It’s no secret that we care about community here in the Oasis family. Throughout our academies, our young people are taught about their local communities connected with our Hubs, and their global communities both in and out of Oasis. But what if we think closer to home; to where our young people spend their time during the week. Let’s talk classroom community.
The most effective communities are those that share a common goal and work together to achieve this goal, supporting one another along the way. Everyone who is part of the community should feel welcome, included and valued, and when this is clear in the classroom, the benefits can be bountiful.
Confidence Increases. When young people feel supported by their friends and classmates, this can serve as a safety net for taking chances. Children are more likely to engage in lessons and put themselves out there, answering questions and stepping up to challenges.
Acceptance and Kinship. Through a shared venture, strong relationships can build resulting in children feeling a bigger sense of acceptance in their lives. This can help them to develop holistically and to understand the differences between the people around them, respecting everyone for who they are.
Positive Behaviour. When you promote classroom community intentionally, you will often see an increase in positive behaviour as students invest in the journey they are sharing. Creating fair but explicit classroom rules helps harbour collaboration between peers and with their teachers.
But how do you build a classroom community? It starts with good teaching. It is hardly surprising to find that students respond well to teachers they respect and feel respected by – teachers who are on their side but stay strong and fair with those classroom rules. A good teacher must stay relevant and engaging, keeping their class interested and excited in their subject whilst encouraging active participation.
To generate a higher sense of student-to-student comradery it is important to keep classrooms mobile. We don’t mean lifting and shifting the whole room and set up, but making sure that students are mixing with each other on different projects, working with people they may not usually work with. Allow them the opportunity to make new friends and take on leadership roles within their learning environment.
But most of all, reflect on the learning with the students and keep that inclusive ethos as a regular feature in learning. We have a shared goal. We can achieve this together.