We have started creating our new Role Play Area to support exciting ways of learning through this term’s Power of Reading book! Our role play and hot seating of the model’s magical transformation under the moon, into a living dragon with superpowers, have been a lot of fun this week, with mysterious music and even shimmering fairy dust falling from the skies.
We regularly invite pupils’ suggestions and wishes, listening to what they consider would improve our shared learning and teaching (pupil voice), and last Summer introduced two Guinea Pig brothers, Pablo and Picasso, following requests for some pets. Pablo was very adventurous and far the most confident, but sadly his curiosity and agility meant that he escaped from a locked run door in my garden during a holiday, and he has been pursuing a life of liberty ever since (with the foxes!!) We are still searching for a female rescue guinea pig to join Picasso, as Guinea Pigs are social rodents (another male and he would now fight territorially).
This term, again by popular demand, we have added another pet to our menagerie, a rescue female hamster, called Chunky (apparently, dark furred hamsters are less preferred by pet shop customers, as not so photogenic in owners’ selfies ): )
Poppy children are loving reading to their pets and have learnt to respect their feelings (as well as their own fingers) and resist the temptation to put their fingers into her bed until she’s woken up and emerged herself. The children’s awareness of life processes and needs of animals is definitely enhanced by caring for living things in class themselves.
We really enjoyed exploring this story together, through a great deal of first hand experience of Pumpkins (even if we didn’t actually make it to the Pumpkin Farm in the end) and virtual visits to Kerala in Southern India. The children showed deepening understanding and empathy for the main characters, whose crops and animals were hit by flooding alongside them, and particularly loved the whispering advice technique and leaving suggestion notes for Kanni and Pattan. The Class’ ability to really become absorbed in role, and engage more fully in drama techniques such as thought tracking, freeze framing, mobile conversations and role on the wall, was very pleasing to watch. They loved role play area creativity, too and made this fabulous papier mache pumpkin!