Richmond Hill Primary, Leeds ~ Day 2

| November 8, 2016 | 4 Comments 


A second day in Leeds and doing some analog wandering in digital landscapes, with the children of Richmond Hill Primary.

We explored everything from persuasive language and balanced arguments, through to taking off and flying with descriptive imaginations of what might lay beyond where we stood, in a mysterious, fantasy landscape.

Today, we took a group of more than Key Stage Two children for a journey in the morning, and an afternoon with thirty Year Two voyagers, exploring some virtual worlds, as an inspiration for talk, drama, and SO much more.

When we’re travelling (or rather, standing still) in the virtual worlds we always hope that it looks like we’re making it up, & that there have been unexpected turns, not only in the way we travel, but also in the route that the lesson itself goes.

In reality, you couldn’t do lesson sessions, like the ones we did today, without knowing EXACTLY what you want to achieve. The aim is to make it look, and feel, and genuinely BE a shared learning journey. Instead of showing that you knew you were going to ask the children to do, it can be a simple, yet incredibly effective step, to pretend you have just made the challenge up yourself.

We explored everything from persuasive language and balanced arguments, through to taking off and flying with descriptive imaginations of what might lay beyond where we stood, in a mysterious, fantasy landscape.

And, it is not about the technology. The fact that the technology enables us to experience moving, living, breathing landscapes is the thing.

It is always interesting, to mix writing, thinking, speaking, and listening, with movement. The use of physical actions to reinforce new concepts and terms can ensure that pupils retain knowledge for use in further activities at later dates. In fact, somebody once said they were quite surprised, when teaching a class about simile and metaphor after being involved in one of these sessions, that their class all started to strike poses and pull funny faces when reciting the terminology!

The strategies adhered to a social constructivist method of learning (I know! oooh er eh?!); we encouraged children to share as a class, in groups and with partners, channeling  their excitement and energy into expressive and focussed activities. Some improvised drama, where children took on spontaneous roles, immersing them in the world on “the screen” ~ although the screen is never referred to, ~ it becomes REAL. These on-the-spot performances were impressive to observe, unleashing come creative power without children being prepared by being given specific lines of dialogue.

After a good deal of discussion, the children wrote spontaneously, producing work of a high quality full of vivid imagery. They were also encouraged to refine their spoken language & clarify their ideas. Despite the length of the session, they remained on task and enthusiastic throughout.

Some superb writing, dramatic involvement and effort all round. Well done ALL!

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (4)

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  1. Mr. G. Walton says:

    Another fantastic day!!!! May I thank Sarah and yourself for your infectious enthusiasm with which you share your ideas. I can only hope that I can pass your stimulating ‘can do’ philosophy to the pupils I have the pleasure to work with.
    Although initiatives tend to distract us all from creative education. you have helped me to remember the words of Francis Assisi:
    ‘…start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and then you will be doing the impossible..!’

    A big thank you!

  2. Charlotte Blundell says:

    Thank you so much for today! My class were all so engaged and some of the writing they produced is lovely. I am now looking forward to using some of the things that you have shown us in the future to continue to engage them! Once again, thank you!

  3. Brendan Lenehan says:

    I’ve had two days of training with Tim and Sarah and it has been absolutely fascinating and inspiring. Whilst I was inundated with links to mesmerising free teaching apps and software that I can’t wait to find the time to have a fiddle with, it was the simplicity of Tim’s teaching with Myst today that struck me the most. The technology is used as a springboard for children’s imagination. They took us on a journey through audio, image and his own dramatic delivery, in which even the children for whom we had the lowest expectations revealed themselves as confident and proficient creative writers.

    I am an NQT three weeks in to my teaching career and this training has equipped me with many new strings to my bow and perspectives on my own practice. I feel privileged to have had this training at this point in my career and I look forward to keeping in touch through the blog and twitter.

  4. Caroline McGinley says:

    Thank you both for all the fantastic ideas you have shared! Also, for the afternoon you spent in my classroom working with my children, the photos above say it all! A great experience for both staff and pupils, thanks again!

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