Governor Visit to Early Years
I had a wonderful day...
On Friday 25th of November, I visited the reception classes at The Flying Bull Academy. I was there not just as a governor, but as a teacher trainee to see what education looks like in the early years, before the beginning of KS1.
When I first sat down, it was lovely to see so many faces look up (although many confused) at this strange man sitting in their classroom. Very quickly, it was obvious what early years looked like at the school; where many provisions will use a very unstructured approach, Flying Bull included a lot of structured time in the morning, something that the children obviously appreciated and took ownership of. When I worked with small groups (and asked them many annoying extension questions), they always responded, and took care with their responses. There was a clear pride that the children shared about their work and their class. I was also taken aback with the way that children helped each other out, not just in terms of sharing or working together, but letting me know other children's names if I didn't know them, or translating for other children if they had problems with speech or meaning.
The classroom layout was also extremely exciting (inside and out!), not least because there was a space station in the middle of it (with compulsory space-suit). There were so many activities that the children could take part in, and very clear learning intentions from the teachers. The afternoon contained 'discovery time', which involved much of the independent learning through play, and it was incredibly exciting to see what the children created, shared, discussed, described, and perhaps most obviously, explored. Although there was the standard amount of chaos expected from teaching a large group of 4 year olds, it still made me question why this type of learning is deemed inappropriate after reception.
I had a wonderful day, and would like to thank all the staff and children for making me feel welcome!