Trainee teachers: Francesca Probert and Daniel Williams
Primary School: Ysgol Y Ddraig, Llantwit Major.
September 19th – October 13th 2016
This unique four-week placement gave us the confidence to step into the teaching/learning environment with our first secondary school placements starting shortly.
Armed with two weeks of induction we quickly sampled the real world of planning, teaching and learning. Although we had the introductory theory, teaching your first class is a real step into the unknown!
The AiR theme this year was ‘Telling Tales’ and this wide-open topic worked nicely with Ysgol Y Ddraig’s BFG theme. AiR has allowed us to be experimental and creative with our projects and through the art of ‘creating’ we’ve encouraged our pupils to take risks and experiment.
We’re in a very supportive school and we’re very grateful for the help we’ve received from all the staff. One of the benefits of this residency is the ‘paired placement’, allowing us to bounce ideas off one another, discuss the progress of learners and to evaluate our next steps.
We have gained first hand experience of the fundamentals of teaching and as the residency draws to a close we’d like to think that we’ve enriched the pupils’ education through meaningful engagement with the arts. Having recently been fortunate enough to hear Professor Graham Donaldson promote the value of ‘creativity’ within the new curriculum, we feel confident that year 5 pupils at Ysgol Y Ddraig were immersed in creative and imaginative practices.
The other benefit of AiR is that we’ve seen the pupils being taught in their usual classrooms by their teachers. This has been invaluable as we’ve observed a variety of teaching styles along with different approaches for classroom management. This has helped us with our planning and delivery and has given us the confidence to meet our next challenges in secondary school.
We’ll be sorry to leave our residency placements as we’ve had the freedom to shape our own schemes of work and really push experimentation and creativity. AiR has set us up nicely for a different set of challenges with KS3, KS4 and KS5.