Tag Archives: Primary

Doing Diwali

Our Year 1 Undergraduates visited a Primary school recently to deliver a day on Diwali as part of their Hindu Dharma Unit.  Here is what one of them, Amy, wrote about the experience:

The day started with meeting in the staff room to make sure that we had everything ready and organized for the day and from there led into the school hall with a stage. IMG_4778

We then rehearsed the play of Diwali that we had been practicing in class for about half an hour. Soon after the pupils came in we preformed our play which taught the pupils about where the festival Diwali came from and why Hindu’s celebrate it. The play went smoothly and the pupils had engaged in the play by saying things such as ‘boo’ and ‘aww’, they laughed along as well, showing that they were happy and engaged in the play and clearly took things away with them. This was a great experience that I and the pupils really enjoyed.

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Later on after wet play, which is when the weather is to bad to go out for play time, I helped them to clean up the classroom before we started the lesson. The lesson which had been planned by me and Hailey was about Brahman the one Hindu God and the festivals in which Hindu people celebrate their God. The lesson started by giving the students a piece of A5 paper and told them to write the most important thing in the world to them, then they screwed it up like a snowball and threw it to the front to us.

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We then read it out loud and discussed what they had written, and said our most important thing to us. We then went through the Trimurti of Brahman; Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. We then gave the pupils a body template on which they had to create their own Hindu God, what they would be like as a Hindu God. Most of the things that the pupils drew, included things such as a clown as they wanted to make many people laugh and happy all over the world, some of them were the peace keepers which they told me they had based on Vishnu and other people were God’s that made it so that there was a disco everyday. The pupils had a good laugh and we were able to properly interact with the pupils, find out more about them. They then presented their own to the class if they wanted to, which most of them did. We then went through the festivals which celebrate the God’s and then related them to their own Gods that they have previously created. we then did a fill the gaps plenary where the children answered the questions that related to the whole lesson that helped us to understand what they struggled with and what they were good at. When we showed the children a video that was a nursery rhyme for Diwali that had been translated into English. The pupils really enjoyed the short video as a treat at the end of their lesson.

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The lesson seemed to go much smoothly than expected with Primary school children, the only hard bit was getting the video to work after a bit. I really enjoyed the experience, however I definitely realized that secondary school is for me and not primary, however I enjoyed teaching Hinduism so much and can’t wait to teach it more in the future.

You can read more from Amy’s blog here: https://amshepherdblog.wordpress.com/ 

Experiencing Hajj in Frodsham

Paul Smalley and a small number of Year 1 Undergraduate RE students were recently invited to take part in the Cheshire West & Chester SACRE Primary Pupil conference.  This two-day event, funded by a generous grant from NASACRE and organised by Naomi Anstice, was held at the Forest Hills Hotel in Frodsham and brought together over 100 primary school children from a range of primary schools

SACRE RE Program

The session we had been invited to deliver was an experiential Hajj.  Pupils from Years 5 and 6 began by hearing about how Muslim pilgrims enter a state of Ihram before the begin their pilgrimage.  Pupils then washed their hands, promised to themselves that they would enter into the activities as much as possible and try to do their best, before donning a sheet of white flipchart paper.  This made us realise how pilgrims get a real sense of unity when all are dressed the same.

The children circled the Ka’ba, before hearing a story and replicating Hajar’s desperate seach for water as they looked for a hidden bottle of ‘Special Zam-Zam Water’. Before bedding down for the first (rather noisy!) night, pupils used iPads to record the first of their video diaries.

I enjoyed the Hajj acting and learnt that Muslims get to go to sleep on pilgrimage

The video diaries helped me to remember what we had already done

The pupils held their hands up on the Mount of mercy whilst thinking about what problem they would want solving in the world, or what they had done wrong and might need to put right.  They listened to the story of Ibrahim’s sacrifice and then, before the second night’s video diary and ‘sleep’, they each collected seven post it notes from around the room.

I liked learning about the story of Ibraham and how he sacrificed a sheep instead of his son

Today I learned about the pilgrims going on Hajj and I enjoyed acting the different parts and using the ipads to record our family diary

The next morning the pupils thought deeply and wrote on their post it notes seven things that they might be tempted to do, even though they know they are bad, before scrunching them up and throwing them at a jamarah, like the pillars representing Shaytan in Makkah.

I really enjoyed the pilgrimage today

Then to celebrate Eid-ul-adha, a sheep (cake) was sacrificed and shared out by each family, before compleing Hajj with a final Tawaf and a last video diary.

I loved sacrificing the sheep cake

I loved making a film and sacrificing a sheep

We liked the practical way to introduce Hajj to children

Good ideas for teachers to take back to schools. Our children partically enjoyed the experiential Hajj and it was good to hear then reflect about our RE  lessons back in school.

Three Days in the Theatre of Learning

Having spent two days with us last year, an old friend of Edge Hill, Sue Phillips, spent three days with us to showcase her approach to experiential learning: one day with secondary Undergraduates, one day with PGCE and one day with Primary students.

Sue has developed the ‘Theatre of Learning’ pedagogy. This began with an understanding of religion neutral exercises, the most well known being the Island.  Sue then encouraged us to apply that thinking to a number of different religions, including stories as diverse as cosmology and homelessness.  Many of the activities were participatory and the students from all three cohorts were able to engage and relate to the pedagogy in a visceral way.

