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Norwich youngsters show how boys learn best

PUBLISHED: 06:30 23 June 2011

Boys involved in the film made by Firside Junior School pictured with their teacher Emma Elliot. The film is about getting boys interested in learning.

Boys involved in the film made by Firside Junior School pictured with their teacher Emma Elliot. The film is about getting boys interested in learning.

Archant 2011

While it's often said that girls learn better, youngsters at a city school have been investigating the best ways to switch boys on to learning.

As part of a Creative Partnership project, children at Firside Junior School in Middletons Lane, Hellesdon, have been investigating how boys learn best and how they could be helped to learn even better.

Research has shown than boys and girls learn in different ways and that boys typically do less well at school than girls.

So the project at Firside actively involved boys in their own research into how this can be tackled.

A group of boys worked with a Norfolk-based filmmaker, as well as their teachers, to investigate the issue.

Headteacher Simon Fisher said: “Naturally we want both boys and girls to do as well as possible at school and so we have asked the boys ‘You tell us – what could schools do differently to help boys learn even better?’”

A project group of 20 boys worked with filmmaker Ross Sutherland and looked at the issues surrounding what it is like to be a boy in today’s world.

Through their research, they discovered that the learning approaches of girls and boys are different. The boys were also keen to see how these approaches would work in single-sex classes.

As a result, the teachers planned a day when the children worked in single-sex classes for the whole day to find out what they could learn from the experience.

All the results are now being fed into the school’s teaching plans.

Emma Elliott, the teacher coordinating the project, said: “It has been a great learning experience for both pupils and teachers. We have gained fascinating insights into both benefits and drawbacks during this experiment. All that we have learned is now being fed into our teaching plans.”

The project was part of the school’s Creative Partnerships project in conjunction with the Norfolk and Norwich Festival and culminated in a screening of the film they made at the Norwich Arts Centre last week.

Are you holding an innovative project at your school? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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