Tondu Primary, Bridgend

| November 5, 2007 | 1 Comment 

Back down the stunning scenery of the valleys, this time to Aberkenfig, on the outskirts of Bridgend town, and more explorations of “virtual valleys” at Tondu Primary. Tondu is another delightful small school, with children and staff who are up for a challenge and have a superb sense of humour.

As I have discovered recently, when I come across perceptive and expressive staff (and children!) I get to “find out” so much about what I do. Today, some colleagues offered remarkably insightful glimpses into why children respond so openly and positively to lessons. I find it does help to have somebody explain!! 馃檪

I did two lessons and cherished the laughter and creativity we had in both sessions. Again, there were more than a few children who surprised themselves and, hopefully moved to perceiving themselves as writers, and excellent writers too.

The school is fortunate enough to have two support staff who have great artistic talents, so the walls of the classrooms, library and, even, toilet areas apparently, are adorned with superb mini-murals.

My second fascinating book discovery of the day was The Little Book of Thunks by Ian Gilbert.

A Thunk is a beguiling question about everyday things that stops you in your tracks but helps you start to look at the world in a whole new light.

The Thunks in this book cover a broad range of topics including truth, justice, reality, beliefs, the natural world, the human condition, art, beauty, existence, difference between right and wrong, good and bad, life and death, war, religion, love, friendship and a whole lot more.

Some examples are:

路 If I borrow a million dollars am I a millionaire?

路 Could a fly cause a plane to crash?

路 Are you man-made or natural?

路 Do dogs believe in God?

路 When you comb your hair is it art?

. If it is zero degrees today, and tomorrow it will be twice as cold, how cold is it?

The book contains a comprehensive introduction by Ian who guides you through the origins and uses of Thunks and how best to use them.

Not only are they a fun way to develop thinking skills but they also hit all the right buttons to encourage children to:

路 generate imaginative ideas to stimulate thinking

路 look at and think about things differently and from other points of view

路 ask: why, how, what if or unusual questions.

This small book is a great resource for teachers to use in the classroom, and since there are no right or wrong answers to these questions, it makes for a lively discussion every time you Thunk.

We had a staff meeting after school to, again, develop the ideas of the day even further. I would like to thank head, Sue Pilcher, and her colleagues for another great session.

Inspiring?! No, learning. That’s what I do with my days. Thank you.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (1)

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  1. Katy watson says:

    Thank you for a most inspiring afternoon. The children thoroughly enjoyed your visit and were keen and able writers – even the usual suspects, who are often reluctant, exceeded their own expectations! It was a great experience for both the children and myself. Thank you for visiting us, sharing your expertise and for modelling different ideas. Looking forward with excitement to our next literacy lesson!

    Year 6 Teacher

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