This workshop was one of our regular events, bringing together representatives from the 13 Learning Away clusters to share their practice, engage in collaborative learning and contribute to the wider thinking and development of the initiative. The focus was learner engagement. We aimed to enable Learning Away practitioners and school leaders to:
Learner engagement is a key theme that runs across a number of areas of PHF's Education and Learning Programme, particularly our Musical Futures and Learning Futures initiatives and also our work on student retention and success in Higher Education.
We have developed a definition of deep learner engagement in consultation with students and staff working with us on Learning Futures. Deep learner engagement is learning that occurs when the learner:
We believe that deep engagement is far more likely to foster a long-term passion for learning and commitment to learning beyond school, than more traditional models of engagement. Thus deep engagement is a concept that has relevance not just for those who are visibly disengaged, but also children and young people who passively withdraw from their education cognitively or emotionally, and those who could be characterised as disengaged achievers - those who perform well academically, keep out of trouble, but reject further and higher education and opportunities for lifelong learning.
At this Learning Away workshop we explored how residential learning experiences can help to develop deep engagement, what it is about residential experiences that are most significant in facilitating this, and how the positive impact can be sustained and built upon in the longer term and back in school.
We began the day with perspectives on learner engagement from four speakers followed by audience discussion. On the panel were:
Kenny Frederick described the power of residential learning at her school. As a way of addressing racism in the school, George Green's took students to Belfast in order to examine the consequences of divided communities. The impact was profound on behaviour, attitudes and language back in London and students asked for the work to continue in order to address wider equal opportunities. Residential learning has become part of school life.
Kai Vacher's presentation focused on 'Achievement and Engagement - the key challenges for residential experiences', which led to a discussion about strategies for engaging students. Email Kai for a copy of his presentation.
Denise Barrows outlined approaches to Improving Engagement and Learner Outcomes, including an examination of what constitutes deep learning, engaged students and an engaging school. Read her presentation here.
Honor Wilson-Fletcher's presentation, Getting Out of the Classroom, talked about the transforming ways in which the Aldridge Foundation has been working with students and families to engage and motivate young people by developing their skills in social enterprise. Watch her presentation below or read it here.
Workshops were led by schools and focused on:
We plan to produce materials and tools to share with you, our Community of Interest.