Themed Weeks

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Journey by Aaron Becker

Summer 2017…what a summer! We completed our second fully immersive exhibition, ‘Journey’. Months of planning and preparation, weeks of hard work and dedication resulted in a phenomenal exhibit. Families, friends and colleagues visited from miles around. Below are a few snippets, starting with an Educate Magazine publication, of our fantastic ‘Journey’.

A journey into adventure for Rudston

Pupils from Rudston Primary School along with their families and community came together to produce an exhibition based on the book ‘Journey’ by Aaron Becker.

Headteacher, Miss Wendy Walters, said: “The exhibition was an immersive set that exhibited every child’s piece of writing and artwork in a multi sensory way which included music the children had written in response to each page.

“It was a journey through a child’s bedroom, woodland glen, waterfall, castles, a hot air balloon ride, a cage, magic carpet ride ending back through the door to the street that the character lived in.

“Each year group took a different aspect of the book to study in depth and to represent in the exhibition, through their English focus work, visits, visitors and experiences.

“The children have had fun, thought hard, collaborated and produced work for this exhibition.”

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Leon and the Place Between

Summer 2016 saw a fantastic immersive exhibition…all of Rudston’s family worked hard to transform the school in to a magical place: The Place Between. Below is some of the media created and gathered throughout the project.

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Poetry Competition Video

Family Portraits
Family Portraits

Exploring the Place Between with our buddies
Exploring the Place Between with our buddies

Green Screen
Using a green screen, we became part of the adventure ourselves!
Leon Green Screen

Prezi
Children from Y2 – Y4 completed a Prezi presentation to explain what they think could be found in the Place Between



Here are some pictures, and a video, of our learners presenting! (Or should I say Prezenting?) HOVER OVER THE PICTURES TO REVEAL NAVIGATIONAL ARROWS
Leon Prezi Presentations

Immersive Learning Suite
Every class has had a chance to jump into the Place Between themselves – via our Immersive Learning Suite. Following themes of the book, we’ve explored: circus skills; shadow puppetry; movement to music and looked at strange musical machines, developing our oracy skills and creative expression at the same time.
Leon ILS

Behind the Scenes: Preparing the Artwork
Leon Artwork

Last year, Rudston Primary School achieved the Gold Reading Quality award and results in reading rose across the school. In order to sustain the improvements in reading and to improve outcomes in writing across the school, we endeavoured to work together to create an inspiring whole school shared focus.

The main whole school focus was a shared collaborative English project based on the text of “Leon and the Place Between” (a beautifully illustrated text which was accessible for children from Nursery to Year 6) which culminated in an immersive exhibition to share every child’s writing and art work.

“This is magic that the children will remember for the rest of their lives.” (Halton teacher)

Adopting an Everybody writes approach we audited our current writing provision, evaluated our learning environments through learning walks with colleagues from other schools and agreed on an action plan. We wanted our children and staff to be excited to write and work with a range of partners to investigate and share best practice.

“It was really enchanted. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought – I did that” (Y3 child)

Our children visited the Readers organisation Story Barn in Calderstones, worked with Hope University English Tutor Katharine O’Neill on Readers Theatre and slow writing, artist Gill Taylor and Hope Trainees to create responses to the text through mixed media and materials, sculptor Faith Bebbington to create four life size Leon sculptures, explored magical science with Eileen science specialist and had a go at a Solo circus skills workshops with Mr Do, worked with set designers and actors from Travelled Companions to explore set design, music, movement and add drama to Leon and the place between.

“Katharine helped us produce the best writing possible and have fun.” (Y6)

Our staff worked with all the professionals named above and visited a range of other schools throughout Liverpool, Knowsley, Halton and Cheshire to look at good practice in English. We visited and drew on the experience of Helsby Hillside in particular to inspire our response as a staff team. The staff team also undertook training in Writing, Reading and SPAG.

