Developing Independence at School

Independent Learner Licence – Level 1

Developing personal independence at school is important for students. Team Poihipi implements the ‘Independent Learner Licence – Level 1’ to encourage students to get themselves ready for their day at school, share their learning with others, and be responsible for their own belongings.

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Comment: Niklaus said, “I’m working really hard to get my Learner Licence. I want to show Mrs Griffin, I can do stuff by myself.”

This initiative identifies specific goals students must achieve consistently five times without support or reminding.

Independent Learner Licence Goals:

I can carry my bag into school.

I enter the classroom by myself.

I walk from the gate to the classroom by myself.

I put my bag onto my bag hook.

I remember to bring my book bag to school each day.

I put my book bag into the box.

I put my drink bottle and lunchbox away.

I can find my name.

I say “good morning” to my teacher in the morning.

I put my hand up on the mat and share my ideas with the class.

I put my shoes on by myself (my teacher can help me with my shoelaces).

I pack my own bag at the end of the day.

I share my learning with a buddy or in a small group at school.

I share my learning at home.

When students have achieved these goals, they are presented with their ‘Independent learner Licence’ card (the size of a driver’s licence), a certificate, and a purple wristband.

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Comment: Theo said, “I did it! I was so excited to get my Learner Licence at assembly. I was showing everyone my licence.”

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Comment: Phineas said, “I even showed the bus teacher my Learner Licence. It was really exciting.”

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I can carry my bag into school:

Being responsible for getting themselves ready for the day starts at home. Students are encouraged to check they have their lunch box, drink bottle, and book bag in their school bag before leaving home. Next, they need to carry their school bag into school themselves. Sometimes, students need to remind parents they can do this.

I enter the classroom by myself / I walk from the gate to the classroom by myself:

Coming into school independently from the school gate is achieved in two stages. First, students are encouraged to come through the classroom door on their own. Parents usually watch from the bottom of the steps as their child comes into class.

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In the second stage, students walk from the school gate by themselves. Sometimes, parents follow from a distance. This can be a big milestone for some parents and students.

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I put my bag onto my bag hook / I remember to bring my book bag to school each day / I put my book bag into the box / I put my drink bottle and lunch box away:

Being responsible for their own belongings continues at school. Students are reminded and encouraged to look after their clothing, lunch box, drink bottle and book bag. Lunch box and drink bottle shelves, a book bag box, and school bag hooks help students to manage their belongings. Routines such as pegging hats on a wire, putting hoodies into school bags, and placing shoes by the door, support students in establishing self-managing habits.

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Comment: Seb said, “I can hang my hat on the wire by myself.”

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I can find my name:

Students need to move their own name card to the “I am at School” wall to show they are at school. This also provides daily opportunities for students to recognise their name.

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I say “good morning” to my teacher in the morning:

Saying “good morning” to the teacher, or anyone, is a polite way to greet people. This also allows students to connect and engage in a conversation with their teacher.

I put my hand up on the mat and share my ideas with the class:

Students putting their hand up to speak, when sitting on the mat, is one of Room 16’s class rules and a polite way to share ideas or thoughts with a group.

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I put my shoes on by myself:

Students need to be able to put on and take off their shoes and their socks by themselves. Managing themselves means being able to put on shoes (as well as hoodies or polar fleeces) without help. Shoelaces and zips can be tricky for our 5-year-old students. Mrs Griffin happily helps to tie laces and zip up hoodies. 

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I pack my own bag at the end of the day:

Students are expected to pack their own school bags at the end of the school day. This process begins with support and guidance from Mrs Griffin on how to do this. Room 16 students learn to pack their bags in a specific order. First bookbags go in, then lunchboxes and drink bottles and lastly hoodies or polar fleeces. Students then close their school bags and put them onto their backs. Student’s accomplishing this goal need opportunities to practise on their own. With time and encouragement, most students can pack their own bag independently within a few weeks. 

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I share my learning with a buddy or in a small group at school / I share my learning at home:

Sharing their learning at school and at home is an important part of the learning process. It has many positive and beneficial layers. Students consolidate new knowledge and skills when they explain learning to their peers. A sense of accomplishment and achievement is felt when students have opportunities to present to each other or tell their families about what they did at school. Students can also build confidence when speaking or demonstrating their ideas to a buddy.

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Key words:

Learner Licence, Managing Self

Key Competencies:

Managing Self

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