Gone are the days when a lesson meant sitting silently at a desk. Schools around the UK are beginning to see the benefits of active learning. Active learning focuses on the way students learn, not just on what they learn. It can take a variety of forms, but always involves pupils’ engaging in the lesson beyond the traditional ‘sat at a desk’.
Here are 5 reasons why you should make your lessons more active:
1. Promote responsibility - Active learning is student-centered. It gives pupils’ greater involvement and control and encourages them to take responsibility in their own learning. Children are not simply a passive listener in the lesson, instead the teacher provides opportunities for them to build their knowledge and understanding upon.
2. Collaboration and social skills - Much like PE lessons, involvement in an active lesson means your class have the opportunity to work together on tasks and objectives. Team work and the development of social skills builds confidence and empowers them to believe in themselves.
3. Change attitudes - We’re all familiar with the groans and sighs when it comes to a maths or English lesson. Making these sessions fun is key to changing pupils’ attitudes. Every aspect of the curriculum can be adapted to make it more active and therefore more fun! An active session is much more focused and intellectually exciting. You’ll soon have a class that are engaged and enthusiastic about the activities and look forward to the lessons.
4. Raise attainment - Boredom from lack of engagement leads to poor attainment. When pupils enjoy something, they achieve more. Schools engaging in active maths and English lessons have seen a significant rise in attainment. Results across the school have been transformed and data shows children are now meeting and even exceeding end of year expectations.
5. Improve health - Getting more active in class not only raises attitudes and attainment but also creates healthier, happier and more confident children. Encouraging primary school children to stay active and increase levels of physical fitness is part of the government’s plan for action to significantly reduce childhood obesity too.
Health is fundamental to children’sdevelopment. Teach Active gives children an extra hour or two of physical activity and is a brilliant way to support teachers too. With the scale of the challenge, every bit helps and this is a win-win for learning and health.Ben Levinson OBE, Headteacher
Kensington Primary School