All work and all play: School chucks out traditional teaching methods
- Credit: Lakenham Primary School
A primary school in Norwich has ditched the desks amid an overhaul of its curriculum.
Lakenham Primary School said after the pandemic it wanted to introduce a more play-based structure to its classrooms.
Kate Pantry, a teacher at the school explained: “When Covid struck, many schools turned towards sit down lessons, at desks and in front of screens. However, this does not work for our children.”
Instead teachers will get children engaged through enquiry-based learning.
She explained: "Adults provide children with hooks to excite them with a topic and we take it from there."
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This leads children to explore questions in a range of areas.
To encourage them to think more broadly classrooms have been redesigned with shared spaces to create welcoming and engaging areas for the children to learn.
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Next, it will look towards its lunchtimes to create areas of learning through play that are not just sports-based.
“These activities include role play, construction, den building, cycling, nature play, mud kitchen and more,” said Miss Pantry.
And the school plans on encouraging all types of play by working with organisation OPAL – which stands for Outdoor Play and Learning.
More mainstream topics are taught at early years and key stage one through carpet sessions.
The key stage two children have slightly longer sessions and a more structured day.
However, the teachers added that pupils still have plenty of opportunities to explore their unique classroom environments.
Miss Pantry added: “For me as a teacher, I've seen the children become independent learners at a younger age and at a much quicker point in their school life.
“It has also helped me to work with key groups and support the children appropriately and in quick response to their needs and interests as they occur,” she added.
“And I get to play too!”
She went on: "Our conversations become more meaningful and our relationships with the children are stronger because I am joining in with their play and with their special interests."
Lakenham Primary School still have spaces in their nursery classes.