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Today marks the start of Diwali, an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year, which originally existed to mark the last harvest before winter.
From colourful decorations to the 'rows of lighted lamps' - from which the festival takes its name - these photos show the true beauty of the event, which originated in India but is now celebrated by millions all over the world.
The term ‘working walls’ is used to describe displays that support the
attainment of curricular targets and students' learning during specific units
of work. The content of a working wall should change
regularly to support learning and teaching as it develops in the classroom. The
ultimate aim is for students to access prior learning, make links to what they
already know and apply this to future learning. A working wall enables students to refer to concepts and resources, supporting them to become more secure and independent learners. It is the public display of the learning process. It is
important for long term learning objectives and short term intentions to be
displayed on the working wall. When success criteria are appropriate, they are
developed with the students and clearly displayed on the wall, demonstrating to students how they will be able to achieve the agreed learning intention.
Creating effective working walls
Working walls display those concepts, ideas,
conclusions, strategies and findings that have been captured to support further
learning. Captured work can be referred to over a period of time and built upon
at a later date. Work captured in this way does not necessarily need to be neat or rewritten: part of how students will use this information later rests upon how they have visually recorded it in their minds at the time of composition,
so to rewrite in a different format or in different colours or font may detract
from the purpose. Key vocabulary for the learning can also be displayed on the
working wall whilst mind mapping, modelled examples, re-drafting and students’
examples can also be regular features.
By building up the learning over time and
adding to a working wall, students and teachers have access to the learning
through a sequence which becomes known by all; it becomes transparent how one lesson builds upon another
and leads ultimately to the final outcome. When students understand the pathway
they are taking, they are empowered as learners and are better equipped to make
links between concepts and to apply the knowledge and skills they have to other
Working walls are effective in:
supporting curricular targets
sharing objectives and
capturing visual prompts and
There is great deal of evidence that outdoor learning is crucial to children's physical, psychological and social well-being.
Adults must adopt a culture of tolerance towards children playing, and children must be given the time they need to engage in free play. By understanding play only as a tool for achieving other outcomes, such as learning or fitness, we are in danger of losing sight of the essence of play itself, with the result that ‘play’ becomes transformed into structured activities with clear goals and aims rather than something that is self-directed, enjoyable and instinctive. It is only by following their own rules, in their own time, can children fully reap the benefits of playing.
A world without play: A literature review (revised 2012)
"Out of classroom learning makes a unique contribution to a child’s education and offers many benefits to them, not least developing a sense of place and wonder for the world around them."-Barry Sheeman MP, Chairman of the Education and Skills Select Committee
Outdoor Learning, Upper Primary, Barra
Benefits for Early Years of Learning Outside the Classroom
It is essential that young children get frequent and regular opportunities to explore and learn in the outdoor environment, and this should not be seen as an optional extra. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum, which covers children from birth to the end of the Reception year, became statutory in September, 2008, and places a strong emphasis on the importance and value of daily outdoor experiences for children’s learning and development.
Here are some powerful arguments for taking every opportunity to take young children beyond their immediate indoor environment:-
• Learning outside the classroom supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles by offering children opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement, and promoting a sense of well-being.
• Learning outside the classroom gives children contact with the natural world and offers them experiences that are unique to outdoors, such as direct contact with the weather and the seasons.
• Playing and learning outside also helps children to understand and respect nature, the environment and the interdependence of humans, animals, plants, and life cycles.
• Outdoor play supports children’s problem-solving skills and nurtures their creativity, as well as providing rich opportunities for their developing imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness.
• Children need an outdoor environment that can provide them with space, both upwards and outwards, and places to explore, experiment, discover, be active and healthy, and to develop their physical capabilities.
• The outdoor environment offers space and therefore is particularly important to those children who learn best through active movement. Very young children learn predominately through their sensory and physical experiences, which supports brain development and the creation of neural networks.
• For many children, playing outdoors at their early years' setting may be the only opportunity they have to play safely and freely while they learn to assess risk and develop the skills to manage new situations.