Wareham Middle School, Dorset – Day 1

| February 17, 2011 | 1 Comment 

The first of two days at Wareham Middle School, Wareham in Dorset. Today, we worked alongside three groups of students from Year Six, Year Five and Year Eight. And, what fun we had.

Our afternoon was spent with over forty Year Eight lads. Yes. Just the young men from the upper end of this school.

A challenge. To allow yourself to let go, let go, warm and rise to many forms of challenge, takes courage. And they really did excel themselves. The laughter, and supportive encouragement, they offered each other was commendable. And so were many of the outcomes.

Thank you to Jenny Elmes – Governor at the school – for taking notes on some of the elements she picked up from this session.

Wind and darkness, catching attention with ‘wind’ slightly rude?  Dramatic effect with raised eyebrows, quiet and then contrastingly …loud slow voice.  Reinforces any kind or empathetic comments or gestures.

Facial  expressions of students worried, embarrassed to happy and amazed! Rapt attention.

Anything goes … diverts attention from person to property (stick!). Lots of magnanimous extrovert gestures. Wild and whacky ideas encouraged. Lots of discussion, gradual disintegration of inhibitions by example. Works on psyche, gets all on side.

Applaud any idea however whacky; in fact the whackier the better. Physical reaction to ideas, recoil from gun etc. Then a focus on the scene.

All senses, smells included …then back to the stick… keeps them guessing … what are the holes for?   students want to answer … but… also want to find out about the mystical scene now!

Variety of input, drip feeding ideas encouraged spontaneously.  Be shocking …. Or thoughtful ….. but always extend ideas. Detritus extends vocabulary from poo! Respect for a struggle to find the words. “I’ll come back shall I?” Applause. Humour infiltrating.

Challenge and courage to go beyond the obvious or normal. Body language to encourage. Focus. A prop to get relaxed acceptance across eg empty mug. Rapt attention from students, wondering what will come next!

Unconventional but respectful. Acknowledging anyone losing attention by promising future attention. Addresses embarrassment. And promises future positive attention. Thoughtful reactions always.

Grammar input and memory ‘Ellie’. Apple crumble, dredging back knowledge. Beginning to get boring? No! Voice and body variations, accents, finds out the extroverts!

Gesticulation and vocalisation once again focuses wandering attention. Not as easily losing inhibitions as the younger ones. But warming to it. Some quizzical expressions, a few still worried. Others delighted. All rapt now. Reactions mixed so gives “let out” for less extrovert. It is ok to just think.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Leave a Reply