timetable to develop arts projects outside the class (weekly MAPP)
  • Experts into after school club to utilise this time
  • Is there room to consider a school radio station/ film making workshops or links with MOMI at southbank.
  • Links with Brixton inclusive performing arts- runs after school and holiday clubs- can’t remember name.
  • Lambeth musio service offer lots of out of school opportunities which we might be able to tap into.
  • Overhaul Creativity at CCNB children’s centre.
  • Space for an Art Gallery/Museum space in school with the children as curators
  • Freeing the curriculum of daily Maths and Literacy and having a day devoted to topic based creativity
  • Spaces in classrooms designed for creative thinking
  • Regular school concerts
  • We have made good links with Brixton Inclusive at Christ Church and they are keen to return
  • Outdoor summer School concert in Myats Field Park being organised through Victoria Sherwin (Governor)
  • Physical Development
  • 5 hours of PE in and outside the curriculum – is there room in the timetable/curriculum for year groups to have 2 PE afternoons per week?
  • Improved range of after school sports clubs including  karate etc
  • Improved swimming opportunities in Yrs 3 – 6 – Could we make more use of Brockwell Lido in the Summer Months?
  • Sports Days for all children and parents rather than one at the end of the year
  • Improved outdoor play facilities
  • Improved opportunities for competitive sports in football, netball, rugby, cricket and athletics – we have some links already with Herne Hill Harriers Athletics club.  Lambeth started a netball league and I coached the school netball team for 2 seasons but withdrew when Lambeth insisted on adopting ‘High 5’ netball!
  • Dedicated outdoor play space for Children’s Centre
  • Develop links with Herne Hill Velodrome.  Arrange for clubs like this within after school club, so that children and parents can book after school club based on the activities on offer.
  • Get Herne Hill Harriers to assess some of our more able pupils and train them for London Youth Games.
  • Increase use of technology to improve technique and understanding of pupils of PD.
  • Link to Science and nutrition in a meaningful way. Get sports scientists involved?
  • Use sports coaches to offer some of 5 hours after school at CCNB- Limited indoor space in winter to consider- We currently have netball and Futsal clubs after school.   We have had links with Oval cricket coaches/ Fulham football coaches in the past
  • Investment in outdoor area at CCNB children’s centre- we are trying to get accepted as a centre for outdoor play in Lambeth as there is linked funding and our EY advisor has applied for us.
  • Consider FS2 and Yr 1 outdoor spaces at CCNB.
  • Change Jump Jam for the whole key stage to small ‘shake up sessions’ in class
  • Is there any scope for schools to be involved in 2012 Olympics in some way? I am absolutely desperate to be in the opening ceremony.
  • A children’s gym?
  • Develop more intra sports competitions in the federation.Cassandra has started to do this eg : Futsal tournament, but we could do more
  • Use more of the Lambeth SSCO links to train children to be young leaders to carry out playtime/lunch time games/sports.Could young leaders and peer Ms lead at both schools?
  • Investing Lambeth SSCO link to provide before school activities.
  • Outdoor playground area – playground markings and equipment to be installed, ideas had begun through Playdale and ESP
  • Review Midday Meal supervisors roles in playing games with children – I know we have been here before!  ESP will offer free training to all staff on how to use their playground markings

Mathematical Development

  • Improved investigative science facilities
  • Improved use of Design Technology practical projects for using maths skills
  • Set genuine real life problem based projects requiring teamwork, mathematical and logical problem solving and application of learnt skills.
  • Promote “numbersense” through use of concrete materials for all (not just the LA).
  • Using video to share mathematical strategies with parents, and teach/support pupils (and some staff?).
  • Introduce business enterprise opportunities to enable children to use maths in real life. – the fruit to suit snack scheme for healthy snacks would help with this
  • Have maths investigation days- like MAPP days where children work across phases to solve real problems.
  • More trips like Thames river bank to allow children to experience real science.
  • Use of mixed ability groupings in Maths to foster genuine collaboration and group thinking.
  • Rethink the Maths curriculum so we can move away from the framework and do something better – which shouldn’t be difficult !
  • Children as teachers and explainers in Maths.
  • Opportunities for Gifted and Talented children
  • Young Enterprise style opportunities/Children running businesses (idea stolen from Neil’s assembly !)

