‘Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’
As noted in our school vision and values, we are dedicated to ensuring children leave our school with the skills, characteristics and knowledge to flourish and enjoy success in their lives beyond High Halden. We believe a key aspect of this is supporting children to continually consider the quality of their work, stretching their own expectations and considering methods or strategies to further improve. When finishing school, and entering the workplace later in life, children will no longer be ‘judged’ or assessed by a score on a test, but by the quality of the work they produce. To support children’s development towards this, we encourage a classroom culture of ‘beautiful work’ (as developed by Ron Berger).
The beautiful work process is an aspect which supports children at High Halden to produce learning which is meaningful, valuable, beautiful and important. We want children to feel proud of their learning and create long lasting links in the knowledge and skills they apply and acquire. By producing products for an authentic audience and then accounting for them, work is lifted out of an exercise book and given greater meaning and importance. Pupils are supported to make multiple drafts to create beautiful work. Class teachers provide relevant deadlines, facilitates the subject content (books, articles, video clips, resources) and provides a series of stimulating visits or hands on experiences.
We are beginning to apply this process throughout our teaching and learning, however it is most notable within our Enquiry based learning, which children produce at the end of each term. As with our enquiry approach; each term children work towards an enquiry question. This question and a beautiful work purpose or end goal is shared with pupils at the start of term. Throughout the term children work towards developing an in-depth answer to this question and begin to consider how best they can present their findings to ensure their learning has an impact on the world and is meaningful. At the end of the term pupils produce a piece of learning which answers that question and contributes to the wider school community in some way. This could include as news report, podcast, a website page, organising a local event, facilitating a theme day for members of the school community or others within our locality.