PCGE Grand Day Out
14th November 2018
PGCE Primary and School Direct PGCE Primary students recently went on ‘a grand day out’, as part of their core strength modules, to encourage them to consider the value of learning outside the classroom.
Students on the core strength English module visited Pittville Park, a fantastic site close to the Francis Close Hall campus. Lecturers were keen to promote the fantastic, free learning potential of local parks, particularly in these times of financial challenge for many schools and many families, which can lead to a reduction in the number of opportunities for learning outside the classroom. A team of primary English lecturers led students in a carousel of activities that developed a range of reading, spoken language and writing skills and that could be adapted for different age ranges and contexts. Activities included writing a recipe for creating a park, using a variety of non-fiction texts and a range of reading skills to identify trees, responding to a letter which outlined plans (fictional, of course!) to build new homes on the site of the park, and creating a collaborative poem, based on the picture book ‘Not A Stick’. They even had a visit from ‘Percy the park keeper’, who shared one of the stories that Nick Butterworth has written about Percy’s adventures. The students had a packed morning and engaged really well with the varied opportunities on offer.
The National Waterways Museum in Gloucester Docks was the venue for students on the core strength maths module. ‘Maths is all around us’ was the theme and the students began by following a Maths Trail around the historic docks. This used maths-related puzzles and problems to draw attention to interesting features of the Docks, showing how children on a visit can be immersed in numbers, measures and mathematical thinking in any context. This was followed by a visit to the National Waterways Museum where students were involved in creating their own maths trail ideas. Helen Evans, Education Co-ordinator for the Canal and Rivers Trust, explained the range of school activities available at the museum and the support for maths learning offered in their workshops. The students enjoyed visiting and were intrigued to see how many purposeful and interesting links to maths can be made, even in a setting which might at first seem unrelated.
Students on the core strength science modules, from both the PGCE and the BEd, visited We The Curious in Bristol. This marvellous place provides great hands-on science learning opportunities and the students wasted no time in getting stuck in creating enormous bubbles, reflecting sound in giant concave discs and mixing light to create multi-colour shadows. A talk from Kathy Fawcett, head of Learning at WTC, gave students a good insight into the range of activities and support for science learning that the centre offers. Finally, the morning was rounded off with a 3D exploration of the Solar System in the Planetarium. All in all, a very stimulating and exciting trip.