Woodlands Junior School, Kent

| January 20, 2009 | 1 Comment 

A truly delightful, and fun filled, day today at Woodlands Junior School.

We all know of them as the hosts of one of the biggest and most visited school web sites in the world, designed by Advisory Service Kent host, Mandy Barrow.

However, the school itself, and their pupils outshine even that.

Three classes of children and a huge amount of visiting teachers coming from local schools, and we witnessed some remarkable creativity and juggling with words. Great stuff!

Thank you to Linda Brenchley, for the lovely comment on the Woodlands site:

“We were visited today by the inspirational force that is Tim Rylands. He transported us into a world where imagination flows like a river and just because something can’t happen doesn’t mean we can’t say it! The children were engaged, engrossed and immersed – they had the chance to explore the physical environment of the 3D computer generated world of Myst, although this stimulus was only the opening of the door to greater creative thinking and writing.”

I didn’t realise that I was forceful. I don’t bite. If I do bite, I always give the bits back!!! :-)

Thank you too, to Duncan Edwards, headteacher here at Woodlands, for the following, incisive, comments.

I write this blog with some trepidation; not because I’m unsure about what to say, but simply because after such an engaging experience in the world of listening, speaking and writing today, I hope I have the literary power to convey my thoughts!

In an action-packed and busy day, I can safely say that Tim’s work is truly inspirational. He led three sessions, working with pupils in Year 2, 4 and 5. No matter their age, the outcome was the same…engaged children who were thinking for themselves and eager to explore their ideas…children engrossed in their learning…children keen to improve their work…children discussing the effect of their vocabulary choices…children growing in confidence and actually believing that they can do it!

The best part of the day was not, in fact, the software on display despite its quality – the spectacular graphics, realistic sound effects and ease of manipulation.

For me, the day was underpinned by outstanding teaching. Tim’s ability to vary the pace and atmosphere, incorporate key teaching points, challenge thinking and convey his passion for learning were all key ingredients to such a successful and exciting day.

As a Headteacher (who is not working for Tim on commission) it was a pleasure to witness! Not only because every child who participated in a session today made progress, but because the dialogue and discussion in the staff-room was electric!

At the end of the teaching day, the staff then returned for a twilight session, where ideas were shared, and explore further. Thank you to Duncan, and his colleagues and pupils, for a memorable day.

There is no need for me to link to anything other than some classic bits from the Woodlands site.

One of the latest, and most fun, is A pictorial guide to The River Thames in England from source to sea which features the travels of Winnie the Pooh.

The Woodlands Project Britain site is well known, but, what is not so well known is that Mandy wrote about all of the elements of British life that she is interested in, and in a way that could be understood by visitors with not such a strong grasp on the English language.

The site is huge, as many know, and well worth a long wander through.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (1)

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  1. Kevin Pateman says:

    Thank you so much for visiting. My head is still buzzing from everything that I learned from you in just a few, short hours, and it will continue that way for some time. I was inspired in many ways and each way will, I believe, help me become a better teacher. However, what particularly stuck with me was the particularly clear, respectful and charming way that you have learned to speak to children and explain your expectations of them; particularly when it comes to their behaviour. I am stealing your lines already and delighting to see it’s more positive effect. I just wish it hadn’t been such a fleeting visit – I feel that I have just skimmed the surface of what you have to offer to other teachers.

    Kevin Pateman

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