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Mantle of the Expert: Reception Children Help to Rehabilitate the Big Bad Wolf

7th December 2012

This term our Reception children have taken part in an exciting Mantle of the Expert project based on this term’s theme of Fairy Tales / Let’s Pretend. Mantle of the Expert (MoE) involves the creation of a fictional world where children assume the roles of experts in a designated field. Picking up on the very well known characterisation of the Big Bad Wolf as portrayed in Fairy Tales, the children have taken up the roles of Animal Rehabilitation experts with the task of not only studying both wolf habitats and their characteristics but also how their actions have impacted on their behaviours. In particular, the children have become very interested in the difference between good and bad behaviour and have learnt that caring for other livings things and trying to help them are important parts of being human. 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 teaching staff at Wandsworth Prep were excited to welcome, Luke Abbott, Director of Mantle of the Expert and Lead Inspector for OFSTED to the school for a training session on the impact of Mantle of The Expert and how it can be incorporated into our dynamic curriculum across the school. Deputy Head, Bridget Saul said, “I have been astounded by the progress the children have made this term. I have no doubt that this is the result of the development of the Mantle of the Expert approach to teaching and learning. Learning opportunities like the Animal Rehabilitation project has furthered our children's skills in working together, problem solving and using and applying imagination and helps our children to become independent thinkers and learners.”