This week I promised you a view of Mrs Lomax’s class in Key Stage 1. First, a look around before the pupils arrive…
You can see how the environment is set up to support the transition from play to learning, with a focus on independence and self-motivation. The class has very clearly defined areas where children are able to access resources and activities with a high level of independence and creativity, whilst also being supported by consistent structures and expectations. Individual targets and class rules are all reinforced using visual cues and regular positive reminders. Many of the pupils benefit from social stories which use photographs or comic strips to ‘tell the story’ for each activity, helping pupils to know what comes next and giving them a sense of control.
As you can also see from the photos, the class have been doing lots of work on Fairy Tales. They have used the topic to explore different activities in the classroom including keeping safe, different types of buildings and materials, text in the environment and following instructions. The children have been making buildings for their fairy tale characters to live in and have then recorded their plans and how they made their properties.
They have also been baking – making gingerbread men firstly out of salt dough with plans to make edible ones to eat at snack-time. Alongside the practical activities, the children will be working in literacy on writing and following instructions. Next they plan to make gingerbread men out of felt, exploring different materials and mediums. Mrs Lomax tells me that ‘the main purpose of the activities has been to work alongside each other, respond and follow instructions, understand the reasons for text in the environment, understand the purpose of rules, explore sensory stimuli (touch, smell, sound and taste), talk about others’ feelings and develop writing and fine motor skills.’
Mrs Lomax’ class have also been participating in dance and movement sessions with Mrs Chappell. I took some photos of their session this week which looked great fun, and I asked Mrs Chappell for some explanation of the theory behind the practice so I could explain what is going on. She tells me that ‘the Sherborne Developmental Movement Therapy Approach aims to develop a child’s knowledge of themselves and of those around them through shared experiences. In this week’s lesson the class have explored relationships using movements that involve pushing against each other and both seeing and feeling the consequences of that action. The children have also had the opportunity to explore their own boundaries and safety, and they have thoroughly enjoyed being swung cocooned in the giant pink blanket, so much so that they can’t wait for it to be their turn next week!’ (Mrs Chappell also told me that it is the best class of her week – but don’t tell everybody else that!)
This week classes have also been voting for their representatives on the School Council. I am pleased to announce the results of these elections:
- Mrs Lomax’s class – Reece
- Mr Corrigan’s class – Jenna
- Miss Parkinson’s class – Ellie
- Mrs Halkyard’s class – Ryan P
- Mrs Millard’s class – Jack and Thomas
- Mr Holland’s class – Grace and Alex
The hustings prior to the elections included some very impressive speeches. Examples from some of the Year 7 debates include:
“ I know what I can bring to the table and help this school with academic and athletic abilities by creating a team for sports events … my qualities lie in showing how to help in touch situations ….” – Jack
“I think I will bring fairness, democracy and great revolutionary ideas to Hollinwood Academy …. I am a very strong person in the sense that I will fight for everyone …” – Thomas
I am very much looking forward to the School Council meetings and anticipate some tough ‘Head of School’s Question Times’!
Next week I plan to peep through the keyhole into Mrs Halkyard’s class.
Have a lovely weekend,
- Graham has updated his blog too, you can find it here.