Authentic Learning in a Responsive School
As part of an inquiry into persuasive texts, Grade 2 wrote letters to the principal, requesting improvements to BISS. The most common demand from our 7-year-old learners was an extension to daily playtime. Not convinced by writing alone, Ms O’Dwyer went to battle. She faced off against Grade 2 in a public debate at assembly.
Grade 2 presented four strong arguments: play helps us make friends; play teaches us to be caring; play is a form of exercise, which makes our bodies healthy; play helps us concentrate and learn in class. They added examples and explanation to support each argument. Despite Ms O’Dwyer’s best efforts to rebut and defend instructional time, it was to no avail. Judged by Elementary School “clap-o-meter”, the deafening applause from 160 students made Grade 2 the clear winner!
Read on to find out what happens next!
The follow week, Grade 2 presented their case again to the Academic Management Team (Head of School, Principals and Assistant Principals). In a formal meeting, Grade 2 explained that their plan had overwhelming support from the student body. They read their arguments aloud and requested that BISS administrators review next year’s schedule to increase playtime.
Authenticity matters in learning. At BISS, we know that students are more motivated to write and produce better quality texts when the topic is a self-chosen area of passion, with a personally relevant purpose and a real-world audience. It is not uncommon for student voice to impact decisions about resources and timetables in our responsive, child-centred school.
Stay tuned to find out how the balance of play and instructional time will be influenced by Grade 2’s literacy in action. Schedule updates will be posted here!