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Let's Play Outdoor Games!
During term four, Merchants’ Academy Primary hosted 14 international visitors as part of the 'Let's Play Outdoor Games!' project.
The two-year project is co-funded by the EU Erasmus+ programme and brings together seven schools from different countries, joining together their teaching practices, PSHE and PE syllabuses and observing children's playground games. Teachers from Greece, Turkey, Finland, Poland, Italy, Portugal and UK make up the group with each country hosting a week in their country, introducing their education system and the daily school practices they follow.
During the project, the collection of teachers will create a joint handbook combining all their findings so each school can introduce new practices or games into their education systems. The teachers will also design a joint logo and information poster that can be shared further afield.
Poster designs for the joint information booklet.
Monday 5th March - Friday 9th March
During the UK host week, visitors were invited to assemblies and spent numerous days observing lessons across all year groups as well as recording what children played in the playground to socialise with their friends. Games observed on the playground included: hopscotch, skipping, What’s the time Mr Wolf, Chinese Whispers, clapping games and games involving balls against the wall, to name a few.
As well as experiencing the activities at Merchants’ Academy Primary, they also had the opportunity to visit Merchants’ Academy Secondary, Fairlawn Primary and Bannerman Road, which are all part of Venturers Trust. The main reason for these visits were to see the Forest schools program, which is in place at Bannerman Road and Fairlawn Primary.
Various social events were organised by Mr Brendan Sorohan from Merchants’ Academy Primary with one highlight being fish and chips in the staffroom for lunch. The visitors also enjoyed cultural visits to the Roman Baths in Bath, Stonehenge and Clifton Suspension Bridge. Some visitors in their free time enthusiastically completed the Banksy trail using the app while others enjoyed a stroll along North Street to see the colourful street art.
Visitor quotes from their UK host week:
Paola Ferrari, Italy
‘I found the Primary school spaces warm, full of colouful walls and attractive displays – it feels like home and makes me want to stay and learn in this environment. In Italy, we have a very old style of interior, with limited posters on the walls as we feel these are childish, and the walls are painted grey.
I think it is especially great that all classrooms have the opportunity of a smart board, which will enhance the child’s learning’.
Seda Ates, Turkey
‘Within the Primary schools, I loved all the colourful display boards.
I also liked the idea of Forest Schools and would like to take this concept back to Turkey. The next time I am at the cinema eating popcorn I will remember the children’s homemade popcorn we saw them making on the outdoor fire pit.
I found the Merchants' Academy Secondary teachers extremely helpful and happy to answer all our questions.
A highlight of the week was the fish and chips lunch we had on Thursday, it was so large!’
Elzbieta Dlczyk-Szum, Poland
‘I liked the way the children all wear a uniform, therefore ensuring no one, rich or poor, stands out. I also like the way teachers all wear smart clothes and set an example.’
Brendan Sorohan, UK
‘Forest schools is a great concept within the Primary schools in Venturers Trust.
The principal of Bannerman Road, Lynsey Prewett said that if you ask any child at the school what their favourite weekly activity is, they will all say Forest schools!’
Krolina Szczepanek, Poland
'I liked the useful solutions you have in place in the Primary school that ease the work of the teachers. Ranging from the small things like: exercise books organised, pencil cases on the tables ready each lesson and classroom desks arranged into groups so students can work together and make decisions collectively.’
I really liked the pre-determined hand signs that teachers use at Merchants’ Academy Primary, used to communicate with the children, for example 'stop' sign as well as saying stop, 'hand up' to make the children quieten down/ be silent. It was great to see these signs working and children reacting to them.’
Marco Ghilarducci, Italy
'I found Merchants' Academy primary very organised in both the space they have and the activities carried out. There is a good rhythm flowing through the school and I see a strong sense of community with children disciplined and the staff lovely and friendly.’