At Preston and Wingham Primary school federation we promote, celebrate and nurture children’s abilities to make choices with their learning. We understand that children have strengths in many different areas and these are encouraged and explored. This belief continues into our assessment of foundation subjects. Each unit of work begins with a question and it is this that forms the basis of the learning and enquiry throughout the unit. Questions encourage curiosity and discussions and allow children to demonstrate their understanding not simply just by formal recording. At the end of the unit the children have a FLOURISH day where they are in charge of choosing a way of answering the unit question.
The important stages of FLOURISH
Planning Time: It is vitally important that the children have planning time. The length of this varies according to year group. The planning time is also outside of the FLOURISH day itself. Planning time allows the children to discuss with peers and think about how they can demonstrate all the different skills and knowledge they have gained within each subject studied. The planning day also allows for teachers to prepare resources requested by the children.
Make, Invent or Create: The children have a whole day to work on their ideas and produce their creation. The children work independently it is amazing to see their resilience, concentration and engagement throughout the day.
Adult Input: The role of the teacher and the TA is vitally important to the process. As the children work on their creation adults further explore the children’s learning by using questioning linked to BLOOMS. The questions allow the teacher to assess the level the children are working at (remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating, creating) and to deepen their thinking further.
Evaluating the plan: The children often throughout the day reevaluate their creation and work to improve it from their original plan.
Celebration: Everyone’s creation is celebrated and displayed for others to see.
The children really do come up with some fabulous creations that clearly demonstrate their knowledge and skills within a range of subjects they have studied. These include board games, travel guides, models of Egyptian pyramids, paintings and drawings, books, working models, raps and songs, pieces of music, computer program and many more. It is simply amazing the imagination of a child. Below is an example of a finished piece. The question was ‘How would I protect my family?’ Within the unit the children learnt about WW2 and the child decided to make a suitcase. The suitcase belonged to the father who went to war and inside were a number of items.