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Celebrate good times, come on!

by Jack on September 9

3 min read:

 

As I’m sure most of you are now aware, our flag system has been bought into the limelight with the introduction of EYFS 2021 on Tapestry. So, while you are all getting to know this new feature inside and out, I thought I would share some of my experiences with one of the original flag sets: Celebrations.

First of all, if you want to enable this flag set, you will need to be a “Manager” on the Tapestry account (or ask someone who is a “Manager” to do this for you). Just go to Control Panel > Settings > Flags > Scroll down to “Description Flags” and you will see “Celebrations” near the bottom.

Let’s have a look at the Flags in this set:

The basis for a lot of these flags was what we called in my school, “learning tools”. Essentially, positive traits we would like to encourage in our learners and look out for during the school day. These learning tools helped guide some of the various feedback we would give to children.

One of the more “formal” ways we would provide feedback happened at the beginning of every lesson. I would display two pieces of work from the previous lesson and, as a class, we would discuss what we liked about it. That conversation was often steered by these learning tools.

For example: “One of today’s celebration pieces is Musa’s work on fractions from yesterday. I chose this one because I think Musa showed really great resilience. Musa told me at the start of the lesson he wasn’t super confident with fractions, but after we talked about it for a few minutes he was working independently. Well done, Musa!”

When I first started doing this, I’d simply hold up the piece of work for the class to see. However, this method necessitated a “pass the parcel” type situation when children wanted a closer look. So, I started taking pictures of the work and displaying them on the interactive whiteboard. This worked much better, and I made it easier for us to look at specific parts of each work.

I liked this part of every lesson, but it was always missing something. It didn’t feel ‘concrete’ enough. There was no real record of it after the session.

I was reflecting on this the other day while thinking about flags on Tapestry. This kind of feedback would have been greatly improved by using Tapestry in conjunction with this “celebration” flag set.

I could have done what I always did, taken pictures of the work and displayed them on the board. But I could have uploaded each one to Tapestry instead. I could still show the work to everyone but with the added benefit of sharing it to relatives and having it recorded in the child’s journal as a keepsake. Furthermore, my students could have logged on themselves (using our Child Login feature), seen their celebratory piece of work and commented on it; extending that valuable conversation, reflection and feedback that comes along with this process!

I feel like this would have been a better way of working. It wouldn’t have resulted in me doing any more work than I was already doing, but it would have introduced the additional benefits of recording the celebration of each child’s work, highlighting the reasons why we were celebrating it, sharing it with the child and their family, and engaging the child with the feedback process.

You can also create your very own celebration flags to complement those you use every day in the classroom with the Bespoke Flags feature.

Happy celebrating!

 

Jack

Product Support Technician and Education Advisor

Jack started his career in education as a volunteer in a Brighton-based Charity for children with motor disorders. After which he was hired as an assistant conductor. During his time there, he studied at the University of Brighton to qualify as a primary school teacher. After a short stint as a supply teacher, Jack got his first job teaching Year 6. He remained in that role for a few years before moving to Year 4.
Jack joined Tapestry in August 2019 after many hints from his former housemate and now manager, Emily. In his Product Support role, Jack can be found answering customer emails and offering Tapestry advice on the phone. As part of the Education Team, you'll find him writing articles, recording podcasts and offering words of educational wisdom while drinking mugs of coffee.