“This is the most proud I have ever been of my writing” (Y6 boy)

We undertook these steps in order to work together to improve the writing processes and enjoyment for all our children and families. This culminated in our whole school multi-sensory experience to share the written and creative work of the children, families and staff in response to Leon and the Place Between.

We engaged a core group of staff, taking into account the specific strong skill sets of our team – writing, artistic and creative, music, design, display and set building. All of our school team supported the project with great enthusiasm and commitment to make it the best it could be for our children and families.

“I learnt to believe you can do anything. My parents learnt that magic is real, fun and mind blowing.” (Y4 pupil)

Each year group took a different aspect of the book to study in depth and to represent in the exhibition, through their English focus work, visits, visitors and experiences. Information booklets reinforced home learning for writing and invited family responses to include in our exhibition.

“Just completely wonderful!! So many fabulous ideas. A true love and enthusiasm of reading” (Story Barn staff)

Our core team designed, built, created a space and music into which all the staff incorporated every child’s writing and creative work to create a magical space.

“You walk in as an adult and you lost yourself in the magic maze. Then you leave some tears and transform in a brand new child heart” (Parent)

Children, parents and staff were able to engage creatively with a range of experiences that this project provided in order to produce a multi-sensory experience for the school and local community to enjoy. On the 2 evenings of the exhibition the excitement was palpable, Mr Do entertained the waiting families by clowning around, whilst stilt walking, travelled companions worked with children from Year 5 to welcome people into the exhibition and performing in the musical section, one of our ex pupils came to perform card magic tricks inside the magic potions section, one of our Dads provided Candy Floss and our staff worked hard to keep the refreshments flowing.

A poetry competition was held across the school and the winners were invited to perform their poems in front of the green screen. The finished piece was shared on the interactive whiteboard at the exhibition. A range of poetry styles from acrostics to haiku to diamanté were amongst the winners. The winners all showed an aptitude for performance poetry!

“Talk about ‘awe and wonder’! We were absolutely speechless at the quality of the children’s writing and artwork!”(Hope University)

All our children in school visited with their Buddies, from nursery to year 6 they visited together and shared their work with each other raising self-esteem and pride in their own writing and creative responses.

“An incredible, breath taking experience – what an amazing school community!” (Cheshire school)

Across the education community we had visitors from the School Improvement Team, Hope University, Story Barn, teachers from schools in Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley and Helsby Hillside. Our feeder nurseries, secondary school partners and local schools were invited to visit the exhibition to share the quality of work achieved by the children. Our neighbours and local Councillors came to visit and celebrate our children’s talents.

“I thought it was very exciting and magical. I’m proud of everything and my mum was proud of my work and I was really happy that she was proud of my work” (Y4)

It provided opportunities for children to take part in magical learning experiences and to apply their reading and writing skills in a creative context, reinforcing the areas of the national curriculum across reading and writing.

“It enabled us all to work collaboratively to share creative ideas. It excited the children to read stories and have their own story ideas.” (Staff member)

The shared focus on teaching and learning in writing, working with and learning from others has impacted on the daily learning and practice in class. Each classroom has a ‘Spelling Stop’ to support SPAG and writing at the age appropriate levels and encourage children to have fun whilst trying to extend their skills and learning.

Writing opportunities have been planned, prepared and engaged the whole school in different fun experiences including The Nest a science and writing project, which we also shared with Sudley Junior school to improve writing and encourage learning in the outdoors.

Opportunities to work with artists, set designers, theatre actors, University Tutors and trainees, colleagues from a range of schools across the region have raised the outcomes and passionate enjoyment of writing across the school.

“What a great example of the whole school working together on a magical and creative way to inspire writing. Well done.”(Neighbour)

“I am proud of my Leon home work because it is great, I did a lot of Leon writing and my Dad helped me.” (Year 5 child)

When asked what they were most proud of a lot of children replied that they were most proud of their work done at home with their families, which is an impact of involving families in the learning.

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