Friday, 29 July 2016

Notes and Doodling Combined

Today's digital immersion focus was sketchnoting - something I have been doing myself without even realising it! Sketchnoting can be utilised for jotting down key ideas when learning something new, planning out new knowledge or revision. To sketchnote, one draws and writes down notes that are important, things we need to remember or continue to think about. I have enjoyed having the opportunity to create some sketchnotes of my own, and my own thought process.

There are two types of sketchnoting, which I will be able to utilise as a learner myself, and within my classrooms; live sketchnoting and summary sketchnoting. Live sketchnoting would be useful when in a lecture, or a presentation when attempting to retain a lot of information. This is sketchnoting in the moment, when something is actually happening, and recording the key ideas or take-aways from the session. Creating sketchnotes in the moment would be useful for students when I have a lot of content to teach, and feel it important their full attention is on me and what I have to say.

Summary sketchnoting would be useful as a reflective process at the end of the lesson. Students could create a sketchnote to summarise the key ideas from a lesson, as well as possible ideas they need to know more about. Thus, a summative sketchnote is also a summative and formative assessment of student learning and whether they have met/understood the learning intentions for the lesson, in order to plan for lessons following.

I believe this tool would be useful in the classroom as a different way to engage with and reflect upon learning. Students are often asked to take notes and then study the main messages of a lecture/presentation/lesson, which can become mundane and repetitive. Incorporating drawings into a sketchnote enables the learner to think about how the ideas can be represented in a different way, or they may simply prefer to draw than write. 

In order to teach how to sketchnote, I would encourage students of the three major components of sketchnoting; text, images and structure. Inclusion of all three ensure for an effective sketchnote for the present and the future. in addition, I would encourage students to draw for themselves, not for others. Their sketchnote may be shared with others, however they do not need to understand it - only the person who created it does. A sketchnote can be very personalised, to make sense to the creator, not constructed with other people in mind. I believe this would ensure true self reflection and engagement with the sketchnote as well as the lesson content. My blackboard sketchnote is my current though process around my dissertation and further study - but that is difficult to see for someone who sees it for the first time.


Thursday, 28 July 2016

Balance, Or Not

The second half of our unit with the Seniors, is biomechanics; getting our heads around the biomechanical principles and then applying them to movements. Today's focus was balance and stability. Balance and stability have three key concepts students need to understand and be able to interrelate; base of support (BOS), centre of gravity (COG) and line of gravity (LOG). 

Put simply, our BOS are the points of contact with the ground, and the area in between. The wider this base of support, the greater balance and stability we have. COG is the centre of the mass of the object, this may be on or outside an object depending on the makeup and placement. The LOG is straight through the COG to the ground. If this hypothetical line falls out of the BOS, this is when something becomes unstable and loses balance. Thus, a widened BOS, ensures a lower COG and the LOG is less likely to fall out of the BOS.

This afternoon 12PE replicated some poses with 2, 3, 4 or 5 people, then were asked to identify where the BOS, COG and LOG were and explain why. If they could not replicate a pose, they needed to identify why they weren't balanced/stable and how to increase their balance and stability. We attempted to create a class pyramid, but unfortunately collapsed as I was trying to capture the moment and the bell had gone! So hopefully we can attempt this in the future, as this clearly demonstrates the balance and stability principle. I'm looking forward to experimenting with more of the principles!

If you are interested to learn more about balance and stability, check out this clip. The YouTube channel RBHS PE with Mr Dalton whom created this video, has created various clips that are useful to describe other components of HPE, if you are an educator like me!

Key:
Yellow - COG
Blue - LOG
Red - BOS

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Attempting to Increase Engagement

Recently I have been reflecting on the arousal levels of students in my SOS class. I have felt collectively the class have been on a low, and in turn have lacked engagement and motivation in class. I concluded, and discussed with Dot, my co-teacher, that I think we may need some more activities that are a little more interactive. Although we value and deem reading and writing as an important component of learning in SOS, sometimes written tasks on Docs and reading tasks can become repetitive and boring, which I think is why there has been a lull in arousal levels in SOS.

On this note, I decided to experiment with Plickers. Plickers is a tool used for real time feedback and data from students, without the students needing a device. I have never used Plickers as a teacher, but I have as a student at uni last year, as well as at the gamification session at the PENZ conference, both times I found engaging. As we are moving into an Olympics unit, today we begun with an intro into the Olympics with the Plickers platform to formatively assess students prior knowledge and understanding of and about the event, and throughout learnt some new content.