Feedback from the students was stunning and they are eager to implement some of these ideas on their Professional Placements in the near future.  Photos from Sue’s visit can be seen here.

Doing Diwali

It has now become a tradition for Year 1 Edge Hill University undergraduate students who are studying teaching and RE  to visit Blackbrook St Mary’s Primary School.

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Again this year we were asked to visit and perform the story of Diwali. We had prepared the week before learning our lines and setting up the props that we needed, however I was still very nervous as this was the first time I have ever been involved in any sort of play production. I was playing the brother called Lakshmi and even though I didn’t have any lines I was still an important role within the play. In my opinion I thought the production went very well the children enjoyed themselves and were really interacting with ourselves by booing and cheering the other characters on the stage. The week before this play when we first began rehearsing I knew very little about the story and celebrations of Diwali, however now I am very confident when telling the story and moreover I enjoy talking and telling the story.

The second stage of the morning, we spilt off into our own small groups of two or three and headed into the classroom for the first time. I have to admit that I was looking forward more to this part than the play. I entered a year three classroom where the pupils were brilliantly behaved and really reacted well to the starter and plenary we had previously planned. For the starter we handed around a hat with various questions in it and when they pulled the question out of the hat they would have to try and answer it. The children were then involved in a carousel of art and craft activities linked to the Diwali story.  For the plenary which I created, there were various images that I uploaded, the children had the opportunity to guess if they didn’t know or if they did know to put their hands up and provide me with their answer.

 

Finally after playtime (for the pupils – not us!) we were given a tour of the school by the Headteacher.  She was able to explain some of the philosophy behind the school’s approach to educating their children – including the outside classrooms, lots of play-based learning and phonics.

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I felt that the whole visit: the assembly, classroom exercise and tour went extremely well and gave me confidence that I will be able to carry with me through to my placement next year.

Blog post by Luke Mythen.  You can follow his blog at lukemythenre.wordpress.com

 

FA Primary PE Teachers’ Award

We are proud that the KS2/3 Course was able to pilot this brand new Award for PE teachers from the FA.  Over 40 trainees from a variety of subject specialisms were able to become the first Primary teachers in the North-West to complete this award.  The aim of the course is to enable all primary school teachers to be able to successfully deliver the new PE National Curriculum in Primary Schools.  Most of the students had no prior football or coaching experience, outside of the degree programme and school placements.

 “I had the best time! It was brill and learnt lots at the same time! I feel a lot more confident about teaching Primary PE now, especially with differentiating each activity” – Jenny

The course was delivered  by Chris Brammall, FA Regional PE & Coaching in Education Coordinator (North West) and Chris Welburn, FA Regional PE & Coaching in Education Coordinator (North East) and facilitated by Paul Smalley, Senior Lecturer and FA Coach Mentor.

“It was best teaching day for a foundation subject we have had! To be honest I have always felt confident teaching PE, but I learnt so much today and feel even better.” -Jake

We began with an introduction and theoretical background a classroom, where we thought about the various challenges of Primary PE and started to define physical literacy.  We then moved out onto the 4G Astroturf for practical work in two groups.  We were shown a number of warm-up activities, multi-directional and directional games, some of which were specific to football skill deelopment, but many which developed fundamental movement skills and objectives linking to the Natioanl Curriculum’s invasions games.  We could not have wished for a better day and stayed on the astroturf all afternoon until around 4-ish.

“Absolutely loved today so engaging and very tiring, early night for me! Thanks Paul and the 2 Chris’ s very fab I have some great ideas and it definitely made me want to get back into my sports.” – Lauren

 

 

What is a Religiously educated person?

Primary RE trainees were asked to consider what characteristics a person who is ‘religiously educated’ would have. Would they be spiritual, practising a religion, respectful of others, have intra-personal intelligence or something else? Trainees worked in groups to create a visual metaphor out of plasticine and presented their ideas to the class.  This type of activity could be used with young children as it helps communicate their thoughts in a more personal and creative way – so much more interesting than worksheets, writing and colouring in don’t you think?! 😉

Tree of knowledge

An open mind

Faith

If you go down to the woods today…

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As part of the launch of the PGCE Primary programme, the trainees took part in workshops that gave them a taster of creative ways to teach the foundation subjects. A group of 60 students took part in exploring Sacred Spaces by considering the work of Eliade (1987) and Turkle (2011) where objects become evocative or sacred because of the meaning that people attach to them.

In groups they explored Ruff woods and considered how to make it meaningful and then created a sacred/meaningful space which could be used for reflection, worship, ritual or simply silence. Here are some of the spaces

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Beyond the Worksheet

storytelling buddhism

Part Time primary trainees from Edge Hill recently explored creative learning in the gallery, using the cultures gallery in the World Museum Liverpool. They took part in a Hindu and Buddhist story telling workshop and used the artefacts as a stimulus to create their own interpretations. In groups they re-enacted and the devices that support oral tradition to ‘perform’ their stories on the gallery floor.

New Draft RE Curriculum

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The RE Council have been working this year to produce a new framework document for RE, in the light of the DFE’s production of curricula for other subjects.  Following the publication of the Draft Programmes of Study for RE  interested parties are invited to take part in a final round of consultation – as explained in the RE review consultation letter 7 June 13 which must be competed by 5th July 2013.

There are two ways to respond: