What is Cooperative Learning?
As a school, we have always placed a high level of importance on good quality talk-partners from EYFS to Y6; cooperative learning develops this essential skill further. Plenty of research has been undertaken to prove that this way of working leads to increased academic achievement, improved relationships between pupils, happier more productive classrooms and the raising of self-esteem, to name just a few benefits! Cooperative learning also intrinsically links with the development of the Ashton-Gater characteristics within our pupils, values which are celebrated and championed by the whole school community.
From September 2021, using ideas developed from Kagan and adapting them to suit the needs of the children in our classes, we have explored many different strategies, which the children are enjoying discovering. Below you can hear and read about the difference it is having on pupils of all ages in the school.
Children actively work in teams of 4 to share ideas, listen to the opinions of others and make progress together. Sometimes, they work as a 4, often as a pair. Everyone is encouraged to take part in discussions and all ideas are valued. Children know that their ideas could be shared and discussed at any point in the lesson, so there is greater engagement throughout the curriculum. LSAs have also been trained to use these strategies when they work with pupils.
Each activity has an assigned image, which are used from EYFS to Y6 by all teaching staff, so that children become familiar with the different activities and what they entail.