NAWR blog by Leanne Rees

‘EPIC’– our pupils are our best resource!

I am a teacher. I am an artist. I am a dancer. I am a traveller.

This is me and I use each aspect of who I am to deliver learning experiences to my children. I do not change who I am as I walk through the classroom door, I embrace it and use it to enhance my lessons and how my children learn. 

Creativity in the classroom isn’t always about teaching art skills. It’s about being creative and we are all creative beings. Explore Shakespeare by writing a script through modern day text messaging, learn about light by colour mixing and creating different colour shadows with torches, compose music to convey the water cycle, appraise music by mark making with different media whilst listening, the ideas are (almost) endless! 

The students will often be more than happy to help plan creative lessons. My class of five and six year olds came up with some brilliant ideas to learn about castles. They wanted to create story boards by taking pictures of the scenes using IPads, the dressing up box and the junk modelling castles they had made outside, create castle pictures using only 2d shapes to draw around and make stained glass windows with coloured tissue paper to name a few. Sometimes our pupils are our best resource!

Children respond positively to the fact that you have life experience. Any life experience; whether it is playing in a sports team, raising a family or going on holiday. Luckily I have been on quite a few trips in my time and have found the children enjoy hearing my stories, facts and experiences. It brings learning to life and makes it ‘real’. Knowing that the photos and videos you are sharing with them as part of a lesson have been taken by you is very exciting for the pupils and is a fantastic introduction to a lesson or topic. Children love it when you can say “when I was in…when I saw…this is a photo I took…” Sharing your life experiences, whatever they may be is a sure-fire way of grabbing their attention. 

Let them walk just a little in your shoes, I almost guarantee you’ll both enjoy it.

Leanne Rees is an Arts Champion and teacher at Newton Primary School.
She also writes her own travel blog which you can read here.

This blog entry was written by Leanne Rees, Arts Champion for the Arts and Education Network: Mid and West Wales. Blog originally written in English. July 2017