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Mantle of the Expert.

In 2014-15 we worked with St John's Primary School in Newcastle and Woodrow First School in Redditch to find out about 'mantle of the expert' and to introduce it into our school as a way of delivering areas of the curriculum. 

'Mantle of the Expert (MoE) involves the creation of a fictional world where students assume the roles of experts in a designated field.

Mantle of the Expert 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.

The approach was devised and developed by Dorothy Heathcote from the 1960’s onwards. A problem or task is established and the pupils are contracted-in or “framed” as an enterprise – a team of experts using imaginative role-play to explore the issue. Usually an imaginary client such as a museum commissions the team – for example as a team of archaeologists to excavate a newly discovered tomb in Egypt. The children may be involved in mimed activities, improvisation, research or discussion. While the focus is on the enquiry process, it can often lead to real outcomes such as writing letters, printing leaflets or selling products. The teacher’s role is to guide the drama, stepping in and out of role as necessary, providing encouragement and motivation to the experts.'

All staff are now beginning to use this approach when planning their topics and themes.


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