Language and Literacy

  • Improved library facilities
  • Book publishing programme via Lulu.com for each year group (sold for £2 profit, £1 contribution to school library, £1 to children’s class based choice)
  • Visual Literacy Programme
  • Film Club
  • Development of classroom reading spaces (formerly book corners!)
  • Increase use of volunteer readers – publicise in local community
  • Develop links with Library Service
  • Develop provision of story telling throughout school
  • Introduce lunchtime reading spaces and Children’s reading groups
  • Provide online publishing opportunities on a frequent basis for all classes and clubs- develop pupil understanding of audience and purpose.
  • Podcasting, school radio, vodcasting, school tv.
  • Encourage more reading and writing through online technologies e.g. online discussions
  • Give pupils more input and control over website/web technologies
  • Links to other schools e.g. debating clubs
  • Online book club where pupils and other stakeholders can share views on a book of the month etc. Read and write reviews
  • Consider phonics programme- High speed in KS1 but to continue into KS2
  • Link literacy through creative arts projects so that children work towards performances with art, music, drams and literacy all encompassed.
  • See Toe by Toe comment under Personal and Social Development
  • Review texts used in year grups for their suitability/level in line with abilities in class
  • Link with Princes Hill Melbourne – Yr 6 is keen to start blogging with us!

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

  • French and Mandarin MFL classes for Yrs1 – 6 –
  • Confucius classrooms ($10k grant from SSAT)
  • On-line real time links to communities around the world
  • Eco-friendly/ self sufficient programmes to include recycling/ growing food/ water butts etc- Must be lots more!!
  • Workshops from  jobs for life- builders/ architects etc- develop busines community links- CCNB childreb nned to be able ti imagine their future- many do not have ambitions as they seem unaware that they can become something- we ned to immerse them in experiences.
  • Children’s career day. Children to research one of their career choices, dresss up in one of their careen choice and talk about their research with class.
  • ‘Real life’ historical experiences
  • Make a timeline of the world around the school from the big bang to the present day
  • Develop use of nature and quiet garden to investigate local environment
  • Develop local links with allotment association, local parks, local museums to develop suveys of use and participate in local forums
  • The sun terrace at CCB could be used for growing – space for grow beds, mini green house
  • There is an organic food workshop – to support schools through the Food for Life Partnership Mark on 30th June Also, DCSF programme to develop cooking skills in teachers
  • Develop links with Kennington Park and Myats Field Park – (nature trails and pond dipping)

Personal and Social Development

  • Improved emotional literacy programmes (SEAL)
  • Improved Healthy Schools standards and practice
  • Introduction of Philosophy for Children across the school – Matthew Criddle and I have received training for this and he is trialling it with his class.
  • Increased role of school council – sub committees set up to lead on certain issues e.g. lunch time provision, curriculum concerns etc. Could we have children’s teams to support the project teams? Can we increase the % of children who make decisions about their school?  Can this be done by developing how we elect school council reps – who should then represent the decisions that their class make, which means that teachers must have regular class discussions.
  • Role of Learning Mentors and Peer Mediators developed – Does CCB have a Learning Mentor. Not officially, but Simon does some of this work- He has not received any L.Mentor training.
  • Classroom organisation and expectations to enable independent learning.
  • Can children work with the kitchen staff to take part in preparing and cooking school lunches? I know there are health and safety issues associated with this, but I did read about somewhere that had managed it…
  • Increase the number of children in Year 6 who work with younger children to help with an area of the curriculum. A small group of children have had Toe by Toe training and work with a group of Year 3s. It would be good to extend this.
  • Can we not have a lunch menu with what the children actually enjoy eating. (still healthy)
  • Advanced Healthy School Status
  • Place 2 B workshops – offering training for TA’s and Learning Mentors

New Technologies

  • Expansion of New Technologies in the Foundation Stage
  • Improved New Technology provision through Mac computers throughout the school and netbooks in Yrs 3 and 4
  • New curriculum
  • The Dream Works – Creative Studio (Animations, Graphic Design)
  • Radio Stations
  • Children to have responsibility for class blog and for uploading videos and photographs of their learning experiences (I know this isn’t exactly new technology ! but it’s something we don’t do at the moment. ) Would be good to get some more of the flip cameras.
  • Class podcasts on Youtube
  • Link with Princes Hill – Melbourne – the year 6 children are keen to start blogging with us!

Learning to Learn

  • Learning Agreement Time for parents and children in Yrs N – 2
  • Negotiated Learning in Yrs N – 2
  • Project based learning in Yrs 3 – 6
  • Kagan co-operative learning support for all pupils
  • International links with pupils and teachers in Australia and South Africa
  • Re-Cycle Bike Maintenance classes in KS2
  • Cycling proficiency classes for parents and children – Emma Roselli and Doug Cranston have received training on this and should be running a session every Friday afternoon
  • Target setting discussions with all children
  • Develop use of AFL – reinforcing use of targets and the purpose of marking Liz has a friend who works as a consultant for NAA and is a leading expert on AFl- she would be good to work with.
  • Homework clubs
  • Weekly 1:1 conferencing to discuss learning and what to do next (reflection of weeks work) – This was being done in Princes Hill as part of their negotiated learning
  • Research areas in classrooms and corridors for children to use
  • Adult learning areas
  • Outside learning areas
  • Children to have opportunity to own a computer through savings schemes
  • Ex-pupils to be role models in learning to learn

