What is it that makes our school
We acknowledge and celebrate that every child in our school has special qualities and abilities. Our gems help us to learn about how we learn (Metacognition). Each ability is so special we name them after a precious sparkly gem.
We think it is very important to think about what helps us to learn and how we learn best. Again this can be very different from child to child.
Children can earn gems for their class when they sparkle in class.
These are our gems and how they help us to sparkle as learners.
DIAMOND POWER- This is our focus gem at present
The brain is made up of about 100 billion brain cells called neurones. A million is quite a lot! A billion is a thousand million, that’s quite a lot of neurones!
Each neurone is made of little branches that stick out called dendrites. As we learn something new, another dendrite grows. It can take quite a well for dendrites to grow, that’s why it might seem like ages to learn something! The more we practise doing something, the thicker the dendrites become, the faster the signal travels and the easier it becomes to use what we have learned. That’s a lot of science!
If we practise lots and do the same thing again and again it then becomes a habit; something we do without even thinking about it.
Your diamond power is your ability to solve problems and learn. The more problems you solve the better you get at learning.
We are all naturally sparkly like a diamond because our dendrites grow, like your lungs know how to breather in air. If you want even more diamond power you will need to work at it though. No one else can grow your dendrites for you.
To encourage diamond power, each teacher has a tube of sparkly diamonds in their room and every time a child displays the power they can take one of the teacher’s gems. On Fridays the Gem team will go to each class and see which class has the most diamond power that week. That class will be awarded our brand new ‘We Sparkle’ trophy and they will be visited by Mrs Bone. Their teacher will also ensure they get extra playtime that week as a reward.
One of the things that helps you make more oxytocin (feel good hormone) is by supporting each other; pointing out each other’s success and letting someone know when they are doing well.
When you make oxytocin it helps you to work together better as a team. It helps you remember and understand what people say and do, especially if the people in the team are smiling and happy.
Oxytocin helps you develop trust in the team and it gives you the ability to take risks in your learning.
When you laugh, smile or relax for a short while you make serotonin. This gives you a sense of well-being and makes you feel good.
Somebody with ruby power is aware of others and how what they do or say might make them feel.
This gem requires us to be able to maintain focus and staying in control of the monster distractions around us. It helps us to not become a monster distractor to others as well.
When you are able to wiggle and move some of your muscles make a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine makes you feel good, stimulates movement and dulls pain. It helps you to stay focused and avoid distractions.
Is our ability to bounce back from mistakes and disappointment, and controlling your anger if it tries to get out! People with emerald power show a great ability for persevering even when things are tricky.
When you run, move or you are challenged a lot you make adrenaline. This energises your body and sends food and oxygen all over your body to make it work better and make better memories. When you are challenged and you feel butterflies in your tummy, it’s the emerald power that makes you feel like that. Once you get used to that feeling you can learn to control it rather than the emerald power controlling you.
When you are stressed you make lots of adrenaline and cortisol which switches off your thinking, this is when you can lose control of the emerald power.
WORKING TOGETHER GEMS
This gem power enables us to apply all of our gem powers to work with a partner. This requires cooperation and turn taking.
This gem power enables us to apply all of our gem powers when working in a group. This requires collaboration.
All of the above gems are part of the Gem Learning Project by Tom Robson
We are very proud to announce that the Moonstone gem is entirely unique to Winterslow School.
We wanted to celebrate uniqueness and difference. It is so lovely when we hear or see work that encourages us to see things differently. Children who think ‘out of the box’ have moonstone power and we enjoy sharing with everyone. We have a Moonstone display in our main corridor.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about the qualities that make us sparkly learners and some science behind each gem too.
We are very proud of our Learning gems at Winterslow School. As teachers we know they have really helped our children to identify the key skills required to become successful learners.
The Gem Captains and I decided to see what the children and teachers really thought about the gems and we devised a questionnaire.
We looked at the results and would like to share them with you
Please use the link below to view this information