Willesborough Infant School, Kent I

| October 22, 2009 | 1 Comment 

willesy2 006A short drive from Dover to Ashford, and a special thank you to Liz Clarke for inviting us to  Willesborough Infant School in Ashford for two days of training, today working with the infant classes, then tomorrow working with the teachers and visiting willesy2 013colleagues.

In the morning lessons we had the pleasure of meeting Ben Mehrabian, a visiting teacher from Brook Community Primary School, who kindly wrote:

“Hello,” a simple word given with a smile. The response desired is that of a colloquial and familiar nature “Hello, Mr. Rylands”. Tim encourages children to think, break the normal boundaries of responding to a teacher, and also be individuals, but with utter respect.

Introductions are given in a friendly fashion; explanation of Mr. Walker, Tim’s walking stick, is delivered to explain about how Tim walks. The walking stick is then a teaching tool; pupils are asked to discuss the stick. Children come up with different ideas about the walking stick, all of these ideas are received with a smile and are accepted as fact. None of them are wrong. The pupils are encouraged to ‘drop their ideas in at the right time’ this allows children to express their ideas at appropriate moments.

willesy2 004Behaviour management is very quickly delivered in the lesson and pupils are given clear boundaries in terms of expectation of behaviour. Tim encourages pupils to think and is always polite to children. There are many polite imperatives that Tim employs and children are very good at interacting with him. Tim provides quick feedback to pupils that interact with him.

Tim uses his voice with great skill, he has an array of different accents and voices that he uses to gain the interest and attention of children. New vocabulary like the word cautiously is introduced with a big action and talk of being ‘posh’. This element of using comedy allows children to remember not only the meaning of the word but also the word itself. Tim allows children to tell him something, “I do want to know,” and when he doesn’t want to know because he wants them to extend the idea even further, “I don’t want to know.” I think this is brilliant, this one sentence and its negative are clear in their meaning and do not allow for confusion.


willesy2 002Pupils are given a paper challenge, writing different things; they have been stimulated enough to write what they think, not what anyone else thinks. Children write lovely prose or just words that are so expressive. One boy had written a whole paragraph that was so expressive.

Tim has a very dramatic and imagination inducing charisma, and gives pupils confidence in expressing their ideas and a way of also holding their ideas and ‘dropping them in at the right time’. Tim empowers children to be noisy in a controlled manner and enables children to control their own behaviour.

Tim has a good way of giving feedback to children. “Look at your face,Thankyou” “What a lovely expression, a nod and a smile.” Faces are important in learning and although the lesson is Literacy, PSHE aspects are introduced subtly.

willesy2 005Children are engaged and challenged constantly in Tim’s lesson, and there is never any room for disinterest.

I wanted to know what is up there…wasn’t it a drill that had been there for a few years, and there was a big furry animal at the top…?

Exciting, Imaginative, and delivered with Passion. Very Refreshing and most importantly FUN.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (1)

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  1. Benjamin Mehrabian says:

    I got back to school and already started using some of the techniques that I saw today. They worked so well and I’ve started exploring Myst Exile myself. Looking forward to the workshop tomorrow.

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