The Covenant Christian School is an independent school situated in the Heaton Moor area of Stockport. It prides itself on small class sizes and encouraging children to grow, not only in their academic learning, but also in their spiritual life too.
The values held by their teaching staff are of the highest level and the aim of personalising learning for each child wherever possible is vital in every classroom. Therefore, the opportunity to introduce an OurBoard table top board was immediately welcomed into the classroom.
Some children find story writing difficult, so it came as a great encouragement to one of the teachers when the OurBoard tabletop board and story mat were used in a series of lessons to promote independent writing. Beginning with planning the characters and setting, the tabletop OurBoard was an ideal tool for encouraging children to make notes as the size of the board meant ideas could easily be shared. Children can write without feeling that they are committed to an idea as any changes can be easily made by the children themselves using a dry-wipe cloth.
The OurBoards story mat was then used to draft the plot outline for the story through group discussion. At first, simple words and phrases were written outlining the plot and then were rewritten multiple times adding increasing detail to the setting, characters and plot. The space for illustrations meant that a child could visualise the story and develop more varied vocabulary to use in their writing. The results were extremely encouraging providing the child with the confidence required to continue and write more than they had previously in any independent writing session that year. With the OurBoard story mat, the child was encouraged to wipe off the mistakes and have another go. Some children find it extremely difficult to work on a busy sheet of paper. This had a noticeable impact on the child’s confidence and enthusiasm which removed a significant barrier to learning.
With this very positive result from their first use of the tabletop OurBoards, the school then had two Working Walls put into one of their classrooms. The use of the A4 pockets allows them to display work completed that day or work that is ongoing with comments by pupils and teachers about what needs to be done next. Photographs can be taken of the board throughout the day and the teacher has recorded evidence of what has been taught. The reusable A4 sheets allow teachers to create quick, easily differentiated activities to leave on the desks as the children come into the lesson. Interesting and engaging, children enjoy using the sheets to write out calculations, practise spellings, record data and then proudly display their work around the classroom to use as a tool during that lesson.
“Bright, interactive, innovative. Not just another teaching gimmick but a useful tool that actually improves the teaching and learning in the classroom.” These were the comments made by one of the class teachers.
At OurBoards we want to work with both teachers and parents to produce boards and mats that are fun and engaging so that we can see positive results to learning and happy, confident children who want to learn.
This term at Covenant, we have added a new lesson to our curriculum. Outdoor learning is proving to be very popular, especially after today’s visit from some real life gardeners. The children had great fun finding out about how to take care of God’s amazing world.