Willaston School

Come to the edge... where all children are 'free range'

Over the last couple of weeks Year 6 have taken part in a new and exciting Self Organised Learning Environment (SOLE) transition programme. The SOLE transition project was aimed to help facilitate learning from Year 6 through to Year 7, to familiarise the children with new teachers and new learning.

Step 1 of the process was to think of a question that could support learning in other subject areas, so that learning and knowledge gained from the first session would support future learning in both History and Art, the chosen subjects for this session.

The BIG question which was decided on was:

Is there a difference between leadership and dictatorship?

As I am sure you will agree this is a demanding question and involved a great deal of thinking and understanding. During the SOLE session the children independently worked in groups of between 3-5 to initially define the concepts of leadership and dictatorship and then apply this learning to try and answer the question. This is where the children try to make links with real life. Below are a few of the comments that the children made during their reflection time.

Leadership is when someone is in charge, but doesn't use power in a bad way.

A leader does stuff for the group.

Leaders and influencers are linked.

Leaders lead without taking advantage.


Dictators have power over a country and Demand respect!

Dictators have absolute power.


The children then thought of questions that could stretch their understanding even further:

Are all leaders good?

Is there a difference between good and bad dictators?

Can anyone be a dictator?

Can there be more than one leader?

Is the internet always right?

Why do we have leaders?

What makes a good leader?

Is a dictator just a type of influencer?


Session 2:

The information above was then fed back to both the History and Art departments at St Ninian's lower school who designed learning opportunities around the children's findings. In Art the children designed some 'Top Trump' style posters for leaders using some creative art techniques and in History their focus was on whether King John was a good leader through lots of challenging questions and activities.


Well done to all the children and staff involved in this really exciting new project to help connect learning from Primary through to Secondary school.

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