26 May, 2022

Seeing learning in action across Primary

One of the great privileges I have as Deputy Head of Primary is being able to go in and out of so many different classes to find out what children are excited about, what they are learning and how they are record their new knowledge and understanding.

I get to do this by teaching lots of different classes throughout the week or by walking through the corridors and stopping to engage with our Primary learners.  On Wednesday I get to teach or visit almost all year groups which gives me a great insight into the learning that is going on and the views and opinions of our enthusiastic learners.

I started my day in Year 3 where they had been using the book ‘Oliver and the Seawigs’ to help them write instructions for caring for a pet, but not any ordinary pet, a slimy, cheeky sea-monkey! As a class we created an introduction to engage and inform the audience and then the class wrote their own equipment list and step by step instructions using imperative verbs. The children in this class were able to share their ideas with each other by communicating effectively and record their learning clearly using high level vocabulary. I was impressed by their use of our thinker PLG as they used a range of language techniques to help them write for a given purpose. After that I got to teach another Year 3 class Maths where they were spotting patterns when adding and subtracting. The mathematical language that they were able to use showed a real understanding of number and clear communicator skills in action.

After break I had the chance to walk through Primary and by the time I had finished I was so proud, impressed and engaged after seeing so many interesting lessons and learning experiences. One Year 5 class were testing electronic Lego Mars Rovers that they had built and were making adjustments to their designs. The learners showed real focus, adaptability and collaboration as they solved problems like real NASA technicians. The next class I walked past saw Year 6 children recording all their knowledge about different countries and the power and energy sources that they used, imported and exported as part of their Climate Control Exit Point. I stopped to ask the children to share some of their understanding and was so impressed with the level of detail they could give me and their ability to explain what they had found out.

After that I had the pleasure of teaching a Year 4 ICT and Computing session. Pupils had, in an earlier lesson, collected their own data through a class survey which they had saved and posted on to Seesaw. By the time I had them for ICT they were able to pull up their data and turn it into an Excel table, adjusting the heading, columns and cells to match their surveying. They then turned this table into a range of graphs which they were able to save and post back to Seesaw so they had access to it in once back in their classrooms. The ability to create, edit and share their learning on numerous platforms really showed how adaptable our learners are.

Later that afternoon a Year 2 child proudly showed me his writing where he had explained why people should try to eat food from local sources as much as possible and how importing food from all over the world can pollute and harm our planet. He was so keen to show me and read his work with such passion that I knew he had written from the heart and was keen to share his point of view with others. Seeing children understand the ethical implications of many of our every day lives highlights that learning is so much more than single subjects, but helps develop the whole child who care about the world they live in and are ready for the future.

This is just a snippet of what goes on on a daily basis in Primary school, always so much engaging an memorable learning happening across the year groups as they develop their PLGs and practice new skills that will help them learn and grow. I am very lucky to be able to see this each day at work and it inspires me to do my best to help provide and safe and engaging place for these children to continue their learning journey.

 

THOMAS HOLMES

DEPUTY HEAD PRIMARY