'Bring me Sunshine, in your smile,Bring me Laughter, all the while,In this world where we live, there should be more happiness,So much joy you can give, to each brand new bright tomorrow.'
Know your children, believe in primary education and use the new National curriculum to underpin a curriculum for YOUR school
I AM IN THE BEST SCHOOL
Here's the first of a thematic medium term plan to, hopefully, immerse children in their learning and give YOU a boost of enthusiasm too. As the current National curriculum still stands (precariously on the eve of something entirely different in history) KS2 still has the amazing Ancient Greeks in the programme. Why can't we immerse children right up into Year 6 (and beyond dare I say it!) like the early years do? Well I believe you can. Sometimes it feels like it's coming together more than at other times but we at least owe it to our children to give it a go. By that time we'd got to know our Year 5s fairly well. Big fans of action and fantasy the first 'Percy Jackson' was going to be our class book. This was a great starter in itself. Although a few pupils had already seen the film not everybody had read it and the few that had didn't mind hearing it read to them again. It began to entice pupils in from the start because they needed to extend their knowledge of Greek gods and goddesses. We ran an interesting maths debate at the same time with a big question "Why do we need number' ? How did it all start? This really sparked lots of research at home and gathering adult views about why as well. We started to look into the Ancient number systems as a result.
The theme was 'The Ancients' as we were also part of a project looking at Ancient woodland that term too. BC and AD were discussed many times...a difficult concept but one which also lends itself to having a deeper understanding of the chronology of the history of the world - who was living and exploring at the same time as who.....big questions but 9 and 10 year olds are always up for big questions. Never underestimate what they can do.
Together we became experts on Greek gods and goddesses, debated whether we should return the Elgin marbles to Greece, investigated Ancient number systems and went on to crack codes as a result. Children really, genuinely returned homework and worked very hard on their comparison project. They were asked, as a 'creative learning outcome' to present their findings on the differences and similarities between childhood now and in Ancient Greek times. The Ancient Guild-the 'expert organistion' the children were part of to explore this theme-then opened its doors during the last week of term and the experts were on hand to share their findings. They could choose whatever form they wanted to present; books, power points, posters etc. Visitors were treated to their enthusiasm about the subject. One parent said that, thanks for the Ancients and Percy Jackson his son had started reading fiction and was working his way through the next books.
Please don't hesitate to contact me via the form if you'd like to know about more themes or would like more details......I'd be delighted to share my passion for enticing children into learning with YOU
Rolls of paper are great with any class...even better if you can procure some 'off cut' rolls for your school or class for free! It's amazing how focussed children are away from their 'desks': maybe in the hall or more spread out than usual, lying on a carpet concentrating with some pencils or watercolours. FLOW always seems to come when children are enticed by something a bit different. A 4 is great but it sometimes seems to be the only size on offer!! By Year 6 children should be choosing their own papers-colours, sizes - so they are entirely making their own choices about how to communicate creatively with different media.
See what happens when you offer - especially great for the weather at the minute although it doesn't have to be outdoors... outside the 'normal' classroom setting works as well. It also means the child who prefers to work in a small space of paper can whilst the child who likes to work BIG can too.
Also works with 'collecting' pupil views, ideas etc in one space: OK it won't fit neatly into a plastic wallet for a folder but you will have ideas and responses all in one place to use as you like.
So...take your pencils/pens/paints for a walk and GO LARGE :-)