Paddock Wood Primary School, Kent

| January 22, 2009 | 3 Comments 

A magical day at Paddock Wood Primary School, Kent. We had some great, imaginative ideas and inventive thought. Coloured steam rose from Mr Walker and delicate fire flies danced through the hall.

Year 4 Lesson

Year 2 Lesson

Linda Fearnley, Head of Y5 and ICT Coordinator, kindly put these ideas together for us:

“Totally inspiring, fantastic ideas, I’m lost for words. The main thing that came out for me was the thinking ‘out of the box’, maybe how we used to think years ago. Simple ideas delivered effectively, makes you think ‘I could do that’. Fun ways of teaching. Brilliant story telling that engaes both children and adults. All the adults were thinking ‘I can do this!’, I’m sure. They were gripped.”

And Mike Olley, Headteacher, made these comments:

“Inspiring children to write- YES! But much more than that. Inspiring thought, inspiring teaching. In the midst of targets, SATs, learning objectives and success criteria, Tim created a wonderful opportunity to reflect on what teaching is all about, and how every child can be respected for the their unique contributions and creativiity.”

Thank you.

Health Warning

Recently, I received the following email from Tim Harwood….

Hi Tim, have had an amazing week working with you and MYST this week, but thought I should mention that you forgot to warn us about the side effects of your ideas!  I was so excited about using them with my class, I decided to be brave, and so paired up my Year 2 class with Year 3 children and began MYST 3 by standing on the beach.  After about half an hour of the children buzzing, and developing great thoughts about ‘hot sand squeezing between our toes’, and ‘clouds like candy floss’, we decided to write a description of our setting to remind us where we were. I copied your ideas, and read out one child’s work – after telling her how amazing it really was, i asked if anyone else would like to read theirs out?  The hand went up of a really shy, middle of the class ability girl who I had worked with last year, so she read it out.  Then something happened that had never happened to me before – it was so good, and she was so confident to read it to the 60 children in the room, that I was absolutely speechless – there weren’t words to describe to her how proud I was, and (although I’m sure it was dust) it actually made me cry – much to the children’s amusement!  I think your work should now carry a health warning about these dangerous effects!!!  Thank you so much, I know my first ever lesson using your ideas will live with me for a very long time!

Thank you Tim, for sharing these tender moments.

Following a lesson today, I discussed with a group of teachers how sometimes in the game we don’t know what we are supposed to be doing. Unlike Chess, where we know the rules of the game and it is how we use the rules rather than bend them that help us win the game. In these virtual worlds it is more a case of travelling and picking up pieces of information and concepts that we can apply at a later stage, maybe to solve a problem and even enter a new world.

I like Chess, though.

A group of chess enthusiasts checked into our hotel, and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories.

After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse.

“But why?” they asked, as they moved off.

“Because,” he said, “I can’t stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.”

Then again, the other night, we were having dinner with Garry Kasporov – Problem was, we had a checkered tablecloth and it took him two hours to pass the salt!

I look forward to hours of satisfying new moves now… with an on-line, simple version of the game HERE.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (3)

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  1. Sue Cockroft says:

    This is what teaching and learning is all about! Inspiring children to create their own worlds and have fun with their learning. The training session this evening was marvellous! I can’t wait to see it in action in our school.

  2. Simon Cole says:

    Quite different to the usual training days and seminars. Some truly inspiring ideas were exchanged today. Great to see an approach that moves ‘outside of the box’ when it comes to teaching literacy

  3. The teacher’s conference: a journey through curiosity, interest, dawning understanding, enthusiasm and inspiration. I have long thought we are failing this generation of visually literate children. You bring teaching into the 21st century by using what children know whithout patronising them.
    I feel privileged (which I am not at all sure I can spell) to have seen you teach four different year groups. I and my colleague were amazed how the children stayed focused for so long on one small part of the game. It has made us realise just how much we rush children through learning.
    Your belief in children is evident in the way you deal with challenging situations without crushing their spirit; it has been an inspiriation to us. We have returned to the staffroom (and the sitting room…poor family) bubbling with irrepressible enthusiasm for what we have seen and learnt. Except when in front of children, I am inclined to be irritatingly shy and thus did not come up and thank you, personally, for two days which left me feeling like I was walking on air with possiblilities and renewed enthusiasm..I hope this makes up for it!
    Genuinly, without gush, thank you so much for re-inspiring me and moving my ideas about teaching forward in such positive and achievable ways. O.K. a little gush…I have so enjoyed sitting at your feet and learning. As teachers we get so few opportunities to watch and learn from others. Many thanks, Helen.

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