This is Lights On®

Stories from our Lights On® Changemaker families.

The Power of the Portfolio

Imagine being in the class of 2020, having worked your whole school career towards your all-important GCSEs, only to have the opportunity of sitting them suddenly denied you. What does a young person have beyond the grades? 

A portfolio of passion-driven, project-based learning can be a powerful record of a child’s experience, make them stand out from the crowd and help them land the job of their dreams.

Last week, Julia Black, creator of Lights On®, spoke to two young people about building a learning portfolio.

Elias is 18, a young engineer in an apprenticeship programme at WMG, an academic department at the University of Warwick, providing research, education and knowledge transfer in engineering, manufacturing and technology.

It is the job of his dreams. He had a clear engineering switch from early childhood, constructing, playing with vehicles, constantly drawing and inventing machines. As he grew, he enjoyed woodwork and undertook maker projects with his...

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Free To Be Me!

 

'Write a song contrasting how you feel learning with your lights dim to learning with your lights fully switched on.'

This brief was given to three teenagers in our community, none of whom were confident writers, nor had ever made a song before. All stepped up, bravely sharing their true feelings about learning. 

Working during lockdown, the group met online. In that creative learning space, a little bit of Lights On® magic occurred.

James (14) recalls, “When I heard about the project I was like, no way am I doing that! I can’t sing and I hate writing. But then I thought about songs having a rap section. Maybe I could do that.”

Out walking after dark, James started skipping. “The rhythm of the skip made me think of songs.” Reminded of the project, he began putting words together. Mum, Lisa, says, “When I heard about the project, I knew James wouldn’t sing but watching him work out how he could be involved and the fun he had...

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Real-World Learning At Its Best

In the JAM space this week, we were inspired by real-world makers and engineers.

Our Wired for Learning mindset challenge came from innovative engineers at Dyson, who are not averse to playing with Lego and cardboard when solving the problems they are presented with. Indeed, it is through play, trial and error, and often multiple failure, that breakthrough comes. Our task? To build a marble run lasting exactly sixty seconds.

That might sound easy, until you watch how quickly a marble run downs a slope. Sixty seconds is a long time in the life of that small glass bauble. So how to slow the marble down? Lots of discussion in our house about friction, momentum, gravity, force. This was a hands-on science challenge, requiring a strong mindset, perseverance, ingenuity and problem solving.

There were all sorts of creative responses to this challenge. Some families used ping pong balls or round chocolates where they had no marble. Some incorporated purpose-made marble run parts, but...

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A Whole New World of Lights On® Learning

 Imagine the world through my eyes ….

Of course, you cannot. Unless I show you what I see.

Each of us is so different. Unique. With our own way of seeing, hearing, perceiving and experiencing the world. Our own gifts, talents, passions. Our own challenges and struggles. Our own stories which have shaped us into the people that we are.

We are all different.

Yet, generally, school experience is standardised and uniform, with little room to express our uniqueness, to share our own voice, our very individual take on reality.

Education has become so results focused, that often we forget the joy of the journey, the growth which enables us to bring our own gifts to the table and contribute with confidence and dignity to the world around us, which needs us all – in our own unique ways – to show up and care for her; to a society which needs all our differing gifts, strengths and creativity to flourish and prosper.

It is time to move out of the boxes in which we...

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Lights On® Mindset!

Uncategorized Apr 14, 2020

Lights On® Mindset! 

by one of our Lights On® Mums, Alice Khimasia

Early this week, Lights On Mum, Emma, chose to be vulnerable by posting a watercolour image of a woman with rainbow coloured hair. She recognised that painting meant overcoming a big label she had adopted, “I'm not arty.”

What labels do we wear which prevent us pushing forward, taking risks, becoming the best learners we can be?

This week’s JAM saw several parents being bold and vulnerable in recognizing and pushing through points of resistance. This is how we build resilience, enabling and empowering our children to persevere and become the motivated learners we want them to be. It is all about mindset.

Julia and Corinne shared a quiz to determine where our child’s mindset currently stands. From lost learners to inspiring creators, there were a spectrum of responses, different children at differing points on their learning journeys.

