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Sparkling New Ideas with Golden Lessons

This year’s ‘creativity’ themed Golden Lessons week was a great success, with the whole school getting involved and stepping out of their comfort zone.

Golden Lessons week is an annual event that encourages pupils and teachers to choose a lesson, try something completely new to match the theme, and share the fun on Firefly (our school’s online learning platform). It’s a great opportunity to have a go at demonstrating the school values: pupils show courage by taking a risk in lessons, positivity when discovering fresh ideas, and kindness in supporting each other with the new challenges to face.

There was a great variety in Golden Lessons this time around. Lots of pupils took full advantage of the week’s theme and got crafty - some took the traditional route, with Year 9 designing user interfaces using paper, scissors and glue for a specific target audience, and GCSE PE making their own lungs with balloons to understand the mechanics of breathing. Year 10 Chemistry used technology instead, researching the tricky process of making salts and creating a short podcast to help other pupils understand it. As part of their topic ‘Myself and Others’, Year 7 French followed suit and made use of a projector to present a short presentation on a French pop star.

More musical endeavors were popular too, including Years 7, 8 and 9 learning trombone in music classes for the first time ever, and Year 11 had fun with a groovy ‘Graph Dance’ to remember the shapes of graphs with their bodies.

With technology as such an integral part of school life some pupils enjoyed finding new and creative ways to put it to use. Year 13 Maths students watched their teacher’s notes be projected on the big screen in real time with a Microsoft Surface and a wireless projector, which were then saved to a class folder in OneNote.

Year 10 took a different approach to learning about how the digital world has merged with real life when the teacher dressed up as a ghost (linking to ‘ghosting’, the act of ending a relationship with someone by suddenly stopping all communication, usually in an online context) and didn’t speak for the whole lesson! Pupils were encouraged to communicate effectively and to organise themselves with activities around themes of consent, the effect of the digital world on intimate relationships and key factors of a healthy relationship.

Several classes used Golden Lessons as an opportunity to find exciting ways to learn about existing topics. Year 8 Biology inspected a real human femur bone, discussing its size and shape, the strange markings on it (which pupils later used their knowledge to work out that it was actually tiny holes for blood vessels to come out), and investigating the joints.

Year 4 had a shock when they came into class to find their teacher had gone missing - with a list of learning objectives, the girls had to invent their own lessons to teach the class, all while wondering where Mrs Loveridge had gone. See the video below for more details!

It was amazing to see pupils of all ages and subjects having fun with the new challenges as the frosty weather sets in, without a doubt brightening up December’s lessons.

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