At the start of the new academic year, Wycombe High introduced six new Learner Characteristics it will instil and embed at WHS to help all achieve the limits of their potential. News Crew interviewed the student lead of Learner Characteristics, Aaysha, and asked her about the new characteristics, what they mean and how they are going to help us with our learning.
What does your role entail?
I do my best to help promote the Learner Characteristics! Every week, the House Captains will be running assemblies based on different aspects of the characteristics, because we want everyone to learn how to be a better learner – my role involves checking all the assemblies and making sure they truly capture the spirit of the Learner Characteristics. I will also be running focus groups (socially distanced of course!) to try get feedback on whether the essence of these characteristics is being promoted in the classroom, what students have learnt from the assemblies, and what more can be done. I want to do what I can to make sure we’re always progressing!
What are the new Learner Characteristics?
A good learner is someone who is Resilient, Reflective, Open-minded, Brave, Knowledgeable and a Creative Thinker. Being resilient means being able to bounce back and face adversity. Reflective means you take the time to consider why you succeed, why you struggle and how to improve. An open-minded learner is curious and wants to understand more; they want to hear others’ opinions and want to broaden their horizons. Being brave means being unafraid to take risks and push yourself outside your comfort zone. Knowledgeable is about self-knowledge – it’s about understanding your strengths and weaknesses and how you learn best. A creative learner is one who takes initiative and thinks outside the box.
How do you think they will each benefit the students of Wycombe High?
People often assume that being a good learner means just being inherently cleverer than others. However, that is far from the case! These values all play a key part in helping us learn better. For example, if you reflect on your work, you can help yourself avoid making the same mistakes. If you’re brave, you can challenge yourself and try harder questions you wouldn’t normally attempt. By promoting these Learner Characteristics, we hope that students will take some time to truly consider how they can adapt in certain ways to make their learning more effective and more enjoyable overall.
How does the school plan on using these new characteristics to help us every day?
As I mentioned earlier, the House Captains will be running weekly assemblies on different aspects of the Learner Characteristics. These assemblies will include helpful tips and advice that everyone can try. As well as that, the House Points system has changed. House Points are now awarded based on the Learner Characteristics. This means you won’t just get House Points for merely knowing something! You’ll get House Points for being resilient, reflective, open-minded, brave, knowledgeable and creative, because these are key to learning better!
Do you think there is one value that is more important than the others? Or are they more or less equal?
In general, I think they’re more or less equal, because they each play a key part. For example, let’s suppose you get given back a test, and you didn’t do as well as you hoped. You need to be resilient and bounce back from this slight disappointment. You have to be open-minded and want to understand why you perhaps didn’t do as well. You then need to be reflective and look at where your strengths and weaknesses lay in the test. You have to be brave and ask your teacher for help where you need it. In order to figure out how to improve on the weaker parts, you need self-knowledge to understand how you best learn. Finally, you need to be creative and try different strategies if your current ones aren’t working. As you can see, these characteristics all have an important role in helping you learn.
What value do you think best applies to you?
I would say I”m very reflective. I always take feedback into account to help me improve. The characteristic I think I have to work on is being a bit braver and having the courage to ask for help when I need it.