In the lead up to Easter, Lindow Primary School children travelled around the world in 80 days revisiting the exploits of Jules Verne’s character Phileas Fogg.
As part of its annual “Mantle of the Expert” week, school was transformed into 12 countries, each with a different activity. All 180 children, split into teams, followed Phileas Fogg (Headteacher, Darren Morgan) and his servant Passepartout (Deputy Head Gill Hoodless) pursued by Detective Fix (Chair of Governors, Richard Norris) around the world seeking the answer to a mathematical mystery.
The children were involved in a wide range of activities visiting the Netherlands, Italy (making pizzas), Oman, India (Ranjoli patterns), China, Japan, Australia, Easter Island (statues), Mexico (Mayan counting), the Bahamas and the USA (San Francisco and New York) learning about the culture and customs of the countries and collecting clues for their team.
Instead of the children relying on the teacher’s energy to drive the work and evaluate achievement, teacher and class share the responsibility for the quality of work. They are empowered by being giving the opportunity to assume responsible roles and make decisions in guiding the outcomes.
Headteacher Darren Morgan said “The impact MoE has on the school as a whole is incredible; there’s a great BUZZ! The staff are enthused by this way of working and the pupils are much more engaged with learning.
"They become more articulate, self-aware and able to develop and move ideas on. Older children help younger team members and value the contribution of each individual.“
One parent observed “my son learnt more about geography and culture in one week than in his previous eight years!”
At the end of the week, all the clues were combined to solve the mathematical puzzle, of course the answer was 42!
Mantle of the Expert (MoE) is a teaching method devised and developed by British educationalist Dorothy Heathcote from Newcastle University. It provides an imaginative, inquiry approach to learning via creation of a fictional world where pupils assume the roles of experts in a designated field. MoE is based on the premise that treating children as responsible experts increases their engagement and confidence.
They can perceive a real purpose for learning and discovering together in an interactive and proactive way – providing them with skills and knowledge they can apply to their everyday lives. MoE encourages creativity, improves teamwork, communication skills, critical thought and decision-making.
This is a member post by Richard Norris.