Plickers involves students/members of the audience holding up codes, which are unique to them, to answer questions. Questions are displayed on the board with four answers A-D. These questions can be content based with specific answers the teacher wants, or as a way to produce discussion about subjective topics for example. Each code is shaped like a square, and each side of the square either labelled A, B, C or D in small text so others cannot see. In response to questions, students hold up their code with their answer at the top of the page, and then the teacher/facilitator scans the codes using the Plickers app. Results are immediately displayed on the board, producing a graph of student answers. 

I really enjoyed learning how to use a new digital tool, although it was a little stop-starty with the scanning and getting our heads around how the platform works. The students responded well to Plickers, engaging with responses, as well as listening to the content covered between questions. I look forward to experimenting with the tool some more in the future, as I think it is a great way to mix it up a little bit, as well as include student voice. 

Monday, 25 July 2016

Abstract vs Concrete

A couple of times a term, the group of Beginning Teachers who are working towards completing their registration meet. We discuss challenges, goals, our practice and our development holistically. I enjoy these sessions, because we are able to discuss a variety of things happening in our lives inside and outside the classroom, and support one another with any struggles we may be having. Even though many of my friends are BTs, every school is so different, so I like having discussions with colleagues in similar shoes to me.

Today Lyn Groves, our meeting facilitator, posed the question: do you teach and talk in abstract or in concrete? I had no idea what she was asking, but Lyn and the group broke this down to discuss further. The word abstract itself I found difficult to relate to and make sense of, as it is not a term I use often. After discussion, I concluded we were talking about terminology and jargon we use in our classroom that may be perceived in a variety of ways. Terms that are subjective, not easily defined - the example used was fitness. Fitness is an abstract term as it can be defined differently by many, which is exactly why I avoid using this word. However, if I do use this term, I follow it up with a description of what I am referring to - this is the concrete Lyn was alluding to.

We discussed the need to consider the jargon we are using in our classrooms, to ensure the greatest understanding possible our students can have. As we have many English Language Learners, or students who are learning/speaking English as their second language, using as little words that are subjective, or abstract, as possible, may enable students to comprehend more of what we are teaching, rather than possibly switching off when they hear a word they don't understand. If we do use any abstract terms, it is important to then concrete them with explanations and examples, so they are no longer abstract. These concrete terms provide students with word associations they may be able to relate to, which can help with the terminology they need to become familiar with in the classroom. I am going to be more conscious of the words I use both in and out of the classroom, when explaining/teaching, and never assume who I am talking to/with understand all the words I be may using.

The infographic helped me to make sense of the two terms a little more. For a more wordy, yet simple clarification, Ginger Grammar Rules helped me also.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Gaming Has Merits

Many of my friends have talked about the want for gaming to be included in education, or e-sports as some call it. I have never really been sure of what the merits of gaming for education and learning may be, as I do not identify as a 'gamer' myself (however this is difficult to define as there are multiple hats under the overall umbrella of gaming). I have however, always been open to the opportunities and potential affordances gaming may have, hence I went to a session led by Carl Condliffe focused on gamification during the conference last week.

The session didn't give me a considerable amount of 'take-aways' in terms of lessons or activities for my own teaching and planning, but certainly gave me a foundation of interest and knowledge about the learning and thinking involved with gaming. I left the conference feeling more confident about some of the aspects behind games, which may be able to be manipulated to be included in the classroom, such as leaderboards for attendance, creating narratives about students and levels to achieve both short term and long term.
Developing a world simultaneously 

Before this year, one of my part time jobs was as a nanny, and I still catch up with the kids I looked after from time to time. I looked after them today, having a chill morning doing our own thing and then a movie afternoon. One of the boys immediately starting playing Minecraft on his Xbox (7yo), entering worlds already created and venturing around, and I left him be. However half an hour later his brother (10yo) arrived home and I decided to see what would happen if he decided to join him - I was so impressed with the next half an hour as it unfolded.
Use of his iPad to research how to do new things, while still playing

The eldest came and sat down, and the youngest asked if he would like to play with him, which he did. They then split the screen so there could be two players, and they built and developed new worlds together, I was blown away. The discussion and collaboration involved throughout the demolition, planning and construction of their world was so impressive. They worked together well, supported one another and provided feedback to one another (positive and constructive. The boys were having fun and learning, a lot. There was mathematics involved, architecture, reading text and maps to find things and one another, research about the game, inquiry into how to improve/challenge themselves, and content development as they were told the uses and benefits of various material types such as iron. Everything the boys did throughout the game, is everything we hope our students develop in our classrooms, yet here they were in the school holidays gaming, by choice, doing just that!

