Whole School Learning Experiences
Whole School Learning Experiences offer us a wonderful opportunity to enjoy learning together as a whole community! During these very special times, staff are able to plan for learning together and children can learn in mixed age groups. There is a tremendous sense of togetherness in school at these times and opportunities for unexpected connections to be made – both for children and grown-ups! So far, we have enjoyed...
Quest – the adventure continues!
2022 has got off to a super-exciting start here at Fishbourne Primary with the children returning to school for a whole school learning experience called Quest.
Quest is the second book in a trilogy of wordless picture books illustrated by the brilliantly talented Aaron Becker who tells the story of two friends and their magical pencils. In the city park, the pair are startled by the sudden appearance of a king, who thrusts into their hands a map and some strange objects. But before he can explain, the king is captured by enemy forces and whisked back into his enchanted world. Just like that, the girl and boy are caught up in a wild dash to rescue the mysterious monarch. They embark on a quest to unlock the puzzle of the map and, they hope, save the king and his people from darkness...
At Fishbourne, we aim to build a community of writers who write with purpose, power and pleasure. Writers are our apprentices and the steps of writing the children take are designed to enable them to communicate their ideas with confidence. We are using this book to inspire creative writing, using our sequence for teaching writing that you can read more about here:
Every learning experience begins with a baseline which provides an opportunity to get a ‘snapshot’ of the children’s developing writing. It is used as a diagnostic to inform whole class and personalised planning – building on children’s strengths and responsive to their needs. Typically the same genre as the end goal and ‘warmed up’ enough to ensure the children showcase their current writing skills to a high standard. Written feedback is given on the baseline that includes: -an encouragement -a clear, personalised next step of learning – the single thing that makes the biggest difference – not something that will be covered by the class during the learning experience anyway!
The end goal is a carefully selected opportunity for the children to showcase the knowledge and skills learned during the learning experience with a clear purpose and audience. Written feedback is given then which includes cross referencing back to the baseline and recognition of the progress made towards the next step alongside encouragement and appreciation of effort.
Between the baseline and end goal are a series of carefully designed steps that include immersion, modelling, rehearsal, editing, improving, planning and scaffolding that allow the children to deliberately practise their new skills, as well as opportunities for the children to work on their own personalised next steps of learning.
The whole school has used this beautiful book to inspire their story writing and, as a result, the end goals and steps of learning have looked different across our writing community—from sentence construction in year one, presentation of direct speech within narrative in year three, through to extended writing in year six. The
children have been so proud of their finished pieces which have been edited, improved and published.
We know that writing has been one of the key areas of learning that has been most impacted by the children’s experiences during lockdown and so it has been wonderful to pop in and see the children’s enjoyment for writing developing. They have no shortage of ideas and a growing confidence in themselves to make deliberate decisions as authors about the impact they would like to have on their audience.
At our INSET day this week, staff took time to reflect together on the sequences of teaching and learning they had planned for their classes and looking with care at the progress that the children had made between their baseline and end goal.
Our whole school learning experience, Nativity, got off to a flying start this morning with a theatrical HOOK! John-Paul McCrohon and his team produced a fabulous performance of the nativity, written and produced for the children at Fishbourne Primary. The children were absoultely captivated and it was wonderful to share in the true story of Christmas with them all. Drama, singing, audience participation – it had every ingredient that would be sure to involve the whole school, from our youngest children all the way through to the oldest! It was a super hour where we were transported back to biblical times and hooked into some very exciting learning in the coming days.
The children were commissioned by the Chichester Observer newspaper to become theatre critics (HOOK!) and used their experiences at the theatre to write a review that was published on the Chichester Observer website (END GOAL). We had been working on developing our audience and purpose for writing… it was lovely for the children to have such a public platform for which to write!
As with all our learning experiences, we started with a baseline and identified personalised steps of learning for each child. Then the children were immersed in a range of different reviews and critiques, including film reviews, restaurant critic reports, book reviews and even looking at our Ofsted report in some classrooms: all presented in a range of different of formats. The children looked at WAGOLL’s (What A Good One Looks Like) and discussed the purpose and audience of their chosen style of review, looking at the effect they were trying to have on their readers! Other steps included: collecting vocabulary for this style of writing; modelling evaluative sentence construction; having a go for themselves; paired and shared writing opportunities and so much more!
Before their visit to the theatre, the children were incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to meet and work alongside a theatre critic who used to review for The Observer newspaper. Kate Bassett is a journalist, columnist and literary advisor for Chichester Festival Theatre. Kate worked with all the children in school, giving them a unique insight into the way she approaches reviewing a play. It was absolutely fascinating to hear Kate speaking about her experiences and some of the advice she offered the children: ‘Always open with a punchy sentence! Write lots, watch lots and read lots! Be brave and fearless. Look for great acting talent and a good story line. Keep an open mind!’ The children had a super time asking her questions and finding out how she works.
With all these steps of learning well underway, we were ready to go to the theatre. The excitement built during the course of the week and a great deal of organisation took place behind the scenes to make sure everyone was safely delivered to and from their shows! Our Reception and Year 1 children went off to see Zog in Worthing, while the older children went to the Mayflower to see Matilda. For many of our children it was the very first time they had been to the theatre and expectations were high! The atmosphere was electric and the children’s reactions to both Zog and Matilda were magical.
Then it was back to school to stop, reflect and try to summarise their views about the productions. Writing was drafted, reviewed, edited, re-drafted and then published before being communicated through a range of different platforms.
During this learning experience, the whole school focused on the vital area of online safety. As we all know, internet use is of great importance to all young people and the average child in secondary school is now spending up to 6 hours a day online (Ofcom 2018). Therefore, the ability to stay safe while online is paramount to our computing curriculum.
