Inspiration is something we look for in the world around us as a mechanism by which to develop a thought or idea. At it’s roots, it is something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create. For me, the “something” is the key to making inspiration a part and parcel of our children’s everyday experiences. Too often inspiration is seen as such a big ask, but actually it can come from the simplest of activities, the most unlikely source, a look, a gesture or even a word.
Learning is all about development and moving forward. When this is done well, it happens because “something” made an individual think or triggered a thought. By designing an exciting curriculum that takes an enquiry approach our children are being presented with an approach to learning that seeks to hook them in, by providing opportunities to explore, create and share what they have found out.
As a school we have learnt through our whole school enquiries time and time again that inspiring our children is what achieves quality work that showcases children’s personal best. By using outdoor experiences, real life contexts, books, videos, visitors, apps and objects, we have tried to ensure that inspiration is always at the forefront of children’s learning. By inspiring children to have a go, to investigate and to persevere, we are building up a culture in school where children want to push themselves.
For us, learning comes first and this week it has been fantastic to see the children absorbed in the whole school geography enquiry. As I wandered between classrooms this morning there were children designing and building their own Mine Craft worlds, pairs of children having discussions about their learning through using text and images in pic collage to visually share what they had found out. A huge 3D model of a local area has been constructed by children and they have been enthusiastically using lots of geography vocabulary with ease. One class have worked in small groups to plan and construct their own park following their visit to a local park and Reception have turned into pirates in search of treasure.
For us as a school “learning” is always what comes first and it is truly inspiring to see children engaged, enthused and challenged through the curriculum our staff have developed. By inspiring our children to investigate and create, we are opening up the doors of possibility and giving them the opportunity to not only see the world around them at first hand, but to experience it. Below are a few galleries of inspiration in action, where we feel that the memorable experiences we have developed will have a lasting effect on learners.
- When our school first opened 50 years ago, a whole trip was organised. 50 years later we decided to do the same!
- The whole school made their way to the East Lancashire Railway station in Bury.
- The children and adults were incredibly excited.
- We had our own carriages chartered.
- As the train pulled up to the platform the whole school started to fill up the carriages and year 6 loved their Hogwarts style carriages.
- The steam train journey took us to Ramsbottom station.
- Once we got off the train we started to walk to Nuttall Park.
- Once we arrived it was time for picnics and games!
- The children and adults had great fun in the sun.
- After a few hours of fun in the sun we started our journey home on the steam train. A great end to two nostalgic weeks finding out about "50 years of learning".
- We were given an empty shop in the Millgate Centre Bury, which we decided to transform into a 1 day only pop up art gallery.
- Each class created their final pieces of work, came up with names and had their work framed or put in portfolios.
- Our arts task team spent a whole day transforming the space to create a range of different areas and set up a gallery experience.
- Wallpaper was hung.
- Donated fabric from Dunelm was turned into decorative swags.
- Each picture was carefully positioned and tacked to the wall.
- Our window displays aimed to grab the publics attention and one message in our visitors book said how uplifting they were.
- We wanted people to understand what the children had been learning and see our gallery as a celebration of the learning that had happened in our two week enquiry.
- Every space was used to display the work done by the children and the examples from Bury Arts Society. Memebers of the society visited on the day to see the final work that the children had produced.
- We tried to include examples of the subjects that the children had drawn such as tea cups, crisps, chocolate, flowers and fruit.
- All of the work was arranged in mixed groups and all our visiting children conducted their own search to find their piece of work.
- Portfolios were produced by some classes to showcase work or the process that they had gone through to produce a final piece.
- We created a drawing zone so that children could come in and draw pictures to add to our working wall.
- The children were incredibly proud of their work and loved showing off their achievements.
- Throughout the day we had over 600 visitors.
- Even the passing police officers came in to admire the work on display!
- The drawing zone was a real hit and had lots of budding artists refining their skills.
- By the end of the day we had filled our working walls.
- Lots of our visitors wanted to take copies of the work on display.
- All our visitors spent lots of time studying each piece of work and talking about the skills that the children had developed.
- Throughout the day the gallery was filled with our school community and members of the public.