Each term, I don a modified school tie and join a class for a day. The activity is useful on so many levels: I am able to see the variety of wonderful teaching and learning that takes place at Lyonsdown, but I also get to experience the life of a child for a few hours.
One of the most enjoyable parts of being a peer of Year 3 this week was experiencing the breadth of their imagination. If Einstein did indeed say “logic will get you from A to Z, imagination will get you everywhere,” he was even wiser than we already think. Imagination is a very close relative of Creativity, one of our Lyonsdown Learning habits, and I saw it being applied in History, Maths and Art, to name but a few. At break time, I was invited to join a game which involved an orangutan flying from Hawaii to London – a flight of fancy, of course, but one that was entirely the girls’ creation.
It is delightful to see children engage in highly imaginative games. Many involve running around, of course, but this sense of imagination and fun can lead to seriously organised activity. Last week, one child was telling me about a new ball game: the rules seemed complex to me, but the girls and boys all understood how to score 8,000 (they were very specific) points.
It is right that we encourage a culture of imagination at play, but imagination is vital across the curriculum too. Imagination was all abound in school this week. In Science, Year 3 did an experiment to find out how water is transported through plants, on Wednesday everyone was someone else on our Literacy Dress up day. We had characters from a range of children’s fiction visit the school – I don’t know where the pupils went! And on Thursday, Year 5 and Year 6 spent the day at The Globe Theatre. During the drama workshop, pupils were transformed into the human and fairy characters from A Midsummer Nights’ Dream and imagined themselves in the woods outside Athens. At one point, they even used their imaginations to transform into the magical wood itself! Science and other subjects involve making imaginative connections between facts. What if? History remains a favourite topic of mine – the study of theoretical scenarios where the imagination of empathy is key.
Of course, certain weeks of the year inspire the imagination of children that little bit extra: in our Literacy Week , Year 4 visited the Barbican and Year 5 and 6 travelled to The Globe to show imagination and creativity on a grand scale. A clear highlight was dressing up for World Book Day, and I was very impressed by our pupils happily being taught whilst dressed in a selection of fictional character costumes, without being distracted whatsoever. It was all very Lyonsdown – a huge sense of enjoyment, whilst keeping calm and carrying on.
We host our parents’ evenings over the next two weeks, and I look forward to seeing you all there.
All the best for a relaxing weekend.