When planning a WiseUp Team Building event, one of the most common questions we are asked by teachers is “How should we group the students?” As the combination of learners can greatly affect the outcome of the day, it’s a great question to be asked and one we are always happy to advise on.
What is the focus of the Event?
The first consideration to think of is the aim of the day. For example, if communication in a particular focal point, then it would be worth thinking about who the quieter students are and who best to place them with to encourage them to speak out and share ideas. If resilience is what the students need to focus on most, then combining students who have a tendency to give up with those more driven (sometimes, but not always this means mixing low attainers with those who do better academically) can have a positive effect, especially as traditionally these students would be in separate classes.
What about SEN students?
The placement of SEN students is also something which needs to be thought about carefully. The abilities of the students, and any additional support available to them, such as Teaching Assistants, adaptive equipment etc, will all influence the performance of their team. Our instructors work closely with school staff to ensure that all SEN students are fully involved to the best of their ability.
When more than one year group is participating, should the students be grouped with their classmates?
A team structure that is becoming increasingly popular (especially in schools which use the House system) is that of vertical grouping. Similar to vertical tutoring, the concept is based on combining students from across all year groups in one team. This has many benefits, such as encouraging older learners to take more of a leadership role while supporting younger ones, and is a great way for students to positively and constructively engage with each other.
Is it best for school staff or WiseUp to sort the groups?
With group dynamics playing a crucial role in the success of any team building event, teachers are perfectly placed to structure students so that they are poised and ready to begin the day with others who bring out the best in them. Having students working with people who are not part of their everyday friendship groups can often bring out skills and talents which are usually not seen.