The last few weeks have been very thought-provoking for me, as a person, as a parent and as a school leader.
The first thing was prompted by our whole-school Eco Day. How does one,
as an individual make a difference when it comes to environmental
issues? How do we convince our children that what they do today will
have some, if not a big impact on the world they will inherit tomorrow?
It’s not easy, particularly for those of us living in the
consumer-driven, industrial parts of the world. But we can try and, as
we discovered, there are a lot of people out there willing to help. As a
lead in to our Eco Day, Annie Cousins (Northmoor Trust) came in to
present lots of ideas on recycling through a highly engaging interactive
assembly. On the day of our event we had three very special guests,
each supporting different phases of the school with different
information and activities - Mr John Rodda (Brightwell Environmental
Group) spoke with Class 4 about energy conservation, relating it to
thermal images taken of the school with a special camera; Janet Payne
(NMT) worked with Class 3 on climate change around the world; and Gemma
Smith (NMT) ran a workshop on litter, making ‘finger bugs’ with Classes 1
and 2. It was a busy but wonderful day. Now, it won’t be tomorrow,
possibly not even by the time that our youngest children leave our
school that we will see a difference, but, given their commitment and
all this adult support, see a difference we will.
The second thing was a twilight training event on Storytelling led by
Pie Corbett, a national figure on the educational literary scene. This
was a very stimulating event, designed to promote children’s writing
through storytelling. Much of what Pie said I could relate to very
well. Dredging the recesses of my academic learning I recalled, as he
reminded us, that story telling is a primary act of mind- it is how we
relate to and make sense of the world in which we live. We tell stories-
we narrate those things that happen to us to others and we listen to
their stories in turn. The trick in writing is to move away from the
structures of oral story telling to create a written narrative.
Acquiring these “written patterns” is not easy for young children. It is
a very different thing to say, “There was a hole in the road” and to be
able to write, “Suddenly a hole, a wide gaping hole, appeared in front
of me!” However, as Gordon Wells found out, some time ago, in an
in-depth study of children’s learning, that parents reading to their
children before entering school was a clear marker for future success -
time to get reading!
<< Go Back