“How great to have children talk about each other in this way and how great to learn new things about my own child”
A huge sigh of relief sounded out last Friday afternoon as 218 school reports went home to parents. These were the culmination of a whole years worth of work by the children and a lot of time and commitment by the teachers in summarising this work in a couple of pages.
For the first time ever at Manor Farm Infant school, 218 One Page Profiles also went home to parents – one for every child in the school – this too was a huge commitment!
We have spent the last year developing One Page Profiles at Manor Farm Infants and our learning has been huge! It has been lovely to work with children as young as four and to watch and listen as they spend time talking about what they like about each other. It has been fascinating to see themes emerge within classes and how these might reflect children’s ages, what they are learning and what is currently “in” for them. For example, the children in reception typically notice the detail in what they like about each other – “Erin shares her pens when we colour”. By the time they have reached year 2 and the grand old age of 7 the statements were more succinct – “Izzi is funny”.
Both the “Like and Admire” section as well as the “Important to Me” section were done with the children over a number of months – through individual and group work in P4C (Philosophy for Children)sessions. Our biggest learning curve, however, has been appreciating that what we may know and think is obvious about the support a child needs in school – isn’t necessarily known by the parents – or the child themselves! Taking the time to reflect and think about how to get the best from each child and how to describe this support in a positive and empowering way has been crucial for each teacher.
Initial feedback from parents has been so positive. The quote at the beginning came from a parent after reading her child’s profile. Another parent has taken the time to write to the school, praising One Page Profiles and the insight they have given into understanding how her child learns and behaves at school.
Whilst we are really proud of the work children and staff have done over the past year in developing One Page Profiles, we are clear that there is a “What Next”. Our aim now is to work with families to develop the profiles further so they represent the whole of the child – not just the part at school.
In September, we are holding our first co-produced planning session. Following on from our recent stakeholder survey, we will be looking at the themes that are working well and not so well. Staff, governors and parents together will action plan. How to evolve our work on One Page Profiles will be part of this action planning.