15/03/19

Pupil Chat – 15/03/19

 Those Present for infant and Junior chat: Tricia Opalko, Julia Evans, Dean Bickford, Ed Robinson and Anna Walsh. 

Discussion Topic: The broader curriculum offered at the school
Once the children and governors introduced themselves, Mrs Opalko explained to the children why they were there and that the governors wanted to chat to them. The children were excited to talk to us.

Infant Children (Reception, Year 1 and 2)
Do you like school and why?
7 children said they liked school and 3 do not. Some of the reasons the children liked school were because of their teacher. Others enjoy the afternoon topics and some like it because of playtime! One child who said no, they didn’t like school was because they wished they did more art. Another said they would like school if they could play computer games. Another child said “I like everything else at school except doing my letters”. The governors asked more questions to those who said they didn’t like school and concluded that even though the children said they didn’t like school there was generally just only one aspect they didn’t enjoy.

Tell us about your art lessons.
The children told us they learnt about different artists and that they didn’t have regular weekly lessons but “art week” where art lessons are grouped together, which they all enjoyed. Some of the comments were: “We made shapes and a painting out of shapes” and “We made a milk tower….. inspired by William Morris”.

Tell us about your History and Geography lessons.
The children told the governors that they had been learning about Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale recently – they went on to tell us a bit about these special women. They also said they have been learning about toys through the ages. Year 1 said they had been learning about castles. The children were very animated when talking about History and they all said they enjoyed it.
Some of the children told us that they had been learning about the UK and the countries that made up the UK. They were very keen to tell us what they were. Well done children for getting it right!
The reception children told us that they mainly played in the afternoon. They had many activities on offer such as, playing outside with water and sand or inside with puzzles and toys.

Tell us about your science lessons.
“We learn about different materials” was one comment and another: “We learnt what happened if you put ice in a cup and had a competition to see how fast it would melt”.
Mrs Opalko asked the children if they had been learning about the properties of materials. Some of the older children said yes and when guided, gave some examples.
The children also told us they were learning about animals and what amphibians and mammals are. One child offered “we’ve been learning about mothers and their babies”. The children were keen to give us examples.

The governors were also pleased to hear what the children had learnt about environmental issues. For example, they told us about the importance of picking up litter and that they will be involved in “The Big Tidy Up” on Friday 22nd March. The children said they had learnt in Eco group not to put plastic in the sea. They also said that “We shouldn’t use up too much energy”.

If you could change one thing about school what would it be?
Some children said they were happy and that there was nothing they would change. The following comments are from those who would like to change something:
“I would like to play all day”
“I would change maths and would want to work at my own pace”
“I would like more history lessons”
“I would like a cup of tea at break time”
“I would like to play inside at break time”
“I would like to do more art”
“I would like to take out maths and have break instead”

Junior Children (Years 3, 4, 5 and 6).
Do you like school and why?
All children said yes. Some of the reasons were because they like seeing their friends, and that it would be boring to be at home all the time. They also said they feel it is “a good, safe place to come”. “Lessons are mostly fun” was one comment. The children told us they had been doing Latin and loved it. They told us about a particularly fun lesson where they made balls, with special designs, for a slingshot.

Tell us about your History and Geography lessons.
The children told us they had been learning about Romans and were enjoying it. They had been drawing Roman baths and had been to the Heritage Centre in Maidenhead on a school trip to learn more. In addition, they also talked a little about their work on ancient Greece and what they had learnt about the Persian war.
Some told us they had been learning about Charles Darwin and evolution. The year 6s said they mixed Geography and History with English.
World War 2 was discussed, in particular what they had learnt about the aircraft and battles. They had found it very sad.
The children told the governors about some recent workshops they had been involved in. They had been learning about the Tudors. “We spent the day dressing up as Tudors, making our own amulet, trying out calligraphy and writing on leather”. The children seemed to have really enjoyed this workshop.
Year 4 children told the governors about “knowledge organisers”. The children said that a knowledge organiser was a piece of paper with the key facts, words and explanations on a particular topic. They all said that they found them very useful. Linked to these organisers the children said they do “quiz, quiz, trade” which the governors understood to be a way the children tested each other to ensure they learnt the key facts on a topic. The children all knew the need for quizzing in order to remember the information. They also said they enjoyed “Who wants to be a millionaire” gameshow format to test knowledge.
The governors were pleased to hear the general comment “We do a lot of different subjects at school”.
The children then went on to talk about what they had learnt specifically in geography. Some of the comments from the children were: “We have been learning about Mount Everest and we are shocked about the amount of rubbish there”, “We have also been learning about coastlines”. “We have also been learning about the impacts of tourists, both good and bad, on Madagascar”, “We had to do research and then a project on an African country”. They also told us that they looked at maps of the world and had to place the countries on it.
Once again, the governors were pleased to hear the junior children were also knowledgeable on environmental issues. They told the governors that they had been updating the eco code in Eco group. Some of the children, who are Eco reps, went on to tell us the various things they had been learning and doing in Eco group.
The children as a class had also written to Michael Gove about the problem of plastic in the sea and the Eco reps had also written postcards to Theresa May on the same subject. All were hoping to get a response!

If you could change one thing about school what would it be?
10 out of 12 children said they wouldn’t change anything. Those who did said “I would prefer 2 lessons instead of 1 in the afternoon” and “I would prefer to do more CGP comprehensions instead of Maths”.
It is evident from both the infant and junior comments, the children were very honest and articulate. The governors were pleased to see that from this feedback, the children had a broad and balanced curriculum that they all seemed to really enjoy.

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