Lyfta impact: Global learning at Djanogly Sherwood Academy

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The Lyfta team attended a Global Goals day at Djanogly Sherwood Academy and met some of the staff and pupils in the spring term of 2022. In this blog post we share some of the impactful ways global learning is being enhanced at the school with Lyfta.
Student at  Djanogly Sherwood Academy
Student at Djanogly Sherwood Academy

Djanogly Sherwood Academy

Djanogly Sherwood Academy is a two form entry primary school in Nottingham. Diversity and individuality is celebrated in many ways. The school has a higher than average number of pupils whose first language is not English. There is also an above average number of pupils eligible for free school meals.
One of the school improvement aims outlined by Hayley Keen, Headteacher, is to ensure that the academy's curriculum inspires children to demonstrate their depth of understanding, knowledge and progress through quality of work in books and other media. Lyfta is being used as an immersive learning experience to facilitate this aim.

Embedding Lyfta at Djanogly Sherwood Academy

Michael Brothwood, Year 5 and 6 Teacher and Leader of Global Learning, has embedded the Global Goals across the curriculum at the school. Developing oracy is also a focus for the school and Lyfta is a powerful way to enhance this.
Once a week, pupils spend the last 30 minutes of the day exploring and discussing a new storyworld. Ideas generated by the conversations are put onto post-it notes and stuck on the classroom display boards. Each Key Stage cohort then meets together in an assembly on the following day. The format is to arrange the pupils into a seated horseshoe shape; there is the space to talk, see what each class thought and compare ideas.

Beachcomber storyworld: impact on learning

Students at  Djanogly Sherwood Academy
Students at Djanogly Sherwood Academy
There's been a clear impact on pupils and learning. Michael noted, "There are a lot of crossover ideas in the group assemblies and these have become part of the school conversation". Lyfta maps have appeared in the classrooms, relevant books have been tied into the curriculum and displays inspired by the stories are in the hallways. The plan is to look at lunchtime conversation starters around the recent storyworlds.
After watching the Beachcomber storyworld pupils discussed what they can do in their community, such as on the walk home where there is plastic waste and rubbish on the streets. Adam, aged 11 said, "If you raise awareness about an issue, you can make a difference." They asked for litter pickers and a mini litter police team did a community clean up. A climate change group now meets on Friday lunchtime to discuss further ideas. There is now a group of pupils who turn off the lights and whiteboards around the school at the end of the day. Single use plastic bottles have also been highlighted as an issue and are being removed from school trips and parent's visits. As a result of the group's actions, the Academy Trust CEO Liz Anderson is looking to make it a whole trust approach.

Increasing cultural capital

Although many of the children come from countries around the world, they have limited experience beyond their own postcode. As mentioned by teaching assistant Sophie Hartley, "many haven't even had the opportunity to go clothes shopping, they have not had that experience of seeing the world and therefore have limited knowledge of what it looks like".
Lyfta is boosting cultural capital and provides experiences that the children wouldn't normally get. There are early signs that it is helping things like reading, with vocabulary being picked up.
Michael notes "You say 'seaside', they don't know what that is because they haven't been there. The schemas we have, they don't have yet. I think Lyfta is helping to build that".
Victor, aged 9, said, "The people on Lyfta are telling us about their lives and how they live and stuff they do. Therefore we can see what other people are doing and use that to help them or relate to them and make the world a better place."
It is early on in the Lyfta journey for Djanogly Sherwood Academy but here are good signs of impact so far. Lyfta has been embedded quickly, and fits in well with the wider work on the Global Goals and there is already evidence of impact on learning.
Character & Values
Global Learning
Human Stories
Social Emotional Learning
Sustainability & Global Citizenship