Is there a difference between upper primary and lower secondary school learning and teaching?

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As an extension of my Listen and Learn meetings I’ve arranged to meet with four primary 7 pupils (12 year olds) and four secondary first year pupils (13 year olds).  Over the next four weeks I will carry out one meeting in each of our six school clusters (secondary school and associated primary schools).

The focus of the meetings will be to explore in more depth the type of learning that children experience in upper primary school and lower secondary school.  We have recently surveyed the opinion of every P6 and S2 child in East Lothian on a range of topics.  One of the key differences was how children  perceived the extent to which they enjoyed the learning experience.  On average 84% of primary 6 children found lessons to be interesting, whilst only 52% of secondary 2 children found lessons interesting.  I wanted to drill into this in more depth to find out if the difference was due to any significant qualitative differences in what they experience or whether or not the difference was simply down to adolescence, i.e. the “Kevin effect”?

I’ll be reporting my findings to each cluster and collating any general findings at the end of the process.  I completed two meetings this week and the results have been fascinating!

3 thoughts on “Is there a difference between upper primary and lower secondary school learning and teaching?

  1. Don
    I loved the clip.

    Teenagers and engagement with family and schooling is challenging and its the peers who can help or hinder here as well.

    We collect survey data on our years 5 and 6 students and there’s lots to suggest that disengagement with teachers, elements of learning and in fact each other [social skills is what I’m referring to here] are evident in these years as well – by a growing percentage.

    I think some work here on learning being important right here and now – not as a preparation for secondary school which I hear all too frequently.

    We are building flexible learning environments with lots of collaboration and I hear kids echo parents words that this won’t help them in secondary school where the model of learning is often seen as competitive, exam orientated – yes I know its changing – but you only really appreciate that when the children have been through a few years of that.


  2. Jiim

    That’s what I want to explore through my meetings with learners. Is active learning enough if it carries no substance.

    I’ll be writing about my findings in a few weeks.


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