Look it up (the forgotten pleasure of encyclopedias)

When I was in primary school, we would work on a project each term. The project topics varied – natural disasters, animals, medieval history, flags of the world, weather patterns, the Olympics and so on. Regardless of the topic, the projects all followed the same format: weeks of furious research in the library, followed by the painstaking process of ruling lines on your poster, creating a spectacular heading using The Lettering Book, inexpert use of tracing paper to press maps and pictures onto your masterpiece and finally, the addition of your text.

My memories of these projects are a mix of satisfaction and frustration – the right layout or a misspelt heading or once, a spectacularly bad portrait of Captain Cook, seemed to separate the great projects from the ordinary. But what of the actual content? Continue reading

Families who read together…

Thank you to our librarian, Ruth Woolven* for her thoughts on sharing the reading experience –

A couple of weeks ago the Library opened after school for a Family Reading Afternoon. This was an opportunity for families to visit the Library and read together. It was wonderful to see parents and grandparents sharing stories and exploring the library collection with our students. Continue reading

Coding in the classroom

When I was at school, speculation about “what we’d be when we grew up” was confined to a large but relatively unchanging list of careers (on my list was a psychologist, a librarian and an air stewardess, none of which I did but all jobs that still exist). In comparison, today’s students have a working life ahead of them that most likely includes jobs that haven’t been conceived as yet; a ‘physical workplace’  that is defined by technology; and multiple changes of career (these speculations make for interesting reading).

If you’re wondering just how different things might be in the future, and what that means in the classroom today, take a close look at the instructions on the whiteboard in the photo below – ‘Create three sprites (one drawn)’ and ‘Code your sprites with motion’ – what?!

Year 5 and 6 students are undertaking coding classes and share some of their experiences so far –

Continue reading