Although I have not doubted the potential learning possibilities of gaming, or e-sports, this morning I saw many in action, in a mere half hour snippet of one game. I am interested to persevere this interest further, because I know many of my students are keen gamers. Unfortunately I don't think I will realistically have time to complete some more research and reading of gamification or a browse of Carl's site this term, but I would love to in the near future in hope to include some gamification in my classes next year.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Conference 2017 - Bring It On!

Our final keynote this morning was a follow on from the panel discussion on Monday, about obesity in schools, presented by the admirable Lisette Burrows. Lisette is a Professor at The University of Otago, and has been researching and teaching in the field of Health and PE for a number of years. I remember reading her work throughout my undergrad, so I felt so blessed to be in her presence! Unsurprisingly, her presentation was marvellous and she came across as a modest, humble, lovely lady. She was insightful, and really challenged us to think about obesity and whether we need to include it in our classrooms. 

I left thinking about the ongoing discussions around the obesity epidemic, and the lack of discussions and fear in regard to anorexia and bulimia. These eating disorders are often forgotten about, as I think many are more concerned with the forever-growing fat population and the impact obesity has on our bodies, than the impact order eating disorders may have generally, and big bodies are easier to see than bodies which may be suffering with anorexia or bulimia. Lisette briefly mentioned how people feel they are being watched all the time, that someone is always judging you, the idea of the panoptic gaze, which is unsurprisingly prevalent in our society where someone is deemed to be fat, overweight, obese, just by the way they look. 

But what really is the point of teaching these words? What do students actually gain from discussions about obesity? Do they become more self conscious and more aware of the panoptic gaze? Do students understand we can eat for pleasure and happiness, as health is holistic? If students are discussing eating disorders, do they begin to feel guilty and/or confused about what they are told at home, what their friends tell them and what media is portraying? Most importantly, in my eyes, what on earth is the point in teaching the food pyramid??? I have so many questions to ponder now, and I am glad I have time to reflect upon and read further about the obesity epidemic before I teach Health in the future.

Using Plickers cards for real time feedback
The second half of the day were sessions again, followed by a guest celebrity speaker (blog about the presentation here), then a closing ceremony and presentation. I attended workshops considering gamification and how concepts of gaming could be included in education, which I chose to go to because my learners are gamers, and a session about pornography for beginners to consider some of the major problems with porn and teaching it, what may be important to cover, and discussing some possible resources we can utilise in our classrooms.


I am sad the conference has come to a close, as I have learnt many new things not only content based, but also about myself and my biases, and some new ideas to take back to the department and school. I hope in the next 11 or so months I feel more comfortable with my progressions individually and as a collective in the department, as I would love to present at the next conference in order to give back what I learnt over the past few days. Can't wait!

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Conference Take-Aways Day 2

Day 2 of the conference was again jam-packed and fun-filled, and I was pushed to challenge my ideas and practices further. Again we started with a keynote, followed by sessions we had elected into. This is my timetable for the conference, with some other bits and pieces.

Lunchtime basketball competitions!
Food and fun are conference priorities
After today, I have begun to try to take away pointers that are applicable for my practice holistically, rather than narrowed for the session focus only. By opening my eyes a little, and thinking outside of the box, I think this is more beneficial for my professional development as well as my teaching and student learning. To illustrate, the biggest thing I pondered throughout and post my first session about Junior PE at Manurewa High School was to backwards plan. 

The HPE staff from Manurewa discussed the success their Junior programme is having, which is then flowing through into their senior classes, positively affecting NCEA results, and attributed a major component of this to their backward planning. Rather than starting at Year 9 with the basics of what to include in their curriculum and getting more in depth and specific as the levels go up, they start with Year 13 and work their way down. Manurewa discussed how they plan out everything they expect and want their kids to know by the time they leave school, taking into consideration Level 3, University Entrance, and some of the 1st year papers in our field students may sit. From there, they break down the subject area as the levels go down, thus planning backwards. Although simple to do, I can see the merit in this, and I am going to suggest this to our department for next year. Upon reflection, this seems so logical to me, because it is easy to see the gaps, and easy to visualise where the students are heading and what they are working towards from the minute they arrive at Tamaki College.

