When we work on collaborative problem-solving, whether it be adults or children, one of the biggest hurdles to success is attitude. Not just our attitude towards solving the problem, but our attitude towards the people we are working with.
Building community is not always easy. Maintaining community is not always easy. Repairing community is not always easy. However, it becomes easier when we approach each other with respect instead of animosity; when we listen instead of just speak; when we empathise instead of persecute; when we include instead of isolate; and, when we are truthful instead of deceitful.
Who we are is important. Our identity, our beliefs and our values make up our sense of self. How we are is a manifestation of those beliefs and values – the way we interact with other people – our character.
If we are to build communities which are fair and safe, then character matters. It matters not only in uniting people through commonalities but also how we manage and work through our differences to make things better for everyone not just a few.
Always inspiring. Always relevant. Even more so as schools and settings return to a new academic year in 2020.
2010 - 2020
Today, we celebrate ten years of Single Steps Learning!
At the beginning of March, we were trying to decide when it would be best to take two or three days summer holiday, during July, as we prepared for a full event schedule in the academic year 2020/21.
Then coronavirus arrived and lockdown happened. Like everyone else, we had to figure out how to deal with the ‘new normal’ as our own personal circumstances dictated – different boats, same storm. For the first time in almost 10 years we were ‘off the road’ and facing a future that was, and still is, very uncertain.
In thinking about the future, we inevitably reflected on the past and what an incredible journey it has been…
We have enjoyed friendships with people, whose support and generosity has been so important to us and our survival. We have met so many inspiring people, who don’t recognise how good they are due to their genuine humility. We have had the opportunity of working with learners of all ages - being able to share in their challenges and achievements. Moreover, we have had the privilege of learning from them too.
In ten years, a lot has changed. On a professional level, we have been doing more settings-based projects than off-site training courses. On a personal level, we have climbed 17.6 Munros, and have 1760 more grey hairs between us!
What hasn’t changed is our belief that our thoughts and actions can make a positive difference to the lives of other people. For the last ten years, we have chosen to do that via Single Steps Learning by creating and designing experiences, which provoke engagement in the process of learning and building community, through collaborative problem-solving.
Whatever awaits us in the future, as Single Steps Learning or not, that belief will continue.
Thank you to everyone who has helped us, inspired us, supported us and, on occasion, challenged us. So, raise a glass (or a mug) with us tonight to celebrate! You are all part of Single Steps Learning.
Andrew and Lynne
Lockdown has a been a journey...for everyone. Year 6 (Primary 7) learners across the UK have had a different kind of transition experience. The class of 2020 in Aberbargoed Primary were offered a 'Summer School' as part of their approach and we were delighted to be invited to take part in Week One. A mini-project 'From Here To There'! It gave an opportunity to reflect on past projects whilst also engaging in new experiences and connecting to the future.
The first time we met these learners, they were Year 3. They have grown! It was an absolute pleasure to reconnect. Laughter, smiles, humour, concentration, enthusiasm, community. The two days were full of moments that we will treasure. The power of a smile. The power of community. Aberbargoed Primary - you have that power.
Best wishes to all those Year 6 learners as they embark on the next step of their journey. ?
Plus ça change, plus ce la meme chose!
The more things change…the more they stay the same.
Lockdown, social distancing, shielding, family bubbles. How quickly these words have become part of our everyday vocabulary. With the arrival of the covid-19 coronavirus, the world changed and the world had to respond to change.
Just days before lockdown, we witnessed education professionals, grappling with the challenges of how they were going to provide some kind of education continuity for their learners. How? When? What? Who? Why? All valid questions which were often met with responses which would sometimes be invalidated the following day.
It was, and still is collaborative problem-solving, which we could not have imagined three months ago.
However, despite the unprecedented nature of the challenge (perhaps requiring specific, new knowledge and technical skills) the ‘big questions’ remain the same and so do the generic skills and attitudes required to respond to them successfully?
‘How do make sure this is learning environment is fair?’ ‘How do make sure this learning environment is safe (both physically and emotionally).’ ‘How do we make sure everyone feels valued?’ ‘How do we make sure everyone engages fully?’
However different the ‘new normal’ appears, if we are able to respond effectively to these ‘old’ questions, then continuity will be achieved.
We've just realised that we published our last post over a year ago. 🤔
Time really does fly when you are busy! It also makes you reflect on which social media platforms you use, how manageable they are to maintain and whether they are the best way of communicating with our followers, colleagues and friends.
We will be updating and streamlining our main website in the next few months. If you have a preferred way of connecting with us regularly, please let us know by completing the survey.
It has been a fantastic two weeks in Aberbargoed Primary School. This time, we were working alongside Year 5 (Class 7) and Year 6 (Class 8) who had been learning all about the functions of the heart. They kindly agreed to put their expertise to use and assist us with our big questions. To find out more, please visit the project website: The Heart of the Matter.
A special thank you to all the children, staff, families and wider community. There were so many memorable moments and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with you all.
It's November already and we can't quite believe that 2017 is passing so quickly. This year, we have been involved in an increasing number of Designer Projects.
Our Designer Projects have grown in popularity since 2016, with forward bookings in place until July 2019. Each project involves 'Embedded CPD/CLPL' for the staff involved, as well as a series of linked learning experiences for the children over a 2-week period. A project website is developed and updated daily, a photo-book produced and a family engagement event organised and led by the children involved.
We must say 'thank you' to David Lewis (Headteacher), the staff, children and families of Aberbargoed Primary School for being the pioneers of these type of projects. It was been a pleasure working alongside you all.