The day began with a Hook into the learning. Mr Cutting tailored 2 assemblies to suit the online safety needs of KS1 and KS2. The children were introduced to the day by reading the lovely book, Chicken Clicking, which got them thinking deeply about the need to stay safe online. In our key stages, we also built an online safety toolkit to remind us of the importance of online safety.
Our tools included:
- A mobile phone - to remind the children to communicate with an adult if they are worried about what they may have seen or done online.
- A padlock - to remind the children to create excellent passwords and to not share information.
- A tube of toothpaste - to remind the children that once something is shared online it is impossible to get it back.
After this, each class concentrated on a single element of online safety. These included, ‘Can I have fun online?’, ‘Respecting others online’ and ‘How to protect my stuff’. Each class were set the challenge to write an End Goal. The end goal needed to be a very short pledge to stay safe online. These end goals have been displayed in our school ICT suite. Please pop in to have a read.
‘Should bullies be helped or punished?’
Well the debate got started straight away as teachers carefully planned each step of this PSHCE led experience! We split into Years 1-3 and Years 4-6 with our end goal being to debate this complex question. As we planned, we knew our children would have super opinions backed up with thoughtful explanations, but my goodness, our children were very passionate indeed!
Carefully crafting their opinions, using modelled writing and a raft of different word choices, the children produced some absolutely amazing pieces of writing. The use of film, role play and circle time featured heavily in providing some outstanding deep thinking. This really made the children’s writing truly meaningful and personal.
Year 4-6 finished the week with a super debate held in the council chambers of Chichester District Council. It was said by one of the invited observers, that it was one of the best debates seen in some time! Years 1-3 impressed invited parents with their wonderful use of language and confidence in presenting their opinion.
We are so proud of our children and this work will feed directly into our Anti Bullying Policy. What a super Learning Experience!
Where in the World?
As we planned this learning experience we knew we wanted to work hard to ensure that the core geography learning was equally as strong as the reading and writing!
The children started this experience by checking in, passing through security and passport control and boarding their flights (in the school hall) to travel to Brazil and South America!
The children enjoyed comparing and contrasting human and physical geography between their home country and their destination and, very importantly, within their destinations. The children gained a deep knowledge about the country they visited - diverse places, people and resources, as well as human and natural environments. They learnt that our perceptions of overseas locations aren't always accurate!
Fishbourne Bureau of Investigation
We kicked off our whole school FBI learning experience with a whole school adventure to Paultons Park where we became the Fishbourne Bureau of Investigators - exploring and investigating the forces at work on rollercoasters! What a brilliant HOOK into our first ever whole-school science based learning experience. The children had a wonderful day- there was much learning, laughter, excitement and fun experienced by all. On their return to school, each year group took on their own investigative learning in the field of forces. As far as hooks go, it was undoubtedly one of our favourites!!
A Small Miracle
An unusual arrival of a shepherds hut and an uninvited visitor appeared on the school field a fortnight before Christmas, and so began our first ever learning experience at Fishbourne Primary. It was all rather mysterious and created a great sense of curiosity in children and parents alike. We used a wordless picture book to explore the theme of Christmas and produce a wealth of personal and imaginary reflections about the Christmas celebrations.
World of Words
A year of fundraising marked the opening of our brand new school library which was designed by the children. We celebrated this occasion with our second whole school learning experience which culminated in a Mad Hatter’s tea party on the school field.
When I grow up
A learning experience that Mrs Day has been dreaming about for years and she was excited that we finally had the opportunity to provide a primary-styled work experience placement to give our children a taste of what opportunities could lie in store for them if they work hard! Our older children enjoyed a visit to Kidzania in London while the younger children worked alongside Chichester College to have similar experiences in and around school. Throughout the fortnight, we welcomed visitors who enthusiastically shared information about their careers and callings. Throughout the experience the children were able to ask questions, gather information and get a glimpse into some of the opportunities that all their hard work during school would be rewarded with!
Fantastic Elastic Brain
The culmination of the journey the staff team had been on in exploring their pedagogy for teaching and learning. Teachers, governors and parents had been talking a lot about what we want learning to look like for the children at Fishbourne and now it was a chance to give the children their voice! We ALL spent a fortnight learning a brand new skill: skateboarding, ball room dancing, Makaton, juggling to name just a few! During this time we talked a lot about what effective learning looks like and then we tried to define what made us good at it!
At the end of the fortnight, we agreed on five key learning behaviours which were: determination, courage, positivity, self-belief and team work. As grown-ups we felt that being reflective was also a very important learning behaviour that we wanted to foster in our young people. The children graciously agreed we could be given a term to prove to them how important this skill is.
‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall’
A response to the challenge to prove to the children how important reflectivity is as a learner! The children arrived at the school gate to find the pathway lined with crazy mirrors which they took delight in using! We spent a fortnight learning how to be reflective – looking at both our physical reflections AND more importantly our personal reflections. The children were then supported to write their own mid-year learning reports which proved to be of superb quality and contained some very perceptive and careful reflections on themselves.
BILLIONS OF BRICKS
Our first ever mathematics focused whole school learning experience. Using the picture book 'Billions of Bricks', together with a huge delivery of bricks, hard hats and high-visibility jackets, the whole school threw themselves into a hands-on, real-life sequence of learning deeply rooted in the conceptual understanding of maths. It was absolutely fascinating to see the different ways in which collections of bricks could inspire our thinking...
From Bob the Builder, to Goldilocks and the Three Bears, to Goodwood Racing Circuit - we designed, measured, calculated and built for a wide range of audiences and purposes. It turned out to be a super fortnight of brain stretching, real life maths for everyone to enjoy!