Grayrigg CE School - Start Small Think Big

We love to wobble at Grayrigg!

In fact, we aim to wobble in every lesson and more often if we can. Wobbling has become one of my favourite words. I’m not referring to wobbling round school like a bowl full of jelly. What I refer to is feeling the wobble when we are learning. Having a wobble when learning isn’t about failing, it’s about finding things tricky and feeling the wobble but being able to ride out the wobble and stand up straight again. If lessons are easy, there is no learning happening. Real learning comes from being challenged and requires endurance. The wobble we refer to is more like the way Weebles wobble…

If you remember the Weebles, you will remember their catch phrase - “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.”

Well here at Grayrigg we approach our learning like Weebles. We might find it hard, we might wobble (quite a lot), but we never fall down. If the children are finding work easy, they are encouraged (I would even go as far as to say expected) to challenge themselves.

As the Oaks teacher, I would be incredibly disappointed to see a whole page of the same sort of calculation done correctly. In my class I expect a child to do 5 or 6, check they are correct then move onto another challenge, or even find a way to extend the challenge for themselves, e.g. using larger numbers, decimals, putting the problems into real world contexts. There are countless ways children can be offered (or find for themselves) further challenge but the need to be challenged or “feel the wobble” must come from the children. To facilitate this the teacher must create a trusting and supportive environment where children can takes risks, where it is OK to get something wrong or to mess up. An environment where wobbling is celebrated, where the children are encouraged to develop the endurance and skill required to challenge themselves and have time to make connections within their learning.

I have no idea what the children in my school will be when they are older, I don’t know which bit of their curriculum learning will be most important to their personal success, but I am confident that the ability to push themselves, be resilient when they wobble, endure when something doesn’t quite go as planned and to learn from mistakes will be important, not only in their future careers, but for the type of person they become and their personal well-being, because the most important thing children need to know is that it’s OK to not be perfect. Fortunately, here at Grayrigg they have an excellent role model of imperfection in their head teacher - I am proud to be imperfect, I get so many things wrong, but fortunately I love to wobble!

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