“Just get them outside – get them giggling and laughing…” Not the usual request we get from head teachers for a Tagtiv8 CPD Training Day. But hey, Chris Dyson is not your usual head teacher. Neither is his school – Parklands Primary School in Leeds. The presentation slides were put to one side and we took the training beyond the hall walls. Cue a great afternoon – with teachers and TAs realising how easy it can be to make learning more active.
The school decided there and then to invest in their own sets of Tagtiv8 resources for Mathematics and English. That evening, Chris sent an email with a unique offer:
“Bryn – you have been outstanding. Great feedback from the staff and lots of smiles and giggles – let’s chat about getting you in on a weekly basis. It will get the kids fit and active in the warmth of the September sun. I know the staff would like this.”
Historically, Tagtiv8 work and play with schools across the UK. Driving from our HQ in Yorkshire, we support schools as far away as London and Kent, Worcestershire, Teesside and Cumbria – occasionally trekking to Scotland and mainland Europe. Lockdown hit us hard, with many schools reluctant to let external visitors into their bubbles. Chris’ offer was typical of his generosity and kindness. His ability to empathise with indie education companies is well documented – just ask now>press>play, TT Rock Stars, Pobble, ST3AMCo, Grandad Wheels, The Literacy Shed amongst others.
More Than a One Off
When we work with schools, we usually only get to do so for one or two days. However, this was different – a chance to be part of a team, albeit on a temporary basis. When we say team, we could easily use the terms ‘family’ and/or ‘community’. Why? Here are some thoughts I shared with Chris and his colleagues from Week 2:
“The welcome from three children at Breakfast Club – Alissa, Nevaeh and John set the tone for the day. Curious, helpful and polite for sure – great ambassadors for the school. They are not alone – Harrison and Riley need Bigging Up too.
We are massive fans of Mick Waters and his aim to create:
- Successful Learners
- Confident Individuals
- Responsible Citizens
Parklands Primary School has similar aims – and then some. The children are curious, they want to learn and know how to do so. Watching the children in Year 1 help each other was something special indeed. Maybe this is because teamwork and cooperation is continually modelled by the staff.”
“So many reasons to smile during the sessions today – I love the positivity of the staff. The rapport between staff and children jumps out! I wish I had filmed the session with Miss Scruton and the children in 5N – incredible! I was fascinated to listen to the part time teacher who accompanied the Y2 class in the morning – it brought on an emotional wobbly chin moment. As to Claire Oates and her Resource Provision team – WOW! Despite a challenging start to the school year, the camaraderie between all staff can be seen/heard in the staffroom too – it’s infectious, in a good way.”
Embedding Move & Learn Approaches at Parklands
By working with the staff over a longer period of time, we have been able to embed – rather than simply introduce – PAL (Physically Active Learning) approaches. Seeing various tweets from the Year 4 team between our visits proves that they are empowered to take the learning outside. Mrs Tighe and Mr Cunliffe are definitely ‘Move & Learn Champions’!
Multi-visits mean that we can really play with new ideas. Highlights include linking the letter tags to various texts:
- The Iron Man
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
- The Colour Monster
- The Gruffalo
Year 6 have even used the Word programme for their history topic on the Victorians.
As to creativity, how about this unique use of the Velcro belts! Roll them up as commas, full stops and inverted commas…
In terms of Mathematics, EYFS enjoyed mashing the number tags with Numicon. Meanwhile, KS1 children consolidated their knowledge of place value and 2/5/10 times tables. Elsewhere, KS2 children worked on numbers with 4/5/6/7 digits and square numbers, while others learned more about fractions and percentages.
The positivity has continued over this half term. Conversations with parents/carers – on site and online – demonstrate the high esteem they have for the staff. As to the children, it’s said that a picture paints a thousand words. With this in mind, here are a few to capture the spirit of the school…
MASSIVE THANKS to Chris and everyone at Parklands Primary School. This term, the virtual High Fives have been replaced by real Elbow Bumps – with lots of Milton and antiseptic wipes in between.
If you like what you have read and would like to find out more about how Tagtiv8 can support your school, check out this blog post. Then give us a shout. Simply give us a call – 020 3370 4272 – or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.