Why use MoE?

Over the years this is what people have said about Mantle of the Expert.

“The impact MoE has had on the school as a whole has been incredible. From the staff’s perspective we have all been enthused by this way of working. Staff have embraced all the training opportunities, and professional dialogue, and have had the opportunities to take risks in their classrooms, evaluate with colleagues, and then go back and try again!There has been an overall heightening of their understanding of how learning is best facilitated, the level of discussion around school has become much more precise and challenging, the staff relating experiences/ideas etc to academic research/educational theory. Through the project, members of staff have gained skills and confidence. Overall there is a BUZZ! From the pupils’ perspective they are much more engaged with learning. They are becoming more articulate, self-aware and able to develop and move ideas on. They use the words: “fun”, “adventure” and there is an evident degree of urgency in their work – it is real, meaningful and relevant!” Parents and Governors have been equally excited by the work and have had the chance to participate in sessions held for them.”
Primary School Head Teacher

“Making it more exciting helps you learn better… because we’re doing it ourselves. If we read it out of book we would learn stuff, but we wouldn’t learn how we would do it… when you act it out its like your own story you’re doing… It’s fun because you all get to do stuff, it’s not like a boring teacher, saying do work, do this work, all boring work. This is work, but its like fun work, its creative stuff.”

“You want to make it more exciting because we won’t learn nothing if we think its boring… We wouldn’t want to learn if it wasn’t fun… that’s what all this roman stuff is about, we’re actually wanting to learn. That’s the thing that we like.”
Bobby (8)

“It’s fantastic. It’s really fun. I prefer working in a company because it’s much better and it tingles in my tummy.”
Pupil, Y1

“It’s a fantastic and exciting way of learning. I really like the way it has taken away some of the routine ways of learning and basics.”

“When MoE is used in classes the excitement and enjoyment of the pupils is amazing. When used the children are empowered in their learning, being active and interested and learning for a purpose. Some teachers are still developing their MoE skills in teaching but in an area with high social deprivation and where pupils can easily become disengaged, MoE unlocks the curriculum for many.”
Primary School Head Teacher

“I know it’s right because of the engagement I have seen in the eyes of the children, the passion in the voices of the teachers, and the feeling in the air in a classroom when everyone is taking part.”
Primary School Head Teacher

“One of the teachers at school describes the mantle as “this fantastic pedagogy”. It has transformed the learning and the teaching at our school. The standards achieved and depth of learning evident demonstrate how powerful moe is. We are developing a skills curriculum using moe as the focus for this. Whenever I show prospective parents around our school I always give them ten minutes with our children to explain moe – the children of our school are its strongest advocates – and not one of them wants to “do literacy again.”
Primary School Head Teacher

“When I jumped in with the assistance of my T.A. my class were so excited and very keen. They engaged with the client seriously and were very focussed… The children moved into a deep place of emotional connection during the session and demonstrated great thoughtfulness and understanding that I would not have created without this technique being used.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 5/6

“The MoE is an excellent way of getting into a topic (ours was Florence Nightingale). All the children were engaged completely and participated in role as experts. This meant we could then take the topic on – not using MoE all the time – very successfully.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 1

“I found it very exciting how my Year 5 & 6 class took on board the role of diving experts investigating a (potentially) Tudor wreck. So far the work has provided a fusion of imagination and research, which relies in looking at the whole subject from the inside.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 5/6

“I have found that children find Mantle exciting and purposeful. It offers a chance for all children to participate. I witnessed reluctant children who normally find group work difficult, participating and feeling confident.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 1/2

