HeadLines, Friday 15 May
The week has ended with a tremendous Focus Day in the Prep School. Year 3 experienced a Japanese shrine as part of their Religious Studies focus, and were seen out in the woodland understanding spiritual awareness in its many forms. While Year 5’s visit to Cuckmere Haven will provide the opportunity for pupils to see the wonder and force of nature as the erosion of the cliffs are 30 metres closer than they originally were. Year 6’s Animation Day sees pupils think about every angle of film creation from the story board of Macbeth scenes to 3D sequencing.
Hands-on learning, also known as ‘experiential learning’, is the biology lab that teaches a future scientist to be comfortable with dissection; the green goblins experience that helps a future mechanic understand the nuances of speed and aerodynamics with not just their eyes and ears but also with actual hands-on training. It gives our pupils the opportunity to self-correct any educational missteps in the moment – with professional guidance at arm’s reach. While notes can be copied down incorrectly and the thread of learning can get buried under a teacher that talks too quickly or a poorly-written textbook, live examples of core concepts are registered in the brain as holistic experiences, giving the pupil’s mind more “anchors” to tie the memory to.
The sound two materials make when they’re joined together, the scent of the art room, the vivid colour of a particular plant leaf – these all become easy-access sensory “bookmarks” for bringing the memory to the surface when it needs to be reviewed. Pupils simply learn better when they’re allowed to roll up their sleeves and experience the subject matter in a simulation, rather than being distanced from it by a third-hand narrative experience or a dry passage of text. The PrePrep pupils are already immersed in this experience, just this week they have visited the woodland, developing innovative IT skills while looking at life cycles and planting flowers.
Next week sees the start of Orchestral week, with as much focus on music appreciation as music creation and workshops. We look forward to our Lower & Middle School Concert on Wednesday at 5pm. Next Friday we are immersed in French, and invite you to dress in red, white and blue (avoiding football kits please).
We hope that the weather holds out for ‘Walk to School Week’ next week!
Emma Neville. Head