A lot of our learning is organised into MISSIONS. There are different types of mission:
- Mini Missions
- Mission Training
- Mission: Impossible?
All types of missions are ‘launched’ with a ‘can we?’ question.
Mission Training Week – Year 2 - 6
When it comes to undertaking a mission there are certain skills and/or knowledge that it is helpful to already have a good command of. Before the main missions begin teachers identify the aspects the children need time to explore and practice and then plan this into the week.
For example, if a mission requires the children to use clay, there will be a session in training week for exploring and investigating clay – what does it feel like? How do we shape it? What happens if it gets hot? cold? wet?
A mission may require the use of a specific piece of technology like garage band or movie maker. Again training week will include time for the learners to explore the programme to find out how it works and what it can do, before they have to use it to complete a specific mission.
Mission Training – R and Y1
For our youngest learners we spread out the mission training across the term, so that the new learning/experiences are happening nearer to the time of the specific mission they will be used for. This is part of the development of our learners, ready for the full training week in Y2 and up.
The weekly mission is most often linked to thematic/topic learning and the new learning concentrates on the development of a specific curriculum area, although skills and knowledge from other subject areas may be used in order to complete the mission. For example, the mission might have a musical or geographical focus, but may require the use of graphs/charts and/or writing to record the learning.
Occasionally a mission lasts for 2 weeks because the learning journey required needs the extra time for completion, or perhaps the learning has 2 parts.
Learning from missions of this type is recorded in the mission log. Each mission has an introductory page (prepared by the teacher), a double page spread (completed by the learner), and an evaluation page (completed by the teacher and the learner).
These are short learning missions, usually taking place within the space of 1 lesson and is mainly how Carousel subject learning is organised. (Computing/RE/Sikhi/PD/Spanish)
Each learning theme ends with a ‘M; I?’ This is where a much larger mission is given to the class to complete using all of the learning they have acquired over the term. Whilst adults can be consulted, questioned and support can be requested from them, the aim is for the learners to decide how to complete the mission, and for the adults to take a step back and be able to assess how deep the learning has been. The children are encouraged to think innovatively and creatively and to take risks as they try to prove that the mission they have been set isn’t impossible.
Families come to see the final product and share the achievements and success of their children.
Across the 21 ‘Mission; Impossible?’ challenges the children will encounter during their time at Akaal, we have planned to ensure the is a range of expected outcomes and a good balance of expectations so that each and every child can shine.