Gateway has worked relentlessly to ensure continuity of education for all of our pupils in recent months. As a leader in the use of technology to enrich learning, the online experience proved to be innovative and engaging.
We have all had to adapt to the ‘new normal’ but as children started to return to school, Gateway was keen to ensure the return of all pupils to a classroom environment. For Year 5 pupils, this has been a priority as they look ahead to Year 6 and their transition to secondary school. In order to support positive outcomes for pupils, we have continually adjusted our practice. So when the opportunity arose for Year 5 to use the conference facilities on Mr Dyson’s farm, we were keen to avail of the opportunity to get children back to the classroom in this crucial year. To be surrounded by rolling hills and engage in ‘all the fun of the farm’ has been an added bonus. The only sound is the whooshing of the wind across open fields as cattle are seen grazing in the distance.
There was great excitement as the children returned to the classroom in either a morning or an afternoon session. They were very keen to see their friends, whilst adhering closely to social distancing rules and remaining vigilant in their use of PPE.
By providing a supportive environment to support their well-being, children have enjoyed the freedom of break times and benefited from structured Maths and English activities. In Maths, they have worked on group tasks, which have encouraged collaboration and discussion. They have focused on revision of the Year 5 curriculum whilst increasing their depth of understanding and developing their reasoning skills. English lessons have continued to enrich and extend their comprehension and writing skills.
Breaktimes have been hugely varied as children have been provided with a variety of play equipment. They have created their unique dance routines, improvised their own version of French cricket and enjoyed a variety of old-fashioned skipping games. There was further elation as Mr Dyson announced that we could share our lessons with three small chicks, whom we have discovered all seem to have developed their own personalities, in the space of just a week! Even our more reluctant children have now grown to adore their constant tweeting!
Next week, we look forward to exploring practical maths lessons with measures on the lawn and to completing the class text, Street Child. We will watch the chicks grow as they try to escape from their hatch and also hope to see some newborn calves.
Out of adversity, has come a unique, shared learning experience- a memory that our pupils are sure to treasure in years to come.