The first spend on resources is well recognised, and is one that we can all remember from our own school days – books. And the second is more innovative and is now recognised as being important for equipping our children for the future – iPads.
During the summer we spent over 265,000 RMB purchasing quality information books from the UK for children throughout the Primary school. Reading is recognised as being a significant indicator of children’s future success, so getting children to enjoy reading and to read for pleasure is important. The books that arrived are beautiful! Parents who came to our Themed Learning Workshops a few weeks ago were delighted with them. The new books have been specially selected to fit in with the Themed Learning topic areas that the children are studying throughout the year. For example, as Year 3 learn about ‘Paintings, Pictures and Photographs’ there are titles such as ‘Turner, Whistler, Monet’ , ‘How Artists See Nature’ and ‘Jobs if you like Art’. These all fire the children’s enthusiasm as well as giving them information. We have bought group sets of 8 so that the new books can, if appropriate, be used as part of the Guided Reading sessions. In this way the children’s learning in Literacy lessons links to Themed Learning topics and so has relevance and interest to them; a great motivator. This is one of the real benefits of the Themed Learning approach. .
Our second investment was in iPads. iPads were issued to each child in Year 5-6 in Primary and also in the Secondary school several weeks ago. They are already proving their worth in enhancing the curriculum. We know that children need to be skilled in using technology as it increasingly becomes part of our daily life. But more than that, the apps that children are being introduced to are helping to bring learning alive, to motivate them and to develop their skills throughout the curriculum. Many of the children already have iPads at home and are already very familiar with them. However, the introduction of the school iPad, where the use is restricted to educational purposes and not for gaming, means they are finding out more about how iPads are a tool for learning. Some apps were shared with parents on Wednesday at a workshop. My favourite was ‘Beatwave’ where composing music can be done immediately. I was proud of my achievement, however, am not planning a career change just yet!
At BISS Puxi, iPads do not replace the curriculum, they are another resource that helps children learn better, in the same way that beautiful books do. We spend on resources that are well established, and those that are new initiatives, always after careful consideration, so that we can ensure quality learning for our children.
Eleanor Jess, Head of Primary