At Gateway School we are aiming to develop the children’s involvement in their own learning and it has been a delight to see them contribute and lead their teachers in the direction in which they are interested.
We started this half term learning about Katie Morag and the Isle of Coll. The children were enthused by their own personal connections to Scotland and this prompted a discussion about traditions and familial structures in Scottish history. As a result, the Year 2 teachers developed lessons to look into Scottish clans (old Gaelic for “families”). Excitingly, we had the opportunity to interview a real-life member of the Fraser clan. The children devised questions including: “What is it like to live in a castle?” and “Have you ever been involved in a battle?” We learned all about the history of clans, what it was like growing up in a freezing cold castle and the meaning behind the Fraser crest and motto. This certainly piqued the children’s interest, as they asked to create their own clan crests and tartans. Coming up with their own mottos was a particularly enjoyable experience, and we loved reading the children’s creative ideas, including “Look After Dogs” and “Be Cute”.
Hearing a little about traditional celebrations of Hogmanay again sparked more questions from the children. We spent a lesson learning more about Scottish Christmas and Hogmanay, including first footing and guisers. The children learned a Scottish dance (Strip the Willow) and we made raspberry cranachan which was devoured with huge enthusiasm!
Farm School has also linked with our learning about Scotland; Mr Dyson provided us with a real sheep’s fleece. We investigated the thermal properties of wool by placing ice packs underneath it and the children were astonished to realise that they could no longer feel the cold through the fleece. They were able to explain that Katie Morag wears fleecy jumpers in order to keep her warm from the cold Scottish winters.