Primary School News

Autobiographical Approach to Learning

Our students will learn to:
“Be confident in expressing and in being themselves”
– BSM Vision and Mission

As we reach the end of a busy half term I will take this opportunity to look back and reflect on the major school wide project of this period, the Autobiographical Approach. I attended presentations from lower primary to Key Stage 3. Pride is the word that volts out first when attempting to capture the impact of this project. The time invested in research about themselves and sharing this in a public forum was one that delivered pleasure to the recipient audience yes, but in greater bucket fulls to the storyteller and curator. I know that, from personal experience, having delivered my story to my colleagues in introducing this project. Telling these personal stories clearly built on the children’s own self-worth and as Hope Denton said:


“It has helped boost my confidence.”

Sharing these personal narratives also significantly contributes to community belonging for all. It fosters greater empathy, developing deeper and richer relationships with others and emphasises the celebration of diversity. Reflecting on this Chelsea Chang realises:

“…that each family has their own roots and each family is unique but there are also similarities…It is important that we respect each other.”

Agneya in Year 5 puts this more poetically than I could, saying

“I have learnt that we all come from varied backgrounds. Still, we are like flowers in a bouquet.“

She followed this up with a telling statement about personal connection that this process made her be more aware of:

“My research has made me understand that it is not ‘what’ we have in our lives but ‘who’ we have in our lives that counts.”

This was a sentiment that fellow Year 5 students Fiona Chong and Lara Nath agreed with:

“The project has helped me understand that family and friends are more

Important than anything in the world.” Fiona

“My research has helped me to know myself better and my family.” Lara

Zander from Year 6 sums up how the process has helped him view similarities and differences and reflect upon his own situation as an expatriate in an international school:

“I thought it was amazing to listen to all my peers’ presentations, as it was very good to see what I could relate to and what I couldn’t. One of the very important things that I could relate in almost everyone’s presentation is having to leave family behind to come to the Philippines.”

Put this all into the community melting pot of the British School Manila and you have significant contributions to the supportive learning environment with well-being at its heart, something John Hattie regards as paramount :

“A positive, caring, respectful environment is a prior condition to learning.” A wonderful project with huge benefits across the school.

Service Learning Fun Run
Thank you to all those who turned up and took part in our annual Fun Run around Urdaneta last Sunday. Primary students were out in force, many in fancy dress and clearly enjoying the early morning exercise. We managed to raise at least Php 100k for our service learning programme. For a more accurate figure go to the service section of this newsletter.

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