As Head of Pre-Prep I am fortunate to have opportunities each term to visit all the different classrooms and watch lessons / activities being delivered or facilitated. I literally get to be a ‘fly on the wall’ as I sit and watch all that is happening which is a real treat.When teaching the mind is focussed on the objectives of the lesson and ensuring the children are engaged and productive in their learning, whereas when one is able to be in the ‘audience’ a new perspective is gained.
Last week I observed a Reception maths lesson which turned out to be the highlight of my week.I was so impressed with how ‘at home’ the children were after only 3 weeks into term and how much they already knew!The focus of the lesson was ‘repeating patterns’ and the children were eager to share their previous learning and take it even further by engaging in the many activities on offer both inside and outside the classroom.The ‘edible’ repeating pattern activity involving strawberry laces and Cheerio’s was certainly a favourite!
I spent time watching the class teacher lead the main part of the lesson and was in awe of how she had grasped the attention of every child; they were literally ‘in the palm of her hand’ and some have not long turned 4 years of age!Her ability to make the learning relevant to the children’s experiences and interests was obviously borne out of experience and the same experience was reflected in the very calm, relaxed and secure environment she has created.
I watched the children as they eagerly set about choosing the activities they wanted to try whilst grasping their very own ‘learning sticks’ and was impressed with how they all remained focussed and on-task.It is not unusual at this stage in Reception to find the child who has become distracted along the way as he or she has given into the allure of the dinosaurs they have walked past, but credit must be given to the staff for ensuring the activities on offer were pitched so perfectly that they wanted to get ‘stuck-in’ straightaway.
I spent time with a few of the children asking them what they were doing and could not have been more proud when they confidently told me about the ‘repeating patterns’ they were making.I saw children problem-solve, share their learning with each other, ‘light up’ as they realised their achievements and be independent in how they approached tasks that did not have an adult working directly alongside them.
Reception (staff and children) have definitely made a ‘flying start’ to the new school year and should be really proud of all they are achieving!