Monday, September 13, 2010

I spent the morning wearing my Fairtrade Speaker hat - with year 5 and 6 pupils at North Ormesby primary school. The teachers in those two classes now teach everything as cross-curricular topics, so planning lessons is an adventure for them, a step into the unknown as the children spot areas which can be studied further to uncover new areas of knowledge and understanding. I was asked to help them develop skills in listening and taking notes on the effect Fairtrade has on producers. The questions and discussions led to ideas for maths lessons on estimating, measuring and counting big numbers (how many cocoa beans to you think would cover a table?), a survey to be done and graphs to be drawn to answer various questions about supermarket sales, some work in science on the differences between artificially produced smells and the natural smell of chocolate and where Burkina Faso is, to name but a few.
Spending time with children who are so interested in the topic is always a pleasure, and to see how teachers were taking suggestions from the children and turning them into lesson ideas in seconds shows just how far education has moved from the days when I was at primary school! Whatever the future holds for those children I hope it gives them continued opportunities to develop the enquiring minds they have at present.
Back in the world of politics it was time to circulate to members a message from Sarah Teather's department asking for thoughts on the best way to provide for children with special educational needs in the future. For a change, this isn't a minor political party working up a policy and knowing that it won't be implemented. This is a Lib Dem government minister consulting on something which will become policy. It takes a bit of getting used to, I don't mind admitting.

1 comment:

thribble said...

Anne might have some insights.

Sounds like a cool school to go to.