Dress up fun, including with the National President
of PENZ, and an old lecturer, Margot Bowes
Additionally, during session 3, we discussed how socio-critical theory, and challenging of norms and assumptions in society can occur practically, not only during a theoretical lesson or environment. We were asked to participate in activities such as completing 'girl' push ups, playing netball wearing a skirt and playing touch with our sleeves rolled up. Following on, we were prompted with discussion questions to explore the assumptions, stereotypes and body image issues these activities can raise in our classroom. This session made me consider how we could possibly plan Health and PE to interrelate at Junior level particularly, as the subjects are taught as individual subjects by different teachers currently.

The highlight of the day though, and the part of the conference we have all been waiting for was our group dinner tonight. Every year there is a different theme to the buffet style dinner, and this year was Kiwiana. Unfortunately I was crazy busy then fell sick before making the trip down to the conference so hadn't organised myself with a costume, but thankfully The Warehouse had a cow onesie - perfect! I was pleased until I arrived and there were many other cows too! I really enjoyed catching up with friends and lecturers, as well as making new friends, colleagues and getting my face and name out there a little. Our field is small, so everyone knows everyone, therefore I think it is important people start to know who I am and where I plan to go with my career, for as much assistance and support as I can get.

One person I did become friends with, who I admire for her work with students with disabilities, has the below tattoo. I noticed it while I was chatting with her at the dinner table, and questioned it. Simply, if she stops smiling, then she is unhappy with what she is doing with her life, then she needs to fly away. Although this encouraged me to challenge her resilience and perseverance initially, I didn't. I stopped and thought in depth about what she said, and how difficult this concept may be for many people - realising when they are unhappy and having the courage and strength to move on. I left thinking about the importance of happiness, and how we need to always be happy with who we are and what we do in our lives. Recently I have been questioning my career, whether I want to teach or whether I want to lecture, and her tattoo resonated with me considerably. The conference this week has affirmed my love for the field, so now I need to think about whether my feather is teaching or elsewhere, in order to ensure my happiness...

Monday, 11 July 2016

My First National Conference

Annually Physical Education New Zealand, Education Outdoors New Zealand and New Zealand Health Education Association host a three day conference full of educational sessions as well as networking and fun events. I am pleased and privileged to be able to attend the conference this year, along with many familiar and new faces.

Day 1 today started with a bang, and I am so excited for what is to come! We begun with keynote presentations from several teachers who discussed what they are doing to nourish our learning area in their careers. I was interested to listen to changes and ideas that are getting developed in schools, and how they are developing in the teachers' classrooms. 

Sophie Hoskins, Tarawera High School
A stand out from Sophie Hoskins, teacher in charge of Outdoor Education at Tarawera High School, was the commitment their school has had to inclusion of specialist subjects. More often than not specialist subjects including Health, PE and Outdoor Ed are dumping grounds, a place the students who are unsure of what subjects they want to take go to, or where the 'naughty' students are placed. Personally I think this is due to the misconception students and teachers have around our field as being an easy route. However, Tarawera have completely manipulated their timetable so the core subjects are taught Monday-Wednesday during standardised periods, then Thursdays and Fridays are 'academy days' - all day spent in one subject. This affords the likes of Sophie to take her class out for the day without disruption to any other subjects, and allows for more time when at school for more creative lessons. I would love to pose this idea to Senior Leadership, as this demonstrates all subjects are viewed equally, affords time for hands-on projects and may reduce the on-going issue of students missing class due to various trips and courses.
Claudia Goff, my number one blog post supporter!

One of the biggest take-aways I had from this mornings keynotes, was the willingness to share, which many people jumped at. As I am lucky to be immersed in an envrionment of openness, I often forget many teachers must feel as if they are closed off from the world, and all of the awesome creations that are out there. Therefore, when teachers were surprised other teachers would share their work, I was taken aback a little as I realised I expected this willingness to immediately! I realised I cannot expect everyone to be as open to share their work as I am, which was an interesting realisation that saddened me a little. Though, it is pleasing to see more teachers putting themselves on display, as this demonstrates their commitment to helping fellow educators and colleagues in order to better education and student learning.

