Trainee, Simon Joe Lord, reflects on the significant differences between the experiences two separate schools offer their pupils in relation to real-world scenarios
My last two placement schools have highlighted the vast difference in the focus on wider world topics within the primary classroom.
In one school, every Thursday afternoon was PSHCE. I introduced real-life contexts, and pupils would return from lunch to a different setting, including a courtroom, parliament, and a factory floor. One week pupils became police officers and investigated a crime. The following Thursday the classroom was set up as Crown Court, and a visiting judge presided over the trial of the two Year 6 pupils accused of the crime. On another occasion, pupils became MPs, representing constituencies based on their home addresses. The Prime Minister, wearing my tie, dealt with backbench rebels and the opposition party.
The following week a bill was introduced and debated, and then went to the House of Lords (Key Stage 1) and eventually the Queen (the school secretary) to become law. The interest and engagement from pupils were fantastic, especially those who were less confident in the core subjects.
In my last school, I was discouraged from this type of teaching, and my pupils had very limited knowledge of society outside the classroom.
The difference in school attitude was worrying.
@joelord88 Trainee Teacher – North Yorkshire