The power of collaborative learning

11 Years @AldenhamSchool Prep | Laura Collins #MotivationMonday

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Photo Credit: Aldenham School

Photo Credit: Aldenham School

After 11 years at Aldenham, I am moving to a new school in Cambridgeshire to be Lower Prep Coordinator. After so many years in one school change is hard, but what is hardest is saying goodbye to some fantastic friends and colleagues.

So how did I end up at Aldenham? Well it was pure chance. Having been recommended Aldenham for my son by an old Aldenhamian, I came to visit. My son fell in love with the school and decided it was the only school for him. He said it reflected what he called ‘real life’. A mix of cultures, a mix of ability, the quirky and more conventional characters. Anyway, a cup of tea with Mrs Harman resulted in me finding out that there was a job in Pre Prep and thanks to Mr Cheetham my 11 years teaching at Aldenham began. I have been fortunate to work with some amazing teachers and my son benefitted from inspirational teachers such as Dr Reid, Dr Turner and Mrs Jenkins to name just a few. If you read this then thank you!

Sitting in the Senior School Recital Room listening to the Prep School Music Evening in the summer was a memorable experience. As the sun shone into room I listened to the children play their instruments while cricket went on outside. I felt privileged to be in such amazing surroundings, where children are offered so many opportunities. If only I could have had the same. However, having gone to inner London schools, my only option to fulfil my desire to do as much sport as was humanly possible was to travel from the YMCS in Tottenham Court Road to Highgate running track and a very early Astro turf in Caledonian Road. Then if I still had the energy at 7am off for a swim. If only I had spent more time doing my homework!

Aldenham teachers never seem to sit back, but strive to learn more, share good practice and stay ahead of the game. This is evident in our fortnightly Breakfast Clubs and our Teach Meet back in 2014. I have Amy Bonn to thank for booking me a ticket to speak when I just wanted to listen at an early meeting. However, I have forgiven her as it was a valuable and memorable experience which allowed me to share my enthusiasm for developing children’s thinking skills, imagination and questioning. Thanks to Flora’s tireless enthusiasm, the Senior and Prep school can share good practice and become one community. I hope that in time I can develop something like this at my new school. I will be in touch, Flora!

From summer balls with dodgems to Visitation Days, Aldenham has been a memorable experience and one I will not forget. I move on inspired thanks to some wonderful Aldenham role models and feeling privileged to have taught some many amazing children. So, thank you to everyone who has made this such a significant part of my journey. 



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