In the latest edition of the English broadsheet,  Charlotte Weatherley, Assistant Head at Knighton House, outlines why how you learn is often more important than what you learn. She outlines how Knighton House set pupils a series of challenges linked to how they learn, aimed at helping them to be able to adapt to whatever the ‘new normal’ is.

“Every dystopian novel is not predicated on the main character’s ability to lecture on the comma splice or their mathematical know-how,” writes Charlotte. “The main characters of the genre live by engaging in a dynamic relationship with their own nature; the attitude and beliefs with which they encounter and adapt to difficult circumstances.

“From the characters in Ray Bradbury’s ‘Martian Chronicles’ adapting to the new reality of life on Mars, to the harsh challenges to self-belief and optimism faced by Meg and Charles Wallace in Madeleine L’Engle’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’, that they know is that how you learn means as much, and in a crisis a great deal more, than what you learn.”

In line with this thinking, Knighton House set pupils a series of challenges during lockdown, aimed at looking at how children learn in relation to real-life situations. They included: –

  • Empathy and Personal Organisation – Write to someone every day for the period of the school closure; this could be a different person or the same person. Use a really sharp pencil/ink pen, focusing carefully on your handwriting, particularly the joins of your letters.
  • Co-operation and Collaboration – For the period of the school closure, work with someone in your family on a shared project – keep a diary together or make a scrapbook of this unusual moment in the world’s history; find something to investigate – take photos or draw, the changes in your garden or the surrounding countryside. Talk to each-other about what each of you will do and how you will organise the project.
  • Responsibility/Self-evaluation – From home, do something for your community; for example, ask if you can put messages on your local/village website or put up posters in the village hall, encouraging people to be positive. Think about the skills you learned this term about posters and how to have maximum impact.

For more of the challenges, read the latest edition of the English broadsheet, out now. Charlotte Weatherley is Assistant Head at Knighton House.