On Wednesday and Thursday of Islam Awareness Week 100+ Year 6 pupils from our local Avenue Junior School visited Ihsan Mosque in Norwich to participate in the new school visits programme. What makes the programme so special is that it has and is being organically developed in collaboration with the local school community.
In Enquiry & Immersion, pupils are introduced to Islam through an enquiry exercise, and are given the opportunity to informally engage with community members over lunch, see the prayer, and tour the mosque with one of our experienced guides. The issue here is precisely that the children walk away with the experience that they were not being sat down and talked at, but were given room to explore and reflect on both factual knowledge and through lived experience of eating together and just “being.”
“I learnt so much I think it would have taken a week at school to learn the same amount of knowledge…”
“I was blown away… really made me think. Thanks again for hosting such a wonderful trip.”
– Avenue Junior School pupils, Y6
- activate schemata and generate interest through a series of relevant open questions through an icebreaker. See staging of this CLIP here.
- allow individual teams to investigate our materials,
- present a finished product to other teams (Day One in the form of a spider diagramme, Day Two in the form of individual papers).
- final written self-assessment of learning and feedback.
- Two assessment units were slotted in on Day One, only one on day two, to provide us with concrete evidence of learning and feedback, and to provide children with a chance to reflect on their own learning and inspire future interest.
More on Cooperative Learning, please see this presentation, including video, to RE teachers on the previous day.
(I have duly noted their suggestions for improvement, and have some reflections to share about the reliability of using specific cooperative learning interaction to ensure honest comments – the acute reader who compared the thank you letters written later will notice the teacher’s modeling, which undercuts its validity as autentic feedback – Get notifications of related posts on twitter).
“I learnt so much about the religion through the game and the mind map…”
– Avenue Junior School pupil, Y6, Day One
(Islam in RE participants, take note! :)
“I had so much fun, the games and tasks were brilliant. I learnt so much!”
– Avenue Junior School pupil, Y6