We also were presented with a panel discussion of several presenters to discuss their research, thoughts and opinions on one common topic; what is the role of schools and fighting obesity? All of the presenters had impressive backgrounds in education and the field, so what they had to say interested me considerably. Some argued the word obesity should never be included in schools, others argued that we should be educating about and around obesity without the scare tactic and others argued the need for 'healthy' canteen options at school. At the end of the presentations the audience were open to ask questions through sli.do (an interactive Q&A with the audience - love it!), which the presenters then answered and discussed with one another. A common question and concern was the need for nutrition programmes in our curriculums but an uncertainty of what to include, mostly because of the fear of hurting the feelings of children and the fear of students developing concerning behaviours with reference to eating disorders. This discussion encouraged me to reflect on what really is important, and I think that is the exploration of foods and nutrients, and the importance on the body holistically, rather than on the affects on the physical body.

Throughout the conference, in addition to keynotes and panel discussions, we, the participants, elect into various sessions that are run by teachers and organisations from around the country. I attended a session about inclusion of students with disabilities within PE, and then a session about learning progressions in sexuality education. My take-outs were to remember we are including a person, not an impairment or a difference, we need to maintain the integrity of students as well as full immerse them into our subject, if you are unsure about someone's ability to participate, ask them, and that sexuality education should be started as early as possible, with the depth of knowledge increasing as the students get older.

A major part of the conference, I have quickly learnt, are the opportunities to network. Not only are we here for new ideas and professional development, but also the chance to meet new people in our field. I have never felt such a buzz then I did tonight, at our Restaurant Crawl. I have never been surrounded by so many people with similar interests and passions as me, and similar stories to tell! I felt so comfortable having discussions with others, because there was instantly a huge connection we could make; the love for the field and the love for working with youth. I learnt so much tonight indirectly by conversing with others, and I met people with some affordances for my students and my career. I already can't wait for next year and I have two days to go!

Friday, 8 July 2016

One Quarter Registered

This morning's MDTA was a reflection of our first six months of teaching ever. We reflected on our progression as BTs and where we are hoping to see ourselves in the future. I believe reflecting in order to move forward is important, otherwise how could we improve our practise? Check out my comments below. To see the others comments, visit the Doc here.

TERM 2 DONE. Mic Drop! :D


Thursday, 7 July 2016

The Power of Ownership

Currently, our Year 12 and Year 13 classes are completing an anatomy and biomechanics unit. These topics, and subsequently the internal assessment, is one of the harder assessments to pass, because it is so black and white. The students have to analyse an ideal performance (such as an athlete) for a specific part of their game play (i.e. a basketball jump shot), and then compare the ideal to their own performance. Throughout, students will make reference to the bone, muscles, movements, and biomechanical principles that are occurring throughout that performance.

Recently, both classes have been creating revision resources for anatomy, focusing on bones, muscles, and/or movements, after a few weeks of learning about them all. Unfortunately, a substantial part of the learning for this unit is rote learning, however my co-teacher and I are trying to make the learning interactive and variable, so the students don't just learn what they need to know for the assessment and then forget everything right after. So, hopefully creating something to revise from has helped them to learn without
everything thrown out the window once they have the credits.
Several students created Kahoots
which we will complete as a class

We kept the task reasonably open, so that the students could create something that was going to help them, something they understand. The process of the creation is revision itself, as well as the final product - which we will go back to use to revise and the students work will be shared across the two classes. Both of the classes were slow to start, as there was a little bit of confusion and a little bit of hesitation. 





A group of three boys took photos of themselves to then label and
discuss as they have here using Google Slides.

Some students enjoyed simply
labelling diagrams as this is how
they learn effectively.
Upon reflection, I wonder whether the students aren't offered many opportunities to create something, knowing they will share it. I know we don't create much in PE, due to the nature of the topics, but I am trying to bring more in where/when I can. If they are out of the habit of creating and sharing their work, like many did in primary school, this could be why they were so hesitant. Eventually, though, the students came up with their ideas, planned their creations and on the whole, the creations are impressive. We had wanted to move onto biomechanics much sooner, but as they started to get on a roll and create some amazing work, we kept going with the creations. I cannot wait to see what the students create in the future, as they are so talented!


Monday, 4 July 2016

The Way Of The Future?

