And it turns out that Primary 1-3 have loads of words they associate with Christmas and the festive season.
First day back and one of my remits is to do a bit of “diary-style” writing with the wee ones. What better way to start than a big chat about the Christmas holidays and all the wonderful presents they received and the time they spent with family and friends…
Being a kind sort of chap I gave them a wee word wall prompt, nothing fancy nor indeed particularly comprehensive but just a nudge to help them spell some of those trickier words when it came to writing. Of course I had greatly underestimated the levels of PFFS (Post Festive Fatigue Syndrome) in the little ones and writing was pretty much the last thing they wanted to do.
So we chatted. A lot. We made up sentences using one or more words from the word wall…
…and of course we had much talk of presents and Santa; favourite sentence for me though was “The best bit of Christmas was when we had my favourite turkey dinner” Bingo!
This led us onto thinking of some more words the children had in mind when Christmas was mentioned. Into shoulder partners we went and came up with another 21 words and phrases they associated with the great mid-winter festival.
Check out that entry in the top left hand corner. Go on, put that in a sentence!
The framework provides flexibility to organise, schedule and deliver theexperiences and outcomes in ways that meet the needs of all learners, but also provides reassurance about consistency where necessary.
I appreciate that planning for progression (and just to be organised!) in teaching in essential but I’m also well aware that without context, learning can often be - or certainly appear to the pupils - meaningless.
Last week, for example, it was the Hindu Festival of Diwali. Had one’s planning for RME and/or PSD not taken account of this and one was, for example, studying aspects of Christianity instead it would seem to me to be only sensible to “ditch” the plan for the week/day/lesson and do something - anything - on Diwali instead; from a look at the beautiful Rangoli patterns seen widely in Hindi households at this time of year to a session with the excellent Rama and Sita story from the BBC.
What one certainly wouldn’t do would be to say “we’re not doing Other World Religions until after Christmas.” I wouldn’t at any rate. I’d also not be using phrases like “we’re running out of time this term now and that’s still not done yet so I don’t think we should be spending time on stuff that’s not in the plan.”