What did we see when we visited classrooms this week?
It was an absolute pleasure to visit classes in Years 1-6 this week and talk to children to find out about what they know and remember.
Myself, Mr Dunmall, Mr Lewis and Mrs Tate visited every classroom to look closely at what the children have been learning in the Fielding Learning Challenge Curriculum (this is pretty much everything that isn't reading, writing, maths or our specialist subjects).
The children wow'd us with their knowledge especially in history and science. Children talked enthusiastically about being historians and scientists, working scientifically, including investigating, collecting results, making observations and in Year 6, drawing conclusions.
The school was a hive of activity, children were actively taking part in their learning in every classroom. When asked they showed us and talked about their learning with pride and confidence. One pupil in Year 2 spoke of learning being connected and how one lesson turns into another, explaining to me how the Long Walk to Freedom was linked to learning about South Africa and some of their writing in English lessons. They could also explain the links between their learning in science and design and technology, using knowledge of properties of materials, to design their photo frames in design and technology.
Year 3 children were busy making canopic jars in art, linked to their knowledge of Egyptian pharaohs and burial rituals. This was the first time they had used Mod-roc for sculpture, they were very excited to show me how to apply it to their cardboard templates (even if some of them got more plaster on the tables, floor and themselves than on their jar!).
In Year 4, children used new technical vocabulary they have learned to describe tectonic plates. They told Mr Lewis about how they applied this knowledge when learning about tsunamis. They also recalled how this linked to their learning in DT when they used cams to make moving volcanoes.
In discussions with children in Year 6, children knew and remembered the key planned curriculum content for their age group. They described important characters and events, for example, Brunel and Darwin, and were able to explain their impact on our world today. The curriculum demands for pupils in Year 6 are high. Children make links between their learning, noting that the more they learn in one subject the more links are made in other subject areas.
In Year 1 classes visited, some children were busy drumming out beats on their African drums while other children were developing language in a design and technology lesson, using words such as axel and chassis. The children were working on the learning challenge, ‘How do the Wheels Turn on a Bus?’.
The quality of the art produced in their art sketch books showcased the children's developing skills, in line with the skills and knowledge planned on the whole school curriculum map, this was also seen in Year 2 sketch books where children and developed their skills in shading using different mediums in art. They were keen to tell me the difference between hard and soft pencils, wax crayons, oil paints and charcoal! They remembered all this from before the Christmas break, it was very impressive.
Year 5 children were keen to share their knowledge of trade and settlement they had learned about in their geography challenge about Dubai, this is because their teachers had explicitly taught concepts such as trade, invention and human settlement, children were able to identify and explain these concepts or 'golden threads' of learning.
We are looking forward to visiting reading lessons next and then classes in the Early Years to find out more about the exciting things they are learning about.
Children will be bringing home their English and mathematics books next week to share some of their learning with you.
Find out more about our curriculum here