St Thomas More RC Primary School, Hull ~ Day 2

| March 8, 2013 | 4 Comments 

A great 2nd day at St Thomas More RC Primary School, & a chance to extend, & develop some ideas from yesterday. We had superb fun, exploring virtual worlds we visited, but also everything from hotseating, active listening, to developing open questioning.

The best way of getting children involved in acting out a role in a game, is to ask them if they are “up for a challenge”, it seems. We try to avoid “telling them information”, as they might be worried about remembering and getting it accurate. It is more about finding ways to develop, unexpected, confidence in tackling an unknown challenge. There are often surprises for all involved.

We encourage children, quickly, to imagine they are dressed in some appropriate clothes and, maybe, have dirt under their fingernails (if they are a gardener let’s say). When we ask “Would you like to meet the…? Would you? Would you?” the response is always an emphatic “Yesssssss! Pleeeeease!”.

When the announcement “Well, ladies and gentlemen, here… they.. are…” comes, the child who is going to spring forth from the crowd and “become” a believable character, might have been feeling anxious, but this moment of magic seems to get many past that moment, and in to a place where they can come up and surprise themselves, let alone the people around them.

The announcement seems to work best without looking at the person, who has been sat there waiting to emerge from amidst their startled classmates. Instead, a round of applause directed at the scene itself seems to build more confidence, as the character appears, almost by magic. It is even more effective, if you get the child realises they don’t have to take the most direct route out to the front. Rather, to take a slightly torturous path around the tables, adding to the air of mystery.

Some children can be a bit nervous, of course. They are the ones who we normally want to enable to rise to this challenge. So, game show techniques come in handy. ” A ripple please, ladies and gentlemen, for…the Fazackerly Sisters.” 99% of the time, “The Fazackerly Sisters” find themselves magically standing up, coming out the front, and mysteriously transforming in to a couple of old matronly ladies who inhabit this landscape.

We could have had many more today. The children acted out roles, independently, and questioned each other about life in this environ. Builders, fishermen, artists, writers, and so many more, shared tales of their histories in this wondrous landscape.

Today, some adopted names similar to the characters in that fabulous book Things People Do by Anne Civardi, and one of the best illustrators ever, the sadly missed, Stephen Cartwright. Names like Manuel Laber, the builder; Penny Sillin, the doctor; Les Chatter, a teacher; Honor Toze, a ballet dancer; and Mayor Naze.

Well done all today for your joyous, inventive, special and imaginative word, and role, play.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (4)

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  1. Sam McTeare says:

    Once again to Tim and Sarah a huge thank you! Another inspiring day for staff and children alike. Truly wonderful to see the children’s faces as they laughed, gasped and listened to each other. Watching children, who are normally reticent, having a go was brilliant. I know the children in my class are inspired and eager for more exploring and writing.

  2. Tim says:

    Thanks Sam
    We really enjoyed our two days at Thomas More. The children, and staff, were all “up for challenges, and shoed great style in everything they did.
    Keep up the great learning and teaching.
    We would love to hear what you get up to next

  3. Collette Braithwaite (Foundation Governor) says:

    WOW! I am always hugely humbled to witness the effects of creative and intuitive teaching on our young people – the way it seems to bring them to life. This session certainly packed a powerful ‘life-bringing’ punch! I vividly remember a particularly shy and nervous boy being liberated from his creative fears through a super ‘challenge’ – he was fit to burst with pride at his achievement!

    Your visit to our School has clearly touched many people, children and staff alike, in a hugely positive and inspiring way and I’m sure will help us to reap many rewards. Despite the pressure of an increasingly tenacious and bullying Ofsted, it’s good to know that the future is bright!

  4. Tim says:

    Wow! Indeed Collette
    Thank you for your very thoughtful feedback
    As a governor, you already have a right to feel very proud of the colleagues, and children, at St Thomas More. A wonderful bunch
    We hope they now have a few more tools, and ideas, to add to their collection
    We would love to know how things go
    Thanks again
    Keep in touch
    Tim and Sarah

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