(By George and Beth)
We were warmly welcomed back to the Catch Up School this morning and we quickly got settled into the nursery classes for the first hour. In our class, Ryan told the story of Dear Zoo, once through on his own and once with the children joining in and making animal noises and actions. There were lots of scary lions and cheeky monkeys! This was followed by colouring in finger puppets of the different animals and making face masks before reading it for a final time. The children’s faces lit up with excitement as they looked around at their classmates who had turned into zoo animals!
At break time, the playground turned into a hair salon as the children plaited Beth’s and Katie’s hair. I think they liked seeing blonde hair. Quickly we were all surrounded by children who wanted to hug us, high five us, and hold our hands. At this point we wished we had more than two hands! Beth and Ryan found it so lovely to hear the children sing “Elephant, Elephant get on the bus” like the children in Uganda did!
P3 Maths Lesson – Led by George
We began by asking the children to count to 20 in English as a group, which they aced. We quickly moved onto more advanced equations which we had prewritten on the chalkboard. We read the equation out and asked for volunteers to answer. The children were more than eager to get involved and it was surprising to watch them use space on the board to work out the answer, rather than already knowing the solution before volunteering to answer. Two members of the teaching team had already answered a question incorrectly, which seemed to fill the children with confidence as they realised that its okay to offer an incorrect answer, as long as they are engaging. Which would be uncommon in UK classrooms. We finished the lesson with a game of Number Splat. We had randomly positioned posters around the room showing the numbers 0 – 20. We then started with two students who were asked to answer an equation and the first to touch the correct answer won – winner stays on. A couple of the students had a strong winning streak. They were more mathematically advanced than were expecting so we found ourselves quickly running out of equations to ask them, given that the answer always had to remain under 20.
P6 Science Lesson – led by Paige
We had already prepared 3 life size human puzzles which were randomly positioned around the room. The class was split into three teams; red, white and blue. There was a race to complete the puzzle, which was won by the red team. We then talked through various body parts and asked the children to point at the part of the body that we called out.
This was followed by learning about the pulse. We handed out some worksheets which had a table of activities as well as a column for a pulse reading. We first talked through what the pulse is, how to record it and why it might increase. As a group, we all measured out resting pulse, then measured whilst sitting down, standing, jumping, star jumps, jogging on the spot and sprinting with our knees up to our chest. The children were fascinated at the changing pulse and seemed surprised that it increased when they worked their muscles. We then finished the lesson with a team building exercise which entailed 3 teams building a structure out of newspaper and cello tape. After 8 minutes of building, the structures were measured and the team with the tallest structure wins! It was good to see the children working as a team and using English to communicate to they could show us their ideas of improving the structure.
P2 and P5 Science/PE lesson – led by Beth
In both our classes we began with the question “what makes a good sports person?” Ideas were shared and then the children drew a chosen sports person in their books, including the likes of Messi and Ronaldo. This was followed by learning the different body parts and internal organs for the higher class which we were impressed by the fact that they already knew where exactly the organs were in the body and why they are important. In our morning session with P2, they taught us their way of singing “head, shoulders, knees and toes” and we taught them our way. Next, in small groups the children drew around a classmate and created a life size body map. The higher class particularly spent lots of time adding detail. The second half of the lessons were filled with fun sporting activities including, ball and spoon races, skipping, jumping and twister. It was clear that twister was a new game to them but they were keen to get involved. It was nice to see one boy in particular called Daniel use his energy positively after struggling yesterday with the sitting down lessons. Helen then introduced P5 to their pulse and they had fun counting their pulse rates and writing down their different results after each sporting activity.
Martyn was busy adjusting the guttering so that the water would flow in the right direction, fixing furniture in the headmaster’s office and mending chair after chair! It’s clear that the school are making use of their very own Bob the Builder!
We finished teaching and the children wanted reassurance that we would be back tomorrow, it’s a shame that after tomorrow our answer will be no. All in all, it was a great day with lots of laughter and we stopped off at our second home (the ice cream parlour) as we enjoyed it so much yesterday!
PS no photos on this blog – having a techno-blip! Will post some as a separate blog soon