Millfields Community School, Hackney ~ Day 1

| October 24, 2013 | 0 Comments 

Great to be back in Hackney, for the first of two days at Millfields Community School, today with the children and staff and tomorrow an INSET day.

Millfields Community School is a much larger than average primary school. The community is culturally and ethnically diverse, 8% of pupils are Turkish, 6% African Caribbean, 66% White British, 11% from other white European backgrounds and the remainder are from a wide range of ethnic groups represented in smaller numbers.  This means that the percentage of pupils from minority ethnic groups is more than twice the National average and therefore the school works hard, and is proud to be, culturally inclusive.

Many pupils speak English as an additional language and a large proportion are at the early stages of learning the language.

Today, we went wandering in the world of words, with some intrepid explorers, many of them in seasonal costume. A gang of ghastly ghouls and gangling ghosties galavanted gloriously alongside us.

Actually, We didn’t wander a lot. We stood still, more than travelled. We discussed, with the teachers, how important it is to take time in these experiences, rather than set off too soon, and go too far. Taking in the sights, and sounds, the sense of awe and wonder, the scent of mystery, the tingling air of intrigue,… these are so much more valuable, and inspiring, than heading off, straight away, at pace.

There is a time, though, then it is good to move. A change of pace, and a change of place, means that different forms of writing, and thought, can spring forth. Maybe, as we step autiously forward, we can do running commentaries. As we are “drawn forward by the weight of wondering”, we can take notes, or jot down short, pithy, phrases that sum up our emotions.

We were joined by a glorious thundering, rumbling, bursting and breathing deluge of drumming from the floor below, as what is happening forms part of the school’s diversity week. There might have been a temptation to set off, in time to the rhythmic call to dance, to head off in to faster paced recording of our thoughts… but we resisted the temptation, and took in our surroundings.

Before any movement, it is vital to drink in the scenery, to feel the wind dance across our faces, to breath in the living, dancing, world around us, and to record it in some way. We opted for scribbly sticks in these settings. We are going to splatter the staff with a vast array of digital possibilities tomorrow.

Thank you to Debi Moncur, Assistant Head, for organising our visit, and for sharing this about the school’s recent path:

Millfields has worked hard over the past few years to improve teaching and the learning opportunities for all its children.  We have had a big focus on improving reading for the past couple of years which has started to impact on writing.

We want to ensure that writing is exciting, purposeful and borne out of first hand experiences wherever possible. We want to ensure there are a range of opportunities for children to write and we want to expect and deliver the best that we can.

This opportunity for the staff to come together and ‘think’ about writing I hope will be a catalyst for further improvements.

Thank you to Debi, Jane Betsworth, Headteacher, their colleagues and children, for a fun first day.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

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