“Using MOE encourages you to become a more reflective practioner. It has made me re-examine my beliefs surrounding the education system. By using MOE you see the ‘big picture’ and consider the children’s learning as a life-long process. You are not only concerned with a child’s learning for the academic year but for their entire future. MOE provides opportunities to explore and reflect on values and beliefs. It is a very reflective process and the teacher’s ideologies might also be challenged. The context a MOE frame provides, allows you to explore these values at a much greater depth, as there is a real sense of purpose.
The children’s passion for learning through this approach, motivates me to continue to develop my practice. It is great to see the children totally involved and engaged in activities. It is not unusual for the Reception children I work with to sustain attention for 40 minutes, whilst working as our Problem Solver Company. They also continue to apply what they are learning in their independent play. MOE builds on their natural desire to find out about and connect with the world around them. This continues into KS1, where learning is more meaningful, as it is not divided up into subject compartments; unlike the QCA schemes of work, (which are not used by some teachers, as the QCA originally intended) where children jump from one subject activity to the next. What ‘content’ the children learn through a MOE frame is extremely memorable because the children have been active participants in their learning – it is not something which is ‘done to them! The teacher has to really listen to the pupils and there are real opportunities to develop personalised learning alongside the learning within the community.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. R

“Am only just starting out on the MoE journey and can’t wait to get more involved. Looking forward to getting SATs out the way and giving children far more creative opportunities and FUN!”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 6

“I am currently undertaking Action Research to find out more and the main issue for me is that it attracts an emotional engagement from the children. Once they have this the learning flows and drive comes from the group. It taps into what is coming from the children and therefore they are involved/respected.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 1

“In over 4 years of using MoE, it has transformed my teaching and the attitudes of children in my class. It provides a powerful and meaningful learning context, engaging pupils at a deep level and developing them as thoughtful, enquiring and empathetic individuals. Children are passionate about their work, and talk about ‘mantles’ from years past with great enjoyment and emotional engagement. This commitment is constantly reflected in high standards of thinking, problem solving and work across the curriculum. As an AST, I have seen similar impacts in a wide range of schools.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 1/2

“I have been using MoE for 4 years now and am passionate about the way it has transformed the teaching and learning in my classroom. My relationship with the children and the pedagogy I use to teach have been radically changed through my understanding of this system. I have seen children of all abilities come alive with the possibilities opened up through this work. I have never seen children so engaged, motivated and in tune with the learning going on. They become totally absorbed in the long term MoE projects I have run and the speaking, listening, communication skills, thinking skills, PSHE and team work have been fantastic. It has also had a major impact on learning in other areas, particularly history, geography and writing. I have also been impressed by the way that in embraces all learning styles and all children. Many of my low ability children have shone through MoE and become major players in the group project. It has also extended and engaged my Gifted and Talented pupils. Parents have been very enthusiastic about the way their children are coming home talking about the work and the power of the way that they are learning.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 2

“I heard a wonderful quote which sums it up for me: “The purpose of the curriculum is not to cover but to uncover.” For me, that means more than just subjects. It means opening children’s eyes to what it can mean to be human. With that, I think, comes empathy, respect and co-operation.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 2

“We have used MoE for two years now, fitting it in with the same project each year. One of our literacy objectives is to write stories set in imaginary worlds and involves the children working in small groups to collaboratively plan and write a story in chapters. As part of the S&L lessons at the beginning of this project we set up a fantasy / imaginary world in our classrooms which is completely designed by the children. Teacher spreads out a sheet and asks the children to landscape and add features such as rivers, seas, buildings, plants, creatures and characters and then to imagine events and scenarios that could take place here. We usually dedicate a whole day to this activity, including drama, as the class gears up to step through a portal and explore the world they have created. The children always enjoy the activities and leave the classroom buzzing with ideas for their own stories which we then start to plan and write. My only worry in using MoE is that it does not appear comprehensively planned and can be time consuming. Although I am at a supportive school where creative approaches are encouraged, there is still a lot of pressure to produce ‘enough’ written work. This is why I don’t use it as often as I would like.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 4

