Ings Primary School – Hull.
The ‘Enquiry Question’ for the school to explore was:
‘What cultural and co-operative experiences can we give to our Key Stage 1 children to ignite their imaginations and inspire original, confident writing?’
The original question was based around the development and enjoyment of writing for KS1 pupils, and the development of pupils’ awareness of the world and other cultures.
Literacy was identified as a key priority, as was developing the children’s awareness of the world and its cultures.
The links with the school improvement plan are as follows:
- thinking about their own identity and comparing with others is a way to engage the child’s imagination and empathy.
- the engagement of pupils in the creative aspects of the project will enable them to express themselves more confidently through their writing.
- the children will become more confident as a result of the wider life an cultural experiences that they will encounter and learn about throughout the project
- pupils will become more confident as individuals – their contributions to the creative process will be valued and their motivation to work together to explore other cultures will increase
- the experience of enjoying the project and work done for the project, and the inspiration of discovering more about their own world and of other lives and cultures will generate the motivation to complete the project to a high standard
- the connection with a school in Sierra Leone will give the pupils exposure to lives other than their own, and will provide a stimulus to further explore wider cultural influences
- the use of digital media and ICT in different areas of the curriculum will develop the topic-based work that is to be implemented within the school in the future
The project aimed to develop the school’s international dimension by strengthening links with St Philips Primary School (Sierra Leone). The children will create multimedia work through exploration about what the children at St. Philips would like to know about their life.
They will need to start by researching about what they, themselves, would like to know about the St Philips children to begin this mature thought-process. The children will work co-operatively but also independently through developing their camera skills, reviewing what they have done, using their skills out and about, then creating a book and a stills film from this exploration.
Jon worked with 2 classes of Y1/2 pupils including 2 teachers. Timescale for activity work: 7 weeks.
End of project exhibition with film showing, and written work and photographs on display. The book produced by the children, and the photo booklets will be on sale. Also Fairtrade products will be available to buy – strengthening the links between the local Co-op.
Staff development in the use of media programmes and photographic equipment has increased considerably, and will be used in future theme based projects to give another element to teaching practices employed in the school.
The school CP co-ordinator and the other class teacher were both involved in the planning process. The children were asked about places that meant a lot to them, and they also had discussions about where they would take a visitor from Sierra Leone if they came to Hull.
The project has helped to develop the value of a more creative approach to teaching and learning, and the inclusion of creative skills in the theme-based approach to the curriculum.
The focus of the project on improving literacy was important, although the project developed and encompassed other skills which led to the improvement of writing skills – confidence building, speaking and listening, team working, learning about other cultures etc.
The development of these skills inspired the written work, and the experiences of the children while they have explored different aspects of their own and other cultures has increased vocabulary and the social skills needed to help the children to express their view and opinions.
The project has inspired the whole school, and has given morale a boost during a time of uncertainty. Staff are already using the skills they have gained from the CPD sessions.
The end of project exhibition helped to forge new relationships with parents, and there is increased enthusiasm within the school to further develop the links made with Sierra Leone.
The project made the following contributions to Every Child matters:
- Every child had a say and was fully involved in the project and its content
- All children were involved in the trips organised as part of the project
- All children developed skills in the use of photographic equipment and ICT
- All children were given responsibilities, and were allowed to work independently as well as in teams
- The project contributed to the development of essential life skills
The project idea has had a great impact on both the children and the staff. It was recognised that the lack of knowledge and cultural understanding of the children meant that their imaginations weren’t stimulated, and that, in turn, affected their confidence – in their own abilities, and in their view of themselves and their value to others.
The project has increased the knowledge that the children have in their own City and environment, as well as increasing their knowledge in the lives of others. This has stimulated the interest of all the children, but has especially had an impact on the interest and enthusiasm of the boys in the two classes – to write about their experiences and to be involved in collaborative work.
Staff commented on the excellent skills of Jon – he was flexible in his approach to the project, and was extremely approachable (important to both staff and children). His use of technical language was easily understandable – staff and children were able to use photographic equipment and new media programmes with ease. He was brilliant with the children – showing both humour and patience throughout the project.
The project ran smoothly and had a huge impact within the whole school. The children were involved in all aspects of the programme, and their involvement as co-constructors of learning gave them a very positive approach to work done throughout the project’s duration.