“Humility and resilience” are the key characteristics that Rob Carpenter, this week’s Pivotal Podcast guest, has required to successfully lead two inner city schools; lessons he has learned from the children he works with in the London borough of Greenwich.
Rob gives us an insight into life as a learner in his schools and the learning that is experienced is shared widely through the use of social media. ” I started using Twitter late; by sharing, others, and you, can learn from it. Giving away your best ideas forces you to develop even better ones”.
Teachers, leaders and children learn together; where excellence is recognised and valued, they have created a learning community in which the children are the guardians of quality.
Despite the challenges children may face outside of school, high expectations framed around fun and challenging learning experiences create the conditions in which children want to come to school. Rob shares ideas on how to develop a curriculum where pupil voice is at the centre. They have taught the children the language to critique their own work and that of their peers, ” We have taught the children to do that and teachers use that language, children are at the heart of driving their own learning”.
This has created a climate of risk taking and shared ownership of learning, “it builds a cache of social, community, cultural capital that enables the children to flourish.”
Rob offers useful tips in creating a “live” learning environment, use of topic work and assessment. He shares with us his philosophy of education; despite the challenges faced (both context and inspection), holding firm to his beliefs has made it very difficult for others to knock or say it’s wrong.