Kingfisher Primary School, Wheatley, Doncaster – Day 2

| October 18, 2011 | 4 Comments 

The second of two days at Kingfisher Primary School, Wheatley, Doncaster, and today, we went gloriously ANALOGUE.

When we say “analogue”, we were actually using millions of pounds worth of creative wizardry, and many years of research, digital development, plus millions of “man-hours” of software crafting, to act as a stimulus for some inventive analogue word play.

Thank you to Tracy Lorriman (Intake Primary School) a Year 2 teacher, just moved from Y6, for her thoughts:

Really enjoyed the implicit learning that the children picked up on. None of the children were stuck for ideas as Tim gave plenty of suggestions, but didn’t finished them which gave them a starting point, but also something to extend. Plenty of questions relating to their senses helped the children to work through their ideas and really develop them.

Although Tim did not start with the learning objective, it was obvious what the children were learning as there were references to their learning all the way through. All children wanted to share their ideas as it was made clear that there were no right or wrong ideas, in fact Tim deliberately made mistakes to let the children know it was okay. 

I was amazed by how they were eager to share their ideas, without hands up,  listening and taking turns without interrupting. Every idea was rewarded with enthusiasm and praise and where necessary to develop or clarify ideas – giving children a little time to think, but always going back to them.

Getting the children to act out language features, such as adverbs made it more real for the children. There were plenty of incidental phrases introduced which the children picked up on, such as year 2-started sentence with ‘In front of me…’

There was a clear structure for their ideas which was reinforced by not only immersing them in the resources, but encouraging them to make the ideas their own. The sessions were sparky and pacey.

I was surprised with how quickly and enthusiastically the children wrote – they didn’t want to stop.

Thank you, as well, to Rosie Snead, a PGCE Design and Technology Student at Sheffield Hallam, for her reflections on two sessions.

The beginning of the session was fantastic, with ‘is that snow or is it icing sugar?’.  The session is a sensory journey throughout.

From the outset, (different ways of saying hello) Tim encourages the children to express individuality and feel more open to making mistakes. 

I really like the way Tim addresses the children.  ‘I need to know your name’, ‘I need your attention’.  ‘If you don’t know what to say just start talking’.  It gives a deep sense of every child matters and is valued and should be in the room.  There are lots of confidence building phrases or ‘courage’ building techniques.

I thought the way that Tim encouraged idea generation amongst the children was fantastic.  Allowing them to feel like they can freely share their ideas. “Give Brendan a ripple’, always praising people who speak out. 

Tim uses subtle ways to develop ideas without giving ideas away.  ‘I need to hear more about this idea’.   ‘You know that your ideas are worth hearing’  – encouraging the children to value each others ideas and work together to develop ideas.

‘It’s ok to nick ideas….shine them, polish them, stretch them’.

To avoid the shouting out of ideas, it is explained how to approach making your idea heard.  During the year six session worries about spelling were talked about, quick writing tasks were given to encourage free writing. 

There are opportunities for all types of learners to access the session.  The visual element, descriptive element, kinesthetic, auditory etc.  Different types of questioning and approaches to problem solving are used.  The session is not linear and Tim has a whole room presence, moving around the audience all the way through.

Tim speaks to the children in a very animated way throughout.  Lots of things are said in order to build confidence and self esteem.  ‘Come out from under that thing that stops you coming out normally. It is, in fact, only a thin, see-through film’. 

Tim pounds his chest at the front as ideas are spoken out. This is successful in terms of keeping momentum, pace, focus and atmosphere. The children want to share. Tim’s non-verbal communication is very good.

The pace of the session is fast but during both sessions Tim uses the tone and volume of his voice to draw out important aspects.  Suspense is built through asking the children to stop and keep listening before writing. Tim encourages quality rather than quantity. The children read and as Tim says ‘drop it in’ the children drop in their best bits.  This part of the session is impressive to watch and hear with both year groups.

Differentiation between the year four and six sessions is evident, This seems to take place through questioning and Tim’s observations to responses.

Tim makes himself human and approachable to the children by allowing them to think that they can write something better than him.

Challenges are set and Tim asks the children if they are challenging themselves. 

It’s like a magic trick, misdirection.  Tim is Derren Brown-esque and allows the children to feel that they are writers.  ‘I’m sorry to disturb your writing’…

Writing is addressed in a conversational way and adult methods of communication are implemented throughout.

The visual element of the session is adapted for the younger audience.  Year six work on a darker visual than year four.  The year six visual is possibly more atmospheric whereas the year four visual is more familiar.

Tim encourages, inspires and motivates through the use of drama to promote writers voice.  Although starting points or ideas are discussed, they are not complete, this technique is great for prompting. Tim always allows the children to extend, stretch, share and finish ideas. 

Learning objectives aren’t ever discussed, yet implicit learning and incidental phrases are in place from the start. 

Tim’s body language is paramount to the ‘presentation’.  This is more noticeable in the year four session as he asks questions but faces the front, away from the children. …(’Is this metal?’ , ‘What do you think this will sound like?’ etc) The children stop putting their hands up and start sharing ideas in the way that they were encouraged to earlier in the session.

Without realizing it, they now have the confidence to do so.

Category: 1) Events and Training days, 2) Useful n Interesting

Comments (4)

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  1. Natalie Collins says:

    A fantastic two days of training from Tim and Sarah, it has been really refreshing to finish today and know that I have gained so many valuable strategies, philosophies and practical hints and tips that I know will really develop my teaching! I am looking forward to putting these into practice and achieving the same quality of writing with my class as Tim did today. Thank you.

  2. Nathan Atkinson says:

    Another great day today. Yesterday we joked about THE END but in reality this is just the beginning

  3. Tim says:

    What a great way of putting it Nathan
    Thank you so much for two thoroughly enjoyable days of fun, exploration, challenges, new-stuff and laughter
    Keep in touch and let us know how things go
    All the best
    Tim and Sarah

  4. Rosie Snead says:

    I feel lucky that my primary placement at Kingfisher coincided with Tim and Sarah’s visit. This was an eye opening, valuable experience and I have gained an indescribable amount from it. Give this man a ripple. Thank you Tim.

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