“I strongly believe in children receiving a rounded and whole education based on what they need to succeed in life and have a future. I believe in lifelong learning, and using skills that can be transferred to any context – the skills that are useful to the children not only now but in their future career (which may not be invented yet!) I believe in an education that is rewarding and fun – where children are able to take the lead and be innovative, not restricted. Above all else I believe in a curriculum that cannot be measured in a test paper, but is reflected in the children’s love of learning, independence, reflection, questioning and desire to know more. That is why I believe MOE is right for the children at our school, but I have so much to learn and so many restrictions – I only hope that this report and the recommendations can make a difference.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 3/4

“I thoroughly enjoy planning for MoE. It allows me to use my own imagination and helps to bring potentially dull topics to life. The children’s thinking skills are really tested and stretched as we work our way through the different problems that our company encounters. Whilst it certainly gives the children purpose to write, it is the S & L and team working elements that both they and I particularly enjoy.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 1

“If children take the mantle on as their own project they get much more involved in their own learning and take their learning to a much higher plateau. Improving communication sills and cooperation is for me a key factor.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. R

“MOE is such an exciting way to learn – in Y1 the children are experts about everything and there is nothing they can’t achieve so it is a natural approach for them. They love nothing better than a good problem to solve.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 1

“I did some research last year on whether using drama-based activities in speaking and listening would improve pupils’ writing. One of the methods I examined was MoE- pupils totally engaged , feedback very positive, SATS improved significantly. I felt reinvigorated by the challenges posed as the pupils led the learning.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 4

“Mantle of the Expert offers a learning experience that is “real” and motivating for the children. They learn, not only curriculum knowledge but essential life skills in a safe but exciting environment.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 6

“MOE motivates far more children than any other method of teaching. It is especially good for reaching those children who can otherwise tend to be withdrawn, or reluctant to contribute – they realise that their contribution can be important and valued. The quality of work is higher because it has a purpose that is ‘real’ to the children. Thinking, reasoning, problem solving, empathy, co-operative learning, philosophical thinking – all achieved to far greater degree than normally seen in a classroom.”
Class-Teacher, Yr. 5

“It’s fantastic. It’s really fun. I prefer working in a company because it’s much better and it tingles in my tummy.”
Alex, Y1

“There’s got to be a reason to do writing. If there wasn’t a reason I don’t see why I would really want to do writing. It makes you want to do it to get the old lady out of the house and write to Anglian Arborists to get that problem solved. ”
Matthew, Y2

“If we didn’t work for a company it would be really boring. While you work for a company you don’t actually realise while you’re learning.”
Gabriel, Y2

“Instead of lots of lessons it’s like one big lesson that teaches us all sorts of things. The teacher makes it very exciting because she pretends to be other people and asks us questions.”

“We make things which are maths but it doesn’t feel like we are doing maths because it is interesting and fun.”

“I prefer to do lessons this way because you are doing different things all the time and that makes it a lot more fun and it’s easier to think of things. You forget how hard maths is when you are having fun doing it.”

“The lessons are different because we learn to use our imaginations. The lessons are lots more interesting and a lot of fun.”

“We wouldn’t survive in the desert without maths and literacy and stuff.”

“It’s great great great great because it’s hard work but it’s really really fun.”

“I like doing this because this is kind of maths but it is more fun than normal maths because this is a company and it’s fun in a company.”

“We couldn’t have had such a fun adventure without the King of Iruvia.”

“It’s good to be in Atlas Adventures and I’m glad to be part of it.”

“It’s really good working in a company. It is better than normal lessons because we get to see lots and lots of different things.”

“I think that it’s the best job in the world because we give people a really good time in somewhere different. If I had a choice of all the jobs in the world I would choose to work in Atlas Adventures. I prefer working in a company because we do maths and literacy in another way.”

“I really felt I had a job to do, like I was really doing this job.”

“It wasn’t, here’s a play, let’s enjoy it – it felt like real life.”

One child went up to his classroom teacher, and said:

“I don’t usually like working much, do I Miss? But I could have worked on that forever.”