We create to understand and understand to learn
We see ourselves as a Creative Community in a constant state of “ Becoming.”
At Bealings, our children are thriving as happy, inquisitive, passionate, caring, confident people who love learning! We want them to be asking questions, wondering “ how?” and “ why” and “ what if?”
We want Einstein’s “ holy flame of inquiry” to grow!
We see learning as deeply creative, inventive and collaborative : intellectually, emotionally, culturally, physically and spiritually. We believe everyone is an important member of our community and everyone can achieve.
We do not “receive” understanding, but “create” or “invent” it for ourselves, with others in happy, deeply contextualised learning environments.
When we invent a solution to a problem, it becomes part of our repertoire, part of ourselves and is very different to trying to remember a method someone showed us.
“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand” goes the old proverb and we would adapt it to “ I create and I understand!”
Our intention is for every child to work in an atmosphere of high quality, a workshop where they can try out ideas and see if their theories work; a supportive “ family atmosphere” where the children’s ideas and attempts and effort are celebrated as well as achievement. We believe in heuristic learning!
Edison, for example, experimented with over 100 different materials before finding one which would light up and stay lit! Artists, Scientists, pioneers in all fields know this!
“ We do not learn by first mastering skills; we learn in meaningful contexts and, furthermore, these should be intrinsically rewarding” Margaret Donaldson, “Children’s Minds”.
At Bealings, we bring the curriculum to life!
We do this by becoming members of a highly successful fictional organisation, with a fictional past of jointly created “ remembered” successes which receives a commission from an important client.
In accepting the commission, the children, working as responsible and highly skilled adults, also take on the responsibilities and values of the organisation which include the British Values.
Through the research and preparation, the various problems and tensions which arise, the children, in role, and out of role create solutions and ways forward, with their “ colleagues” in the fiction and grow in knowledge and understanding. The children, thinking and behaving as successful members of the organisation are able to extend their abilities and are“ impelled to learn” John Messer HMI.
Weekly details of the learning arising from these organisations and deeply meaningful contexts can be found here.
In 2004 we became the country’s first training school for Mantle of the Expert.
We are also a Democratic School, linked with Ryparken Lille Skole in Copenhagen, and each week all children and adults come together for the school meeting, run by Y6 children. Here important issues and improvements are raised by the children and adults and discussed until consensus is reached, followed by votes of thanks and celebrations of achievements.
We see the impact of our curriculum design across the school in so many ways every day. Our film, Bealings: A community of creators , gives a great overview of this. We also have regular conversations with children who are able to articulate deep understanding of their learning. Further evidence of learning can be found in classrooms, displays, models, IT, sporting achievements, films made of LGBTQ figures from history and our results; the list is endless.