Binfield Primary School, Binfield, Bracknell

| March 8, 2010 | 6 Comments 

A fun day of lessons at Binfield Primary School, Binfield, Bracknell Forest. Another lovely day, full of more laughter. Thank you to Jill Hanson, her colleagues and pupils for a thoroughly enjoyable wander through the world of words.

It is always a joy to watch growded-ups and children, take off and fly, with speaking and listening, writing, exploring, creating and more.
“Verbal jazz”, the ability to make things up on the spur of the moment, is a skill that empowers every kind of person, in so many walks of life.
We need to encourage creating sentences, and ideas, as they go. Trying and flying.
One of the techniques I use is to get children, or adults, to start talking when they get asked a question. For example, “Aha! A good question, my child…” said one of the characters today. He was ten, by the way, but still got so much in to the role that I believed he was a grizzly, old retainer.
That “starting to talk”, rather than nervously umm-ing and ahh-ing whilst you wait for the words to come, means that you break your own nervous silence.
The words you want, and didn’t even know you had within you, appear to flop in to place behind those opening phrases.
“Start and the rest will follow”, seems to give confidence to even the most reluctant speakers.
The same principal also feeds ideas for even the most reluctant writers. Start, however stumbling you may feel, and you might find you are running with words in a short space of time.
Believe me. It does work.

The children who did some “instant creativity” today, provided great moments of entertainment for the others in the room too.
Well done all the children.
Thank you to Jill Hanson, her colleagues and pupils, for a thoroughly enjoyable wander in the world of words.
As somebody, amusingly said today, after one of the funny gems a child invented, “You just couldn’t make it up”!
“Oh! Hang on! They just did!”

And after all this the teachers reflected on the ideas and techniques explored today during a Twilight Training session.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (6)

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  1. aw-binfield says:

    After sitting in on two sessions with Tim today I was greatly impressed with the way he inspired even the most reluctant children to make their best efforts. I felt that he had a wonderful way of combining the obvious with the subtle so that all ages were hardly aware how they had suddenly become such brilliant wordsmiths. I had asked some Year 4 children afterwards if they had surprised themselves with what they had come up with to which the answer was a resounding “yes!”.

    As I particularly support children with Special Educational Needs I was delighted that Tim also made a point of speaking to the two children that I work with,who were somewhat overwhelmed by proceedings at first because of their learning difficulties. In each case he seemed to understand their perspective and talk to them in a way which made them feel valued and included. They left the room emboldened and happy. What a great day.Thanks.

  2. Sam Thomas says:

    Both watching you teach a year 6 class and the after school inset you provided were a genuine inspiration. The language and imagination the children showed in their written work and talk were a pleasure to witness. I have come home buzzing with the ideas and activities you deomnstrated, and I can’t wait to get stuck in a try to put some of them in place in my own teaching.
    Your musical “A load of rubbish” inspired me when I was a child growing up in Nailsea, today you have inspired me as a slightly more grown up teacher. Thank you!

  3. blog says:

    Thank you, Sam, for your very kind comments.
    I had no idea you are an “A Load of Rubbish” “Veteran”.
    Why didn’t you say?
    Tell me more… what part did you play?
    The characters in “ALOR” are almost legend for some people, I hear.
    Greta Garbage, Dustbin Hoffman, Slimey Minogue, Laura Ashtray, Gary Barrow, Mouldy Horn, Gerard Deepodour, Trash Gordon, and so many more…

    Glad you enjoyed today. Good luck with your explorations
    All the best

  4. Kate Betts says:

    Having witnessed Tim relate to my class in ten minutes in a way that takes most teachers ten months, I can only thank him for his fabulously refreshing approach to Literacy today. The lesson was not only engaging and exciting for even the most cynical of children, but he managed to encourage children with very low self-esteem and persuade them that they, too, can be writers in a very real sense. Some of them really shocked both me and themselves at what they could achieve. Bringing new worlds to life for them in this way is something that I can’t wait to continue in the classroom.

    Tim – you’ve inspired me too – to take my time, and not to just do something, but to stand there. My Year 4s came back full of exciting ideas and champing at the bit to start writing. I now have so many new ideas to try out, I can hardly wait for Literacy tomorrow!

  5. blog says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments.
    You are right. It is so important not to rush these experiences. So much can spring from a small movement, or none at all.
    Have fun… and… sometimes… go for a run with them too.
    Good luck with your journeys with your class and with the standing still 🙂

  6. Sam Thomas says:

    I’ll admit – I didn’t perform myself. You did the musical with my brother’s year group (must have been in about 1989/1990 ish?) much to the disappointment of our year group! We still have an old cassette floating around at home, and some of the songs still stick in my head – City Kids, Tall etc.

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