As we set out to explore our learning...

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Lights On® Family Culture

At the end of another Lights On® JAM, let’s look at how creative, collaborative learning enables us to shape family culture, empowering parents to change the way we think about ourselves and our children as we learn alongside one another.

Sixty families from around the world gathered online this week, kickstarting our JAM with fabulous learning carousels, laying out a feast of activities to entice our families to dig in and get creative.

Where do our children naturally turn, what grabs and sustains their interest, what lights them up?

As parents, we want our children to be happy, engaged learners, but what about us, the adults in the mix? Often, we forget our own creative genius, what lights us up. As important as our children’s choices, what catches our attention on the learning carousel? Where do we find our interest piqued, our engagement sustained? 

There is abundant creative storytelling emerging in our community as well as young engineers designing,...

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We're Jamming!

We're Jamming! 

Getting hands-on and creative, Lights On® style...

by one of our Lights On® Mums, Alice Khimasia

This morning, my 8-year-old woke me up to tell me he needed to film a ‘how-to’ video for his friends on the JAM.

The 3-day JAM is over, but the learning continues. He makes the instructional video and I am amazed. This is not something I have shown him, not even something I know anything about. But he is an expert. He has learned from his brothers and peers, and by playing around on his iPad.

His knowledge and abilities surprise me. I wonder what other talents lie undiscovered within him. He sits entirely absorbed as he continues to work on a couple of the movies he created during the event. When a child’s lights are on, the depth of their understanding, the level of their skills, will surprise us.

I like to be surprised as a parent. I confess I was skeptical about joining the JAM. I was anxious I wouldn’t have the capacity to show...

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Interview with Darren de Lima

passion-led learning Sep 01, 2019

Darren de Lima is a local product designer and electronics student at Bath Spa university. Since he was 14 he has been making action figures out of recycled materials. His figures have inspired him to start writing a novel based on his characters that he’s developed.

On the run-up to one of our action figure inspired holiday sessions back when we had the Creative Learning Centre, we asked him a few questions about his creations.

Rahkshi

Lego’s 2001-2010 Bionicle – Rahkshi

 
1) What inspired you to start making your own action figures when you were young? 

Interesting things I’ve seen. My starting point, I guess, was Lego’s 2001-2010 Bionicle – they were buildable robot action figures and I loved them. Then I wanted to make my own toys, to play cool things with and, more recently, as characters in their overarching story. I fell in love with making my own, and I still do enjoy it. 

 

2) You make your figures out of recycled...
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Email Whitelisting Explorium

Uncategorized Dec 07, 2018
How to Whitelist Email from Explorium
for AOL, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook,
Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Postini & More

To ensure that the email we send you ends up in your inbox, and isn't mistakenly sent to the junk folder, please whitelist our email address, which is [email protected] or [email protected].

Below is information on how to whitelist us with AOL, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, ThunderBird and Postini. Even if your email provider is not listed, with these instructions you should be able to figure out how to whitelist our email address at any ISP or with any email program.

Also, if you find email from [email protected] in your spam or junk folder, please take that opportunity to tell your mail program that it is not spam by hitting the "not spam", "not junk" or similar button, as that will train your program to whitelist it.

AOL

To add [email protected] to your AOL address book:

1. Open an email from us and then...

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Big Top Circus

When speaking to members of the audience after each show, typical comments I heard were “Inspirational”, “Fantastic”, “Unbelievable”,  “Hugely Impressive” and even “In Awe”.

The Great Justinino – Ringmaster (Volunteer Parent)

 

Seeing the impact our combined creative efforts had on the children was the first major source of inspiration behind Explorium.

Julia Black

In 2009 a group of volunteer parents combined their skills, talents and time and gave all 104 pupils at Butleigh Primary school the chance of a lifetime – to run away with the circus. This was a hugely ambitious project, which mobilized ordinary parents to stage an extraordinary experience for their children and have a direct impact on their education. 

A core team of parents worked with the children for six months training them in juggling, unicycling, clowning and performance poetry, among other skills. Then a dedicated Circus...

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