ACREMONT children have been travelling through time and space in their very own time machine!
Recognising the importance of imagination and the role it plays in cognitive development, teachers have been getting creative with the curriculum, as Year 1 teacher Jo Lyall reports: “Year 1 children found a letter from a group of Victorian schoolchildren, so we built a time machine to travel back in time to visit them. The whole year group spent a week as Victorian schoolchildren, learning about the toys, clothes and homes in the Victorian era. Taking their learning a step further, we also held a Victorian Sports Day, and we rounded off the topic with a Victorian themed soiree for parents, with a poetry recital, dancing and a flea circus.”
Back in the present day, the teachers at King’s Ely Acremont have also been using real-life technologies to engage the children in the classroom, such as Quick Response (QR) codes and iPads.
“Children came in to school to find a giant QR code in the classroom,” said Jo, adding: “We used one of our iPads to scan the code and it revealed a message from the future, from two children living in 2163. They then started noticing QR codes everywhere – on books, toys, games and even on bus stops. Then, collectively, we came up with the idea of setting up a treasure hunt. In groups, we wrote clues for various places around school, typed the clues into a QR code writer, printed them out and set up our treasure hunt. Every child had the chance to scan a clue and, eventually, we found the treasure – chocolate coins!
“As well as using iPads to read and write QR codes, we regularly use them in the classroom to create pictures and animations, read and record e-books, research different countries around the world, and practise fine motor control. This was the first time that we have used QR code technology in the classroom; we also plan to link to videos and soundtracks in the future.”
Creative teaching and learning is at the very heart of education at King’s Ely Acremont. Instead of learning merely through books and pictures, the children are immersed in each topic.
Head Lynda Brereton added: “The benefits of the creative curriculum are tangible in all areas, with the children being enthused and excited about their learning. We have all noticed that the children also want to take their learning home; for instance, following a recent topic on the Polar Regions, one little girl was given a penguin to adopt as a birthday present, such was her interest in the topic.”