Most schools close down during the summer holidays so that staff and learners can recharge their batteries, while essential maintenance and deep cleaning work can take place.
However, there are some secondary schools that open up their doors in order to create opportunities to ease the Year 6/7 Transition process. This year, Evolve continued to grow their XLR8 programme with over 1000 learners attending 25 Transition Camps across the UK.
In addition, one primary school in Tipton utilised some of the ideas within the XLR8 ‘My Land, My Tribe’ programme to target some of their Year 5 Learners.
We were pleased to be invited to support the numeracy element of the camp organised by Summerhill Primary School.
The school had purchased our Tagtiv8 Number package earlier in the term and we jumped at the chance to support their staff by developing suitable activities.
It was great to keep track of developments via the Tweets coming from the XLR8 Twitter feed.
Since then, we were able to talk to Ash Burd, who organised and led the Summerhill Camp.
“The Tagtiv8 games created were really suitable for our Year 5 children. We started with a warm up, whereby we scattered the number tags on the ground and gave the children instructions regarding different ways to travel. On the signal, ‘Grab a Tag!’ the children had to ask their partner a series of questions in order to identify the number. The children learned about open/close questions, as they were encouraged to answer “Yes” or “No” to questions that promoted key vocabulary, e.g. odd even, multiple etc. If the children correctly identified the number, they stuck it on their belt and wore it as a badge of honour.”
“Another effective warm up involved the Speed Bounce Challenge, which allowed children to develop their grasp of multiples. This activity allowed for differentiation, with some children using whiteboards in front of them to help consolidate their understanding.”
“Each of the one hour sessions had 2 main elements: the physical challenge and the mental challenge. Every session had a physical activity, which was always followed by a range of mental tasks. One of the first mental challenges we gave the children was to create the biggest number chain/sentence with smallest/largest total.”
According to Ash, the children were quick to grasp the rules. One child commented, “We had to think who was getting what tags so that we could get the longest number sentence.” Another realised, “The faster we ran, the more tags we had to make the number challenge.”
One member of staff recognised the importance of teamwork, “They’ve realised they need to work as a team to collect a range of tags.” Meanwhile, the children were able to recognise their own talents, thus raising their self-confidence: “Even though I was not the fastest runner, I created the highest number for our team.”
Ash recognised the versatility of the resources: “Another series of physical challenges involved relay races with different balls, not just rugby balls. The tags were laid out behind the teams and children had to travel in different ways, developing their hand/eye co-ordination as they picked up the tags en route and sticking them onto their belts.”
“The end cages of the MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) were ideal places to fasten the velcro Score Zones and children were keen to display their findings, or as they termed it, ‘Hanging out our washing’.”
“The children were keen to link their scores and results to their Class Dojo points system, thus fuelling their competitive edge.”
“As the children started to get to grips with the different activities, it was clear that they became more aware of tactics, for example going for red/yellow/blue tags as appropriate.”
“The tactics then took on an entrepreneurial twist with some children asking, “Can we swap tags?” Thus began a ‘Two for One’ swap scenario. Initially, the children didn’t want to take the risk of swapping, noticeably when the tags were hidden, especially so with the blue operation tags.”
We were really intrigued to hear that the element of risk and ‘gaming’ came into play for our Tagtiv8 games, something that we hope to discuss with Zondle, who have great experience of this in the own Team Play Games.
Ash was quick to highlight that the competitive nature of most children meant that they were keen to become actively involved: “Without knowing it, they pushed their team mates, while some of the more reluctant mathematicians showed much greater enthusiasm than normal.”
Another member of staff commented, “The children are being active and developing their maths without even realising it.”
According to Ash, the next stage is to introduce the games to the schools ataff and embed them across school. This will start with a CPD session with staff so that they can see the potential for making cross-curricular links between PE and core subjects.
We are extremely grateful to Ash for his time in giving feedback to the activities and look forward to hearing how Tagtiv8 games are incorporated across Summerhill Primary School.
If you would like to find out more, please contact us or email firstname.lastname@example.org for views on his Tagtiv8 experiences.