“What did you learn at school today?” – In praise of inquisitive parents

final_pbfl_stp_mindsetFor this half-term (Summer 1) our Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBfL) focus is INQUISITIVE. Like to know more? Excellent, that’s the spirit…

Inquisitiveness – being curious, questioning, and experimental – is not only essential to all children’s development but can be the fuel that drives learning forward. Curiosity has it’s own kinetic energy; the desire to know more leads to…the desire to know more.

Of course the influence of parents is paramount. And whilst the same might be said for all positive (and negative) behaviour, perhaps it is more so when it comes to developing inquisitiveness. Most children, even prior to their first words spoken, will express curiosity through body language. Toddlers point their way about new worlds, each gesture an exclamation of curiosity. How parents choose to respond will inevitably fuel – or dampen – the enthusiasm to point further.

In growing up, how have the questions that your child asks you changed?

Is “Can I have some more money?” just an inevitable shift towards a growing independence? And now, if curiosity ever does take hold – in a “what is the moon made of?” way – would your child be more likely ask a teacher or ‘Google’, rather than turn to you? (For the record, it’s rock, not cheese, apparently).

jbensonIllustration by Jim Benson

Do you still ask your child what they have done each day in school?

It’s something we would like to encourage – for you to dig a bit deeper into the specifics of their studies.

Asking your child to recap aspects of their learning creates opportunities for you to gain greater insights, but also, importantly, for students to reflect on what they have learned. Research has proven that teaching someone else or explaining something new, is one of the most effective ways of securing knowledge.

So, at St Peter’s this half-term, teachers will be paying particular attention to promoting – and provoking – inquisitive behaviour. We want students to ask deeper questions and think wider around the subjects that they are studying. This can have benefits at this time of revision and exam preparation, especially for subjects where exam questions can not be anticipated and flexibility of thought is required.

Of course, if you have further questions yourself – about our PBfL agenda, or indeed any aspect of your child’s learning – do get in touch, even if you are only being curious.

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