Pupils at Inverallochy School took part in an afternoon of literacy fun recently.
The event, ‘Word Play Outdoors’, was organised by student teachers Nicole McLean and Jayne Stephen. Both from Peterhead, Nicole and Jayne are currently in their second year of study at the University of Aberdeen to become primary school teachers.
The trainee teachers were given the opportunity to be part of an exciting new project called ‘Word Play Outdoors’, created by Juliet Robertson of Creative Star. Nicole and Jayne applied for the project as they saw it as a valuable learning experience.
The main aim of the Word Play Outdoors afternoon was to get children to have fun learning in an outdoor environment.
Commenting, Nicole and Jayne said: “We are keen to receive as much experience in working with children as possible and we realise this particular opportunity was one which does not come around all too often.
“We hoped the teaching methods and advice we received on the internship would help us to be more effective teachers in the future.”
They added: “Outdoor learning is highly important in the development of a child’s education as it gives them the chance to be out of the classroom setting, encouraging them to learn in new ways without them realising they are learning.
“The topic of the afternoon was Scottish literacy and so each activity was based around a piece of writing and how they could analyse these texts in different ways.”
Each class came up with their own activity, which made a circuit of six activities for the children to try out. The classes chose different activities, ranging from treasure hunting for letters of a characters’ name, to using chalk on tyres to make circle poems.
Nicole and Jayne commented: “On the day we were fortunate enough to have some parents come along and join in with the activities. The children were split into six groups; we put siblings in to the same group to make it more of a family event. Children were overjoyed to see that their parents were there and, in many cases, it was visible that children felt more confident when their parents were with them.
“We would like to express our thanks for all the staff’s efforts in ensuring the activities were fun and interesting and ran smoothly. Also to the pupils who worked together with their class teachers to create activities that were enjoyed by not only themselves, but the other pupils in the school of all ages.
“Last but not least, we wish to express our gratitude to Eunice Stephen, Head Teacher at the school, for firstly being kind enough to host the first of the Word Play Outdoors projects and for secondly offering her support and experience to aid us in ensuring the project was a success. On top of this, we were very pleased to see such a lovely turn out from parents and other family members that turned up on the afternoon, who not only watched the activities take place, but enthusiastically got involved and took part too.
“Thank you again to all involved, we couldn’t have done it without you.”