This is Lights On®

Stories from our Lights On® Changemaker families.

What Gets You Out Of Bed Every Morning?

Lights On® learner, Noah (14), says, “I ran every day through lockdown and have no intention of stopping. I needed some form of exercise but, as I kept it up, it started to benefit my mental health. I felt less anxious and more relaxed. I now know running is the best way to help me manage my mental health and stay happy.”

Today is World Mental Health Day.

Young Minds, whose mission is “to ensure all young people get the best mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s challenges” report that although 1 in 8 children have a diagnosable mental health disorder, that’s roughly three in every classroom, less than 1 in 3 get access to NHS care and treatment.*

The challenges of this year have brought mental health awareness to the forefront of our collective consciousness. During periods of lockdown, confined to our homes and neighbourhoods, many of us have had to find new ways of prioritising and protecting our mental...

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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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