One hot, sticky morning, they received a golden invitation from the King and Queen of Fairy Land, inviting them to a ball! Unfortunately due to the heavy rain from the previous week, the royal palace had flooded. The King and Queen thus set a challenge to the children: to design and make a model of a castle or palace; thinking about how the guests would get in, how it could be protected from future flooding, and if it would it be strong enough.
Immediately there was a buzz of excitement as the children started coming up with ideas. They were split up into their groups and set off on their task. The opportunities for cooperative learning, problem solving, creativity and reflective thinking were fantastic. They researched castles using books and photos and brought all of their different ideas together. They then tested these ideas only to find that not all of them worked. This opened up more questions: why didn’t it work? What could they do to make it stronger? And was followed by more testing… until they finally achieved a satisfying result. The children were leading their own learning and the teachers had taken a step back to allow the children to do so.
The following Friday, the teachers received a telephone call from the King and Queen. This time, they wanted to make sure the children were prepared for the ball, in case an evil fairy should appear and want to cast a wicked spell on them. They also wanted the children to be able to deal with Shrek’s snot should he sneeze all over the ballroom floor. The teachers, dressed up as cats, witches, fairy ogres, rainbow wizards and secret agents led the children into the Rainbow Room, The Ogre’s Den, The Cauldron and the Chamber of Secrets to learn to make rainbows, magic potions, invisible ink, and of course, find out the best way to clean up Shrek’s snot.
We would like to thank Ms Christine, Ms Jenny and Khun Khay, from the secondary science department for taking up so much of their time to prepare some fascinating science experiments for us. This again proved to be another exciting opportunity for collaborative learning as well as developing the children’s scientific skills such as questioning, predicting, testing, observing, analysing data and evaluating end results.
Our Fun Fridays in Year 1 are dedicated to challenge-based learning, whereby the children are given a problem they need to solve and are then given the opportunity to research, predict, test and learn from their mistakes. It is open- ended and allows the children to think creatively and critically. The children are loving our fun Fridays, an exciting day where the children enjoy themselves while developing a wealth of skills.