Although it has been a while since I last engaged with my ePortfolio, I have come back to it to write a new post that focuses on my own learning experiences at school. I believe that in order for successful learning to take place, the teaching must be fun and engaging. If this is achieved then knowledge is much more likely to be retained and these experiences will be memorable for children, even years after.
One of my most memorable experiences from school comes from Primary 5. The topic of Wallace and Bruce is one that is taught across Scotland and has been done for many years, therefore it is very easy for this to become rather boring by simply recycling teaching resources and materials. However, when the time came for my class to tackle this project, my teacher ensured that things were going to be done differently. It is hard to make a topic relevant to children when it happened roughly 700 years ago but my teacher made sure that we could relate to it. The plan was to work through the project, attaining the knowledge of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and pulling in a variety of curricular areas to help us do so as we went, and towards the end we would put on a play for the whole school that would showcase our knowledge and give them an insight into the events of Scotland in those days. Putting on a show was a great way of making this project memorable as well as helping us to summarise what we had learnt over the course of the topic. However, the big hook came in the context of the play. This was not simply going to be a standard Wallace and Bruce play that told the story of these two Scots. The play was to be set in the context of ‘Doctor Who’, whereby the Doctor and his sidekick would travel back in time and meet with William Wallace and Robert the Bruce at famous points of Scottish history, for example The Battle of Stirling Bridge. Given that ‘Doctor Who’ was very popular at this time, this context acted as a great vehicle for ensuring that Wallace and Bruce were more relevant than ever to a class at that time.
Due to the fact that we were tying in a TV show that I loved into our learning, this experience has always stood out for me and is one that I will always remember. The class teacher successfully ensured that a historical topic was culturally relevant to a group of young children and did so in a way that allowed them to use their imagination, creativity and enthusiasm. We received excellent feedback from other classes, teachers and parents which showed that our hard work throughout the course of the topic paid off and filled everyone in the class with pride. It is because of all of this that I still remember this learning experience from school…also because my mum has the whole thing on tape and insists on watching it regularly!