Mantle of the Expert
Mantle of the Expert (MoE) is a teaching method devised and developed by British educationalist Dorothy Heathcote from Newcastle University. It provides an imaginative, inquiry approach to learning via creation of a fictional world where pupils assume the roles of experts in a designated field. MoE is based on the premise that treating children as responsible experts increases their engagement and confidence. They can perceive a real purpose for learning and discovering together in an interactive and proactive way – providing them with skills and knowledge they can apply to their everyday lives. MoE encourages creativity, improves teamwork, communication skills, critical thought and decision-making.
All the participants are empowered by giving them an opportunity to assume responsible roles and make decisions in guiding the outcomes. Instead of the children relying on the teacher’s energy to drive the work and evaluate achievement, teacher and pupils share the responsibility for the quality of work.
All 215 children divide into mixed teams of 4 – 11 year olds visiting all of the different activities during the week, ranging from Casualty, where the children learnt basic First Aid, Ready Steady Cook, Born Survivor, looking at the techniques of Bear Gryls, Room 101, Blockbusters, Doctor Who and even Lambing Live! Children took on teachers in a special edition of Eggheads (guess who won!) and teams led by Headteacher, Mr Morgan and Chair of Governors, Mr Norris competed in A Question of Sport.
Now an established landmark at Lindow, everyone looks forward to the week with great anticipation. The children wish it could be Mantle of the Expert Week every week!
Headteacher Darren Morgan said: “MoE has undoubtedly become a highlight of our school year. Everyone engages, staff and volunteers put in a fantastic effort to transform the whole school and offer the children a wide range of experiences. Our ethos of caring, learning and achieving together is illustrated by the brilliant way our older children help the younger ones and learn from each other.”
In 2013, our children travelled around the world in 80 days revisiting the exploits of Jules Verne’s character, Phileas Fogg. School was transformed into 12 countries, each with a different activity. All 180 children, split into teams, followed Phileas Fogg (Headteacher, Darren Morgan), his servant Passepartout (Deputy Head, Gill Hoodless) pursued by Detective Fix (Chair of Governors, Richard Norris) around the world seeking the answer to a mathematical mystery.
The children are involved in a wide range of activities visiting the Netherlands, Italy (making pizzas), Oman, India (Ranjoli patterns), China, Japan, Australia, Easter Island (statues), Mexico (Mayan counting), the Bahamas and the USA (San Francisco and New York) learning about the culture and customs of the countries and collecting clues for their team. Instead of the children relying on the teacher’s energy to drive the work and evaluate achievement, teacher and class share the responsibility for the quality of work. They are empowered by being giving the opportunity to assume responsible roles and make decisions in guiding the outcomes.
Headteacher Darren Morgan said “The impact MoE has on the school as a whole is incredible; there’s a great BUZZ! The staff are enthused by this way of working and the pupils are much more engaged with learning. They become more articulate, self-aware and able to develop and move ideas on. Older children help younger team members and value the contribution of each individual.“ One parent observed “my son learnt more about geography and culture in one week than in his previous eight years!”
At the end of the week, all the clues were combined to solve the mathematical puzzle, of course the answer was 42!
In June 2012, our school
transformed into an historical time zone with pupils transported to famous
events in history. Click here to watch the introductory video.
At the start of the week, all 150 children were put into ten teams, each with children aged 4 – 11 years. Following an introductory lecture from Headteacher “Timetraveller” Darren Morgan and his assistant Dr Who, describing their challenge in visiting the 13 historical locations to repair the ‘fabric of the past’ using the skills of today. The children travelled through a time vortex (like Dr Who) to visit each location, completing their ‘time passport’, and learn about what happened at that point in time and how today’s knowledge could fix things.
The children are involved in a wide range of activities such as recounting the Battle of Hastings in the Bayeux Tapestry, reviving portraiture to combat the introduction of photography, solving the theft of the Crown Jewels, early use of medicine in treating an ailing King, helping Samuel Pepys record the Fire of London and visiting a Victorian schoolroom to make the school’s entry to the Wilmslow scarecrow competition (now to be seen in Hoopers’ window!).
2011 Wodnil Galaxy
In June 2011, our School was transformed into a far away galaxy, called Wodnil, comprising ten planets (classrooms) each inhabited by different aliens. At the start of the week, all 140 children were enrolled as Space Cadets and put into eight teams, based on our "Houses", each with children aged 4 – 11 years. Following an introductory lecture on space and our planetary system, from our Headteacher “Major” Darren Morgan, the cadets were transported to the alien galaxy to visit each planet and work with the aliens there to address their challenges.
The children are involved in a wide range of activities such as developing a new language to communicate, understanding how deprivation of one sense can enhance others, scientific experiments or designing and making a “scarecrow monster” to ward off invasion and provide our entry to the Wilmslow Scarecrow competition! They are empowered by giving them an opportunity to assume responsible roles and make decisions in guiding the outcomes.
Instead of the children relying on the teacher’s energy to drive the work and evaluate achievement, teacher and class share the responsibility for the quality of work.They are rewarded for effort, ideas and teamwork by "promotion" to officer, chief, vice-commander and commander.