Family Engagement

  • External agency / school’s own ESW outreach for vulnerable families- some schools have a parent liason that does this. We may be able to use the outreach workers at the children’s centres to help..
  • Improved Child Protection and Safeguarding procedures
  • Parent coaching sessions in English and Mathematics – a few years ago we ran this for support staff and many of our staff achieved maths and english GCSE equivalent qualifications.  Jakki Rogers ran the training and the tests were taken via Lambeth Library services
  • Barnardo’s Counselling service for vulnerable children CCNB have a counsellor in school one morning a week, plus a reflexologist and a play therapist- all free of charge- we can tap into more support of this nature relatively easily.
  • Improved Educational Social Worker outreach to support families in difficulties – can we use the Children’s Centre Outreach worker (Helen Wroe) as a starting point eg as a model for good practice or even extending her remit? Ditto Maria at Brixton and we also have a father’s outreach worker and one for employment and training that we can tap into.
  • Improved Extended services provision There was limited interest in traditional after school opps in CCNB recently, so it may be better to pursue clubs workshops.
  • Increased SEN support for children and families
  • Improved access to teachers and headteacher
  • Continue to provide a range of family and parent social events.
  • Provide workshops for parents on developing literacy, numeracy etc- We have found that parents are reluctant to come in for ‘training’ but will come in to gossip- need to try different stratgies to get them in- recently tried through Church link which was not successful so now trying again through church at children’s centre.
  • Parents to come in to talk about their working lives (like community cohesion assemblies but using parents)
  • Parents to lead workshops and contribute to project sessions
  • Approach to reporting to parents to be more flexible rather than 3 x 10 minute slots a year and a final report, perhaps designated afternoons/evenings set aside for parents to come and chat/view children’s work? Neil already mentioned a way of reporting on children’s progress periodically throughout the year, rather than one final report at the end.
  • Invite parents on more school trips.My son’s school ask parent’s to volunteer to be CRB’d so that they have a pool of checked out parents that they can draw on- might be worth doing this.
  • Parents can join in the fundraising activities for the school
  • Louis – linked with the church has started to engage with parents by meeting them at the end of the school day to discuss what they would like (he speaks Portuguese and French so has been able to engage with these parents) We had started to think about a parent and and child computer club to run after school
  • I heard someone say ‘there’s no such thing as hard to reach parents, just hard to reach schools.’

Links with local GP surgeries/ Health professionals available in school.


10 thoughts on “Learning to Learn in our Federation

  1. RE: Family Engagement – counselling services.

    You may like to consider an excellent children’s charity (Place 2 Be), based in London but working in hubs across the country including up here in East Durham. We have used P2B in 10 of our primary schools since 2002 and they now form part of an emerging emotional wellbeing service comprising universal provision in the form of positive activities and trained active listeners and targeted provision through counselling and therapeutic services in 20 schools and a range of community venues. Feel free to contact me for further information if required.

  2. I didn’t know anything about Confucius Classrooms so did some research and found this useful website, which has many videos on it, with information about successful Confucius Classrooms. It is very interesting to see how this learning community in Scotland has benefited so much from learning Chinese, as I think we will in South London.

  3. I’d like to add to CLL….
    Consider our teaching of reading – I’d love to see 1:1 reading going on at the very least in reception, but ideally flooding through the school. My own daughter’s in reception (elsewhere) and her learning to read seems to be relient on us as parents reading the books sent home – I see RPS CCB as teachers of reading alongside being providers of the tools to teach.
    Love of books – for those children who aren’t read to at home, we’re their only chance to develop a love of books and reading, there needs to be lots, and every day.
    I’m loving everything else and will hope to add some more after meeting my team on Monday.

  4. This is brill stuff, a whole bunch of ideas. I think there is still a whole lot of Area still to be explored with the visual literacy too. Do you think the New Curriculum will still happen Neil, because I think it facilitates so many of these changes?

      • Do you still feel that it is too restrictive though? I am more comfortable with the maths and english than, say, the history curriculum as I think that is incredibly limiting. Do you know any good people who have written on visualising thinking from a philosophy/ thinking about learning perspective? I’m quite interested in that at the mo?:)

  5. Wonderful list of projects – great to see the curriculum being reviewed creatively and loads of fab ideas.
    Can I make a plea for dance please?- as physical development for the non-sporty, creative process, and cross cultural exploration.
    Also, a reminder in terms of environmental links about the lovely historic South London Botanical Institute down Norwood Road, and its educational programme.
    Also very pleased to be kept informed on this.

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