High achieving students at Albany Academy were provided with an opportunity to raise their expectations of what they can achieve, to develop their self-reliance and also improve their independent learning skills.
The school organised a challenge day to help the students to experience failure and realise that it’s ok to get it wrong and try again. The students gained an invaluable experience that taught them that nothing is impossible and that problems can be tackled from different perspectives.
The day was delivered by the Happy Puzzle Company who was able to bring a variety of different types of resources that the students had not seen before, which made the activities new and exciting. While the students were supervised by Albany’s teaching staff, the happy puzzle company delivered each session and were able to energize the students in their tasks by making the work appear to be more of a game and less like learning.
Throughout the sessions students were encouraged to try again and not give up, to listen to the other members of their group and talk to one another, expressing their ideas coherently and give due consideration to their other group members ideas. It is hoped that the skills they developed through the session will be used in every day lessons.
Alison Brindle, who coordinates the ‘High Achievers’ programme at Albany, said, “I was amazed that the pupils were so focussed and concentrated for such a long time. Two of the sessions lasted for two hours and none of the pupils were bored or gave up, in fact they were still going strong when it was time for them to finish. It was a pleasure to see them working together and enjoying even the more difficult tasks. You could feel the excitement and enthusiasm in the room.”
The feedback from the students was that it was very enjoyable. One student said, “I didn’t expect the day to be like this. I thought it would be written activities not practical.” All of the students agreed that the session had been useful in developing skills such as sharing ideas, not giving up, concentrating, accepting help from each other. Another student said, “I liked how the session had a range of challenges which required different skills. It made us work hard.”