Illuminating Learning

 Illuminating Learning – Stephanie, Y12

When first confronted with the term ‘illuminating learning’ my first response was the importance and significance of the notion, the classroom. How a single four walls are able to prepare a student for beyond the education system. The University of Salford’s well publicised recent study shows that the classroom environment can affect pupil’s learning and academic progress by as much as 25%. A single environment ignites learning and cultivates expression, confidence and poise. Classroom education is a very vital tool that is used in the contemporary world to succeed, used to mitigate most of the challenges we face in everyday life. The knowledge that is attained through education helps open doors and opportunities for better prospects in career growth and development. Students move around the classroom reflecting a level of comfort and ownership. The classroom itself symbolises illumination in education, as it enlightens and apprises those in it, with knowledge. My name is Stephanie Daley and I attend Prendergast School in Lewisham, South East London.

The illumination of education itself is vital in order to gain a student’s attention and recognition. But how do teachers in Prendergast illuminate the process of learning in every classroom? The answer is simple. In order to shine a light on the process of learning, teachers must provide incremental learning that delivers a simple and consistent message. A simple message that stimulates a thirst for enlightenment and development within students. A simple message that sparks a sense of ownership of our education. A simple message that keeps an open and consistent discussion in the classroom; slowly breaking the barrier between student and teacher. And most importantly a message delivered in a way that stimulates both teacher and student.

The fact is, the response of the student is a mirror of how good the teaching is. Every teacher has the capacity to inspire a student through delivery. At Prendergast School all of our teachers have a natural engagement for their chosen subject and it is reflected in the student’s attitudes towards learning.  The teachers impact on the students is remarkable; they listen, coach and mentor. I’ve gone from loathing subjects to loving them. They simplify the complex, as well as inspiring me. In order to illuminate learning our school offers a wide variety of external opportunities that exposes all pupils to all different kinds of influences across a broad range of subjects. Additionally, our teachers offer empowering solutions, that engage and inspire.

But how would I develop them further? As soon as I came across the question, I can assure you my expression completely turned. As a student, it’s not something your asked frequently, and as a result, I found it rather daunting. My first response was to construct a list, which wrote ‘what don’t I like about the teachers in my school’. However, I felt that I couldn’t collectively write about how to develop them further. Each and every one of them all teach differently, independently and uniquely. On the other hand, I feel that it’s crucial that teachers and students are on a similar level with one another, while the hierarchy is still prominent of course. This would enable communication in the classroom to be distinguished further, thus students being able to understand the message the teacher is trying to convey. Additionally, breaking these barriers between student and teacher would allow teachers to offer more support when it comes to difficult issues such as the arise of mental health across all students.

Finally, ‘How do you really know that what’s happening in your school is making a difference?’ The answer to that is prominent in the school’s achievements, grades and the bonds between student and teacher. The learning brings together different influences and ideas to question. The classroom itself has transformed into an open space, students concerns and successes are more visible than ever. The accessibility for sharing knowledge is much more appreciated and accessible. It’s a space for perceptions to be changed, and for pupils to grow and adapt academically. The students of Prendergast school are lucky enough to have a strong and compelling support system provided by our leaders, allowing us to flourish and prepare us for beyond Prendergast.

Thank you.

Posted on 4th December 2017