A very brief thought this week, concerning Curriculum for Excellence. I witnessed a nice little example of children using their learning to good effect. Saltoun has been undertaking a whole school, short study of the body to start the term. They have been learning about body parts and functions- differentiated to be appropriate to age and stage. The oldest children and the youngest shared this learning in a collaborative task on Friday. In mixed groups across the ages, they made a larger than life skeleton with hinged parts (upstairs) and a correspondingly large collection of vital organs (downstairs). The children were very engaged in the task and one P2 delighted in telling me all about intestines and how long they were (with demonstration). Eventually the two groups came together and the body was assembled in more or less anatomical order. I particularly liked the lengths of blue wool with beads for veins and red wool with beads for arteries.
The point of the exercise- as well as providing an opportunity for the children to work with different groups -which they enjoy- was to test the learning they had done by using it for a purpose. It was transference of skills and knowledge. Hopefully, this knowledge will be more firmly embedded now that it has been used rather than just learned.
Similarly at Humbie, the assessment task at the end of the current study of dinosaurs involves creating a dinosaur, choosing whether it is a meat or plant eater and matching it to a habitat suited to its size and diet. The children have to show real understanding of the knowledge they have gained to complete this successfully.
My thanks to the staff- for enthusiasm, inventiveness and willingness to go the extra mile to make all this happen.
Have a good week- take care in the snow.