At Primary level students’ mutual trust is encouraged through sharing and delegating jobs in the classroom. A well organised year 5 teacher will have students handing out resources, clearing and cleaning the room, preparing areas for different activities, drawing blinds etc. The students learn how to share responsibility with others and accept responsibility for themselves. It is often said that Primary schools teach students to be independent and Secondary schools teach them not to be.
Year 7 students in their new schools are often surprised when their responsibility for the classroom is removed, ‘Right I am counting out the scissors and I will come round hand them out, don’t touch them until I say’, and their freedom of movement restricted, ‘Do not get out of your seat without written permission!’ etc. The tasks and responsibilities that you are able to share may seem mundane and trivial but by doing this an ethos of shared responsibility can be given a secure foundation.