Today I started my second placement of my first year as part of my 4 year BEd primary teaching degree. I guess it is all getting a lot more serious now, this is a 5 week placement in which I'm in different surroundings, environment and facilities. However, from the minute I walked in I knew something was different about this school, it was calm, relaxed, friendly and certainly welcoming. It had been a long journey from Plymouth, google maps appeared to lie to us, either that or we took the wrong turning (neither my driving partner or myself as the 'co-driver' would admit this) but either way we found ourselves surrounded by fields, dodging tractors and kindly forcing other vehicles to back up as we hit up the incredibly tiny paths of the Devon countryside. We finally found our school, tucked away in a sleepy little village containing a church, pub and a incredibly small village shop which looked like it had been invaded before a severe storm with only little in the way of produce (6 coke cans and a bottle of soy sauce). It may only have been my first day with a mere 8 hours in the school however I strongly believe that we have found an absolute gem of a school, especially in such an unusual and hidden away location.
My first attraction to the school was just how friendly the staff were, I thought the staff were friendly in the school for my last placement but these members of staff really made the school something to be proud of. You can tell just how proud the staff are of the school too, they want to share their experiences, passion and knowledge with you and as a trainee teacher this is just what me and my teaching partner require. Teachers and schools can have knowledge, good facilities, good techniques but I feel I really learn something when the staff are completely passionate about the children and their learning environments. I could tell that the children felt this way too, they want to learn and are excited about learning, they feel they are apart of a growing and supportive community too of which I have been lucky enough to be welcomed in to.
I have always shown a strong interest in multi-sensory learning and learning outside the classroom which is something that this school is incorporating heavily. As a child I attended a quite different school to others as it focused on teaching in a variety of ways, particularly using the environment and the senses. I have never heard or seen of another school like mine so I am so excited to be seeing this incorporated into another school and to see the techniques that they use to aid learning through outdoor learning experiences.
This is the first time that I've worked with a mixture of foundation stage and year one's. It is a great opportunity and I have already learnt so much in a day. A lot of my experience prior to this placement has been with older years and KS2 so I have a lot of getting used to. Today I tried my hand at a little craft making, also setting up a controlled science investigation with the growth of sunflowers as well as some drama role play on keeping safe. I have never seen a day full of so many different activities and topics, it was fabulous. I can't wait for the next 5 weeks, they will be an eye-opener and a challenge but I am so looking forward to becoming more involved in the school and the class.
I'll share some more experiences and they arise.