Thursday 11th October 2012 saw the very first Isle of Man Young Learners' Conference take place at the Mount Murray Golf Club.
75 young people from across the island's 5 secondary schools met together to share learning experiences, make new friends, discover shared interests and viewpoints, and take back to their schools ideas to introduce and develop. Those students who are part of the Children's University were able to add stamps to their passports.
This was so much fun! We didn't know each other so Paul Melling set us a number of activities were designed to get us to work as a team. We had a Jelly Baby tree to keep track of how comfortable we were feeling as the day progressed and we had to shade in the figure that best represented our position within the group at various points. Check out the tree here
This is where the challenge of working as a new-found team began! John Knight from the Children's Centre introduced an activity that made us think what it is that makes us good learners, or not good learners. We had to had to work as a team to decide how we would explain this to YOLC, our new alien friend who wants to know more about being a learner on this planet, and particularly in the Isle of Man.
This is YOLC
After this task, we had lunch. This was a sandwich and fruit buffet, but there was to be no slacking! We were given a challenge to complete in 45 minutes, whilst trying to eat our lunch at the same time. We had to play Bingo! Click here to find out more.
And so back to work! This time Mrs Gimbert from the Department of Education and Children helped us think about what we say to YOLC if he told us that it was his task to take back to his planet's government some advice about setting up a new school. This was interesting. Each of the 10 different table teams had to look at different aspects of a learning environment eg the curriculum, the school's identity, the role of the school in the local community. Then we had to share this by choosing a representative from each table to speak for us into the microphone! The ideas were then put up on the wall for all to see. There were some interesting ideas such having a school with no teachers; having a school with no paper; having lessons with your granny in the classroom learning alongside you!
And so to our final task of the day. In this one we had to work in our school groups with our teachers. Mr Hennessy from the Chamber of Commerce outlined for us how to prepare and present a proposal. We then had to come up with an idea that we liked from the day and plan how we were going to take it back to our schools and present it, by Christmas, to our Headteachers and the Leadership Group of the school. This is a very interesting proposition and we will have to do quite a bit of work on it to get it right, so that our idea is given serious consideration. It will be a bit like being on.....
Working with our 6th formers.....
Throughout the day, we didn't really have any teachers helping us. Instead, we had 6th formers who were there to be part of each table team. Their job was to guide us and to help us. It was a really good idea that they were given
and they had to spend some of their time observing us and our work under the headings of the 6Rs. The comments were sent to a central point, and they were added all day to the big screen so we could see what they were saying about us!! It was really cool and they did a great job.....
If you click on the 6R's titles below this will take you to their comments about our groups....and thanks to Mrs Gimbert and Mrs Fernandes for moderating all the comments throughout the day!
With grateful thanks for a fabulous job with the filming and photography to Kyle Withington and Jay Warren - they are Yr 13 students from RGS.
Well done, everyone!
An excellent day all round.