This just landed in my inbox from one of our teachers and I had to put this on here because I want to tell the world just how incredible our school is, not because Ofsted inspectors say we are, but because of things like this…
I confess that this morning in form I did something unspeakable. I did what, in other school contexts, we might call “discovery-based learning”. I played 8Z the opening minute of each of the ‘Planets’ suite and got them to ‘guess’ which planet we were listening to. Normally this would have been a pointless game of “guess what is in my head” but, owing to our fantastic knowledge-led curriculum, they were able to correctly name the first four without fail! Here is a sample of the conversations we had:
Max: “is this Mars because Mars was the God of War and this sounds very war-like?”
Jenny: “Is this Venus? Venus is the Roman god of Love and it has a very romantic sound”
Carl: “I think this is Mercury because Mercury was the God of messengers and thieves. He was known for playing tricks on people and the piece sounds very mischievous”
And then when I skipped to the “I vow to thee my country” part of Jupiter all the hands shot up.
Knowledge really does beget (meaningful) creativity.
What a great school we work at!
What is so extraordinary about this is this is this teacher’s tutor group. He isn’t a Science teacher or a Music teacher. He is just playing them some classical music as every tutor does every morning across the school.
It isn’t a test. They haven’t been taught this and then asked questions. It is just conversation being had while the register is being taken – with a year 8 middle set of working class kids in an inner-city school. They have remembered and retained what they have been taught over the last 2 years in various subjects and they have voiced it and applied it in a totally different context.