W/B 11th March 2013 – Risky business

This is the kind of week that makes me feel faintly queasy.  Pets, explosions, chemical experiments and a non-uniform day all could potentially be fraught with some kind of disaster. However, the level of engagement, learning and joy of the children make the whole thing not only worth it, but essential.

The Science Museum visited school on Tuesday. Reception, Year One and Two trooped up to Rectory Gardens for a lovely show about nocturnal animals. Hedgehogs are very popular!!! One workshop made slime….mmmmmm nice, and were looking at chemical changes. There seemed to be rather a lot of blood involved somewhere along the line. Fortunately, not any of the children’s.  Pet day at Church Lane is always popular. The Pets toured the classes and the children got to meet puppies, dogs, kittens, a rag doll cat, a chicken and a tarantula. I avoided this eight legged friend as the last time I met one involved a hoover and a very upset and subsequently very ex-boyfriend.

It’s so important for the children to see, and be able to touch, talk about and experience real things. With Google images and video clips so readily at our fingertips it is easy to for us to sometimes forget how real experiences mean so much more. The children are so much more engaged and enthusiastic and so their learning deepens and curiosity develops.

I nearly had heart failure on Tuesday evening as I walked into year four. The whole classroom was turned upside down, chairs and tables turned over, junk modeling equipment strewn to the four corners of the classroom. A deep crack had been painted across the room and up the walls. It wasn’t until I saw the teachers and they explained the room had been turned into an earthquake zone I understood. They had created viewing areas and scenarios for the children to investigate. The children loved it and it was a fantastic start to their topic. They already have learnt so much, their depth of understanding is obviously so much greater than it would have been just hearing about it or looking at some pictures. The emotional side of learning was really brought to the fore, creating lasting memories and positive experiences. It’s a real privilege to be able to watch children engage and develop understanding and draw on skills and experiences and really enjoy their time at school. Its times like these that I yearn to have my own class again. Teaching is really the best job in the world. However I am a Headteacher and it is my job to encourage and support my staff to be creative and have the confidence to take risks, to make learning exciting and engaging for our children.

 

It was Red Nose Day on Friday. The children wore red (my favourite colour) or pyjamas. The staff had a choice of school uniform or pyjamas. I opted for the PJ option. Couldn’t really take the day overly seriously in slippers !!!! Watching the clips of the projects that RND supports again throws into sharp relief how privileged we are.