The ability to collaborate with others has become one of the most sought-after skills in both education and the workplace. When a group of people pool their knowledge, skills and expertise, talk through problems and debate potential solutions, tasks can be completed more rapidly and effectively. Collaboration is a learning experience for all involved as ideas and expertise are shared, with listening skills playing a vital role in the process. We encourage all our pupils to listen to each other and work together in all aspects of school life, whether on the sports field, in the classroom or on stage.
A team of pupils from our Robotics Club took part in the First Lego League regional tournament in London. Pupils were challenged to design, build and program an autonomous Lego robot to solve a series of missions. Despite thorough testing and preparation ahead of the competition, the team’s robot consistently crashed during the first round. The team realised that the bright lights of the competition table were affecting the light sensors on the robot, therefore it was not stopping as intended. After a disappointing first round score the team decided to completely rewrite their code before the next round. Having worked on the robots for months this was no small task, but they set to work adapting all the code and retesting every mission. The team showed enormous creativity and resilience under pressure – skills that will serve them very well in the future. The final scores saw the team secure 4th place overall – a tremendous recovery!
Each term, our pupil Charity Commission choose which charities they would like to support and how they will go about raising money. Pupils work together to plan a schedule of fundraising activities and build engagement within the school community. In recent times, our Sixth Form pupils have organised a successful ‘splat the teacher’ event, raising more than £500 for Children in Need; under the leadership of one Year 8 pupil, a series of fundraising initiatives were organised to raise money for Mad About Harry including “Wear a hat for Harry” day; a group of pupils “Braved the Shave” and donated their hair to the Little Princess Trust. During the 2018-19 academic year, pupils raised almost £22,000 for charities.
Our Sixth Form Sports Leaders run weekly sports sessions for a local primary school. These sessions are built on the warrior learner characteristic of collaboration. Our Sixth Form pupils learn increasingly about themselves, and develop an understanding of leading, planning and organisation, in a setting that is giving the opportunity to young children within our local community to develop their sporting levels and fitness in an enjoyable, safe and comfortable environment. It is often difficult to tell who has enjoyed and taken more from the sessions, our sixth formers or the primary school pupils!
Our Year 9 pupils took part in a day of activities to learn about aspects of WW1 not covered by the History curriculum, designed to spark their creativity and capture their imagination. Pupils worked together to cook for victory recreating wartime recipes such as potato chocolate biscuits; worked collectively to investigate gas warfare in science and took part in a five-a-side football tournament, recognising the trench football match between the British and German soldiers during the Christmas of 1914.
Following some excellent team work and collaboration, Dunottar’s U15 boys cricket team made it all the way to the county indoor cricket final, narrowly losing to their opponents. The team’s “never give up attitude” saw them valiantly defeat schools which were almost four times larger in pupil numbers than Dunottar. At different stages of the competition, all the boys displayed aspiration, tenacity and collaboration. As the first cohort of boys to join Dunottar as Year 7s, this group of boys have learnt the value of aspirational vision and tenacity, when often results did not got their way in the early years, they have always remained motivated and positive in their mindset as a collaborative unit – which is now seeing them reap the rewards from this Warrior Learner approach.