Or more realistically, were dug up!
Half term Friday was spent digging a ‘spaceship’ into our school building site, testing out sounds and interviewing builders in preparation for our STEAM week.
Some time before Christmas, the new Science co-ordinator and I put our heads together to come up with a way of focusing on the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths) subjects at our school. The spaceship crash has been done successfully in other schools before so we decided to go with this tried and tested story for our first attempt.
As our school is having a massive new build done, we thought we would enlist the help of our friendly builders. They agreed to open up a section of the digging for us to place the ‘spaceship’ in and even agreed to be filmed, having unearthed this craft during their excavations. How awesome! The fabulous DJ from our local radio station organised a podcast of a fake news report for us to play in the Monday morning as the kids came into school. A friendly, local am dram actor came in as the scientist for our assembly and explained to the kids what had happened, showed the interview (with BBC logo!) with the builder, Giovanni Fink (brilliantly, his real name!) And the week had started!
We had planned the week very carefully, with each teacