A superb trip up North to Normanby Primary School, in Middlesbrough.
Our day has been looking at the cross between the analogue and the digital. It was great to work alongside Dave Griffiths, of Zenith Leisure, who took groups of pupils out in to the environment to cook and explore.
|Joining us first were the Year 3 classes with their teachers, where we explored a ‘Village’ setting in Myst 4: Revelation. Talk. speculation, sharing, thinking and taking ownership of this place brought it from the virtual into reality. Similes and silences enabled their ideas to florish and take shape, forming images in our imaginations – gorgeous! We met characters, the gardeners and the lady they worked for; children up for challenges and risk-taking found themselves becoming confident in their roles, expanding on fictional happenings with great detail and flare.|
|A quick turn around and we were joined by the Year 2 pupils, excited and ready for challenges. The children in this group wondered, explored and enthused about strange objects as we investigated Edanna and the helix plants and the birds inhabiting this beautiful world, talking and writing with passion and interest – WELL DONE. The children made suggests and proposals regarding the origins and purpose of items found; they considered different ways to ascend the plants and what might be at the top, with one young lad making big stides towards ‘holding on to his idea’ and to find the right time to drop it in.|
|The afternoon session was with the two Year 6 classes, and their teachers, exploring the ‘upturned ship-like structure setting’ in Myst IV:Revelation. What surprised some, was the boys who found themselves reading out their writing, where usually, we were told, they would have heldback. ‘Silence’ during this session was extremely powerful, with the children taking time to think and time to cherish each others’ ideas.The cross between bubbling talk, and contemplative thought, means that ideas crackle away in different forms. Superb ideas galore.|
Going on at the same time during the day was outdoor and adventures activities with Dave Griffiths, Director of Zenith Leisure Outdoor Adventure. Dave has been working outdoors for over 10 years and been a very keen outdoor enthusiast for 20 years. He has been an outdoor advisor for several Local Authorities within the Tees valley area and has vast experience of the requirements for schools and youth organisations.Being an active member of a local Mountain Rescue Team you could fairly say that Dave’s life is all about the outdoors. Primarily Dave specialises in Primary Outdoor Education, staff training and development. Today saw the children chopping with axes, digging with shovels and stove-fire making, where they considered shelter, warmth and sustenance.
|Dave and Calvin worked in the made up wilderness of Normanby Primary school! With YR 4,5 and six students we transformed the front of the school into our very own survival area!What a day, we setup teepees, fires and a outside oven dug into the ground and covered in grass! We chopped wood, cut sticks and cooked lamb, beef and venison. We must not forget the sausages and the toasted marshmallows to.The day was great, we got muddy and wet but it didn’t stop our fun one bit! The danger academy is great fun and a big thanks to the King Kung Foo Squirrel!|
|After school, we blasted folk through a fast-paced Mums and Son – Dads and Lads, workshop, where we took the group on an outrageous roller coaster plummet through the world of fast paced words…We screamed, we green-screened, we drummed, we laughed, we mangled and entangled our words to get across some of the fear and fun of a virtual roller coaster.The film was edited as everybody ate the delights of the outdoor cooking, and the results should be available below…It is a first draft speedy mix and all was done in less than an hour… including the eating!|
Thank you to Carl Faulkner, head teacher (who would like it pointing out that he does other things as well – a member of Cleveland Search and Rescue Team), for inviting us up to Middlesborough to Normanby Primary School and for his thoughts here:.
I hope there isn’t a Head Teacher in the land who doesn’t feel proud of their pupils, their staff and their achievements.
Normanby Primary makes me feel proud, but also challenged. Our children have willingly and enthusiastically responded to our changing curriculum. We seek to reflect the children’s interests and choices in our planning and have thought long and hard about how our teachers should work in and outside of the classroom. Children make progress when they are with us; they are seldom quiet and the school bubbles with enthusiasm.
I first came across Tim when attending conferences and after taking a small group of staff to see him 18 months ago we knew we wanted him to work alongside us at Normanby. ‘Are You Up for a Challenge?’ asked Tim when we saw him before. Yes we are and can’t wait!
Normanby Primary School is a large Primary School in Middlesbrough. We serve a very diverse catchment area. Our children make very good use of technology to support their learning across the curriculum. Currently we use iPods on a 1:1 basis to support a range of technologies we use in school. The staff and pupils host training for teachers based around the successful deployment of mobile devices and how they can be used to support curriculum innovation.
The school has won numerous awards for it’s work in this area, but the real joy is in seeing both the pupil’s engagement and attainment improve.
This is a very dynamic school, so much going on! Kindly, Ruth Lawler, G & T Leader, shared some of their activities and challenges here:
Danger Academy In Normanby Primary School
As part of our ongoing drive to provide opportunities to engage and inspire our pupils in their learning, Chris Quigley’s ‘The Dangerous Curriculum’, has been implemented within Year 4 and Year 6. From speaking with the children, it is clear that sometimes they don’t always take a full part in lessons because they are worried about getting things wrong. A fear of failing may be preventing them from trying new activities and avoiding practising things that they feel they will not succeed in.
Six different types of activities are used to develop learning; competition, experimentation, physical activities, outdoor learning, enterprising activities and investigation. Activities in the published document have been adjusted to meet the needs of our pupils and additional activities are also being incorporated. The principle is that pupils engage in practical activities as a stimulus for writing. Danger Academy recruits have covered and decorated their own books, devised codenames for themselves as well as me!
Although the target group for this innovative programme of lessons is more able boys, the benefits to other groups is becoming apparent. For example, some lower attaining boys are outshining more able writers in practical activities which is boosting their self esteem.
- To build upon pupils’ strengths in order to overcome their weaknesses
- To provide practical experiences to stimulate an interest in writing (particularly for boys)
- To show pupils how to complete potentially dangerous activities safely
- To provide pupils with opportunities to overcome fears
- To enable pupils to overcome embarrassment
- To develop resilience
Methods of Delivery
- Competition eg time limits for challenges
- Practical activities eg using tools, axes for wood chopping, saws, hammers
- Outdoor learning eg climbing, map reading
- Enterprising activities
Target Groups Y4: Monday afternoons(yr grp split into 3 groups & each to undertake 2 wk block of Dangerous curriculum in rotation) Y6: Tuesday afternoons(yr grp split into 3 groups & each to undertake 2 wk block of Dangerous curriculum in rotation) Risk Assessments
- To be completed out by RL & approved by KW & CF
- Each pupil will also complete risk assessments for activities as appropriate
Category: 1) Events and Training days