Today I had the opportunity to visit Albany Senior High School in action. ASHS is based in North Auckland and is a co-ed school with students Years 11-13 only, no juniors. I wanted to visit ASHS because of the modern learning environments of the school, to see how classes are organised and run.

There are multiple levels in one building, each level referred to as a learning community (more commonly known as houses). Each level does not comprise of classrooms, but large open plans with desks, chairs, whiteboards, projectors and computers all over the place. The levels are organised into learning spaces, where up to eight different lessons take place. The major difference between a mainstream school and ASHS was there were no walls between learning, which changed the atmosphere completely.

Four classes all taught side by side

Upon talking with teachers and students, I quickly learnt how appreciative and privileged they feel to be a part of something different. The students discussed the need for preparation for the future not only with reference to content knowledge and skills, but also skills which can be utilised in a workplace environment. Consider a stereotypical business workplace; lots of little offices, phones ringing, photocopiers copying, kettle boiling and conversations all over the place. ASHS aims to teach students how to focus their attention on one thing at a time and block out any background noise and distractions, which I saw in action.

Students have other classes right beside them who may be completing an experiment, may be watching movies or may be sitting an assessment, and they need to concentrate on what is happening in their class. I sat in the learner's shoes for a lesson and I could hear three teachers teaching, and none of these teachers were the teacher of my class. I was amazed by how much background noise and movement there was, but the students weren't phased. Many did not even hear those teachers teaching, because they have learnt how to block them out. 

Attempting to demonstrate how close the students work, there are three different classes here!

My biggest takeaway from the day was a reflection of whether we really need four walls - what does this achieve? I think the reason why many schools aren't teaching and learning in this type of environment is attributed to fear. Fear learning will not occur, fear the students will misbehave and the teacher will lose control; however, at ASHS learning was happening, and the students were well behaved across the board. The teachers discussed the behaviour is easily managed because the students appear to rethink about their actions before following through, as there are 100+ students and 8 teachers in the same space they are, not only their class and single teacher.

I hope in the future I have the opportunity to teach in a modern learning environment, or an innovative learning environment, as I was blown away with what I saw. I also now feel as if I have more of an understanding of what my MDTA cohort talk about when they make reference to their large learning spaces with multiple teachers, even though ASHS is a little different. I am very thankful for this opportunity and am excited for more school observations next term.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Bridging The Gap

Today we were given the opportunity to visit schools in the cluster for observations in the classrooms. I took the opportunity to attempt to understand the preparation for high school at the intermediate level. I visited two Year 7 & 8 classes at Tamaki Primary and Glenbrae Primary and observed what they were doing in their classrooms, in order to consider where they are before they come to Tamaki College.

I fear students may not be prepared well for the transition from primary school into secondary school, and similarly may not be supported enough when they arrive at secondary school. I feel there is a huge gap between Year 8 and Year 9, which is impacting on the learning and behaviour of the students individually and collectively. After today, I am wanting to complete some more observations in classrooms, as well as read some research around this transition, and how to assist the students and teachers through the transition.

The major reflections I have had throughout the day are;

Year 9 possibly need a little more structure, and less flexibility to create patterns, expectations and normalities within the classes. The students I observed at Tamaki had home groups they worked in at the beginning of  every day, and they moved quickly and quietly to complete their tasks in these home groups. The home groups was essentially a seating plan, but a place where the students know they are completing work independently, rather than collectively. I have been thinking how some of our students may rely on others to complete their work for them, or they have not developed skills and knowledge of how to work on their own, so I want to try and include more independent tasks.

Don’t try fix something that isn’t broken - if the students are working well, don’t ruin that. I noticed some students lose their energy and excitement as they were asked to stop working together, even though they were on task.

I loved how they were breaking down things simply, and critically. However sometimes the students weren’t understanding why they were having those discussions, how this is relevant to their lives and broader understanding. So, I want to encourage students to link learning to their interests and lives, so there is more meaning to them. I think this would mean the students would understand why they are learning what they are learning too.

When students were provided with an umbrella task/goal with some flexibility to choose what they wanted to research and what they wanted to create; there was a buy in and high engagement (reiterating to me again the importance of student choice).

Overall I really enjoyed the day and learnt lots of bits and pieces I can take away and ponder for now and the future. This transition is important, and I definitely think there needs to be some work with teachers, primary and secondary, around how to help one another to subsequently help the kids move from primary to secondary effectively and efficiently.