How We Are Making Learning Better at George Mitchell

01 February 2007
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George Mitchell School web site imageSylvia Lim

George Mitchell is a place where wonders happen, and it's the home of the magical wonder of MLB (Making Learning Better) and Student Voice.

 The magnificence behind it is not that difficult to understand, so let me begin to explain …

Every school must have a say, whether it's the teachers learning, or the children lecturing. All must be equal, and that's what George Mitchell has achieved.

Our school has a very SUCCESSFUL scheme, and this is the Student Voice Panel, consisting of a very good school council and school parliament.

Every year-group has a school council, each council representing their year with eight reliable and trustworthy students. I know what you're thinking, the teachers must have chosen these eight students. But I tell you my dear friend that you are wrong, the students in each council were chosen 'by the students and for the students', made by their choice for their choices.

Together, these students, from all the years, make up the School Parliament.

Every month, each council, along with their “Head Of Year” (the senior member of staff which manages their council) will meet and discuss the different possibilities for their year. Once each year has discussed and agreed, these points will be brought in front of the magnificent Headteacher (Mrs. Jeffery) at the Parliament Meeting (doesn't that sound so very political?), which happens approximately twice a term.

Once discussed, the actions that have been agreed will happen in full swing. So far, this year's council has achieved many things, despite only beginning to work in September.

The 'revamp' of the toilets, the student organized charity non-uniform day, a school fashion show, the rock-climbing wall (even though that was MOSTLY the teachers, but the children did have some say in it!) and many other things.

This has already been a MASSIVE success, with the name of OUR school not only being heard all over the country but even better, ALL OVER THE WORLD!

Our school is known to INVOLVE and INCLUDE the students, wherever they are, whatever the time of the day, whenever throughout the year.

Yet it doesn't stop there. The magical happenings at George Mitchell carry on …

MLB (Making Learning Better) is the other point that I have to explain. If you thought that our 'Student Voice' was good, prepare for the unexpected.

As I explained before, every person, teacher or student needs to have a say. But, how many schools do you know that let their students CHANGE the way some of their lessons are taught, explained or prepared? Not many I hear you say, but the answer should be NONE AT ALL, because our school is where it started …

MLB is beyond the school council and parliament, this is where the lessons are practically handed into the hands of the students in MLB.

There are many subjects in the school curriculum, so there has to be some faults to each lesson. MLB is here to fix it.

MLB consists of around 35 students, with a mixed variety of ages and year groups. Each student, (who is handpicked and chosen by the famous Mr. Savage who organises MLB) chooses their own favourite subject, whether it's the wonders of French or the magnificence of English to help make better. Once they have chosen that subject, they will be put into their chosen group and with the help of their fellow MLB's (and Mr. Savage of course!), will do everything in their power to improve their specialized subject.

They will ask students, teachers, even parents what they think of a particular subject, and what MLB could do to improve it. Once a suggestion has arrived, the team will discuss at their weekly meeting, what they could do.

Just like the Student Voice panel, the MLB panel will discuss the decisions. Each MLB Lead Consultant (a student appointed by the subject leader to lead the other members) will attend a weekly/monthly meeting with Mr. Savage, and matters will arise and be accomplished from there.

Lots of things have happened since MLB arrived, the installation of new computers in the ICT rooms, new clubs and activities have been introduced for main subjects, more practical activity in lessons and much more.

So much has happened at George Mitchell and it has become an excellent school to be educated at. Nothing could be as good as this, but when you've been at George Mitchell for as long as I have (which has only been since September 2005!), you start to realise that anything is possible.

MLB and Student Voice are only a few of the things that are happening at this precise moment in 2006, but when the time comes, there will be one last part of this tale.

As all the people at George Mitchell know, things can only get better …

Further sources of information about George Mitchell School:

http://www.muslimyouth.net/ (link is to the article)

http://www.thenewspaper.co.uk/home/pg000639.php

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4785538.stm

http://www.teachers.tv (link is to the article)

http://education.independent.co.uk/schools/article345645.ece

http://www.bteducation.org/awards/casestudy05.ikml?id=1352

http://www.sec-ed.co.uk/cgi-bin/go.pl/features/article.html?uid=474

http://www.ldr-magazine.co.uk/viewstory.php?id=328

http://www.guardian-series.co.uk (link is to the article)

http://www.tes.co.uk/search/story/?story_id=2148170

http://www.telegraph.co.uk (link is to the article)

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