Parish Magazine article – March edition
Amport CE (Aided) Primary School
Our inspirational curriculum enrichment so far this year
As we look back over a busy and successful first half of the academic year, I am delighted to report that every child in the school has participated in an educational experience outside the classroom. As well as hosting some inspirational workshops, here at Amport, each class has also been given the opportunity to visit either, a museum, historic house or art gallery, providing the children with an invaluable hands-on learning experience.
The programme of events began in November, when Rowan Class (years 5 & 6) tested their survival skills in a Bushcraft workshop. Run by Hampshire-based company, Bitesized Bushcraft, the session saw the children learn a variety of new skills, including; how to light a fire, purify water and build a shelter. Directly linked to their English topic, based on the book, Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver, the children were challenged to imagine what it would be like for the main character, twelve-year old Torak, who has to survive in the wilderness.
Claire Mathias, Deputy Head at Amport commented “This was a really valuable opportunity for the children to immerse themselves in our new English topic and really imagine what it was like to survive in the wilderness. It also provided plenty of inspiration for creative writing back in the classroom.”
Oaks Class (Reception) also had the chance to participate in a Bushcraft Workshop, to enhance their own outdoor learning experience. As well as learning some basic bushcraft skills, the children were particularly excited to sample toasted marshmallows on the campfire.
During the first week back of this term, Willow class (years 3 & 4) enjoyed a visit to Highclere Castle, to support their history topic of ‘Ancient Egyptian civilisation’. The children started off in Egyptian antiquities room, where they were able to see at first hand, artefacts dating back 3,500 years. They were also given the chance to dress up in replica Egyptian costumes and jewellery, handle replica artefacts…and even test their architectural skills by building their own pyramid.
Afterwards, the children were able to explore the castle cellars, home to the Discovery Gallery, which charts the story of Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter as they famously uncovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922. Here, the children were fascinated to see 60 incredible replicas of the treasures found inside the tomb.
Miss Howell, Willow’s class teacher commented; “For the children to be able to see these amazing replicas up close, in such an inspiring setting, really helped to bring the topic alive for them.”
On January 22nd, pupils from Early Years and Key Stage 1, together took part in an action-packed visit to Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. The children arrived just in time to see the end of the famous ‘Changing of the Guard’ ceremony and were later excited to have their photo taken with one of the guards in their sentry box.
Oak class learnt about the history of the castle and its famous resident, through a fun and engaging story-telling session, involving five naughty missing dragons. There was great excitement on their tour of the castle as they were tasked with finding the missing dragons in each of the magnificent state rooms.
Meanwhile, to help support their history topic of Queens of England, Beech Class (years 1 and 2) were invited to travel back in time during an interactive workshop, based on Queen Victoria’s own experience of living at Windsor Castle. As the story unfolded, the children were given the chance to dress up in Victorian costumes and take on the various royal household roles including; servants, cooks, butlers, maids and the chef.
Rory (year 1) said; “The workshop was great fun and it really helped you imagine what it was like for Queen Victoria, living in the castle when she was a young girl.”
Afterwards, the children were able to explore the state rooms used by Queen Victoria herself, including her own bedroom, complete with a magnificent display of ostrich feathers – much to the children’s delight! Year 2, then enjoyed a whistle stop tour of St George’s Chapel, where Megan and Harry were recently married.
Ms Croft, Beech Class teacher said; “The visit was a great success and it gave the children a fascinating insight into royal life, which has really helped them embrace our Queens of England topic this term.”
More recently, Rowan Class (years 5 & 6) visited Southampton City Art Gallery, housing one of the finest collections of art in the south of England. The visit, which supported their recent work on Pop Art and Portraits, began with a self-guided tour of the gallery, with the children learning about the many different types of art on display. Afterwards, they were able to try their hand at creating their own master-pieces in a special clay workshop, run by the gallery’s staff. The end results were some astonishingly life-like self-portrait sculptures, which are now on display in their classroom. The day concluded with a more focused look at a number of individual pieces, in particular, some works of art by Leonardo Da Vinci, led by the gallery teacher.
Amelie, year 6 said “We all really enjoyed the trip to the gallery, especially the clay workshop. The Discovery Session was also very inspiring as it helped you really appreciate different works of art.”
Also this term, Rowan class thoroughly enjoyed an interactive drama workshop to support their current history topic. During the session, which was run by travelling theatre company, “It happened in Hampshire”, the pupils were treated to a thought provoking dramatisation of the changing power of the monarchy.
As all the teachers will testify, children learn best through first-hand experiences such as these and we are delighted to have been able to offer such a varied enrichment programme so far this year. As well as helping to bring topics to life in a fun and inspirational way, such visits also boost self-confidence and independence and encourage the children to broaden their horizons. We look forward to offering many more enrichment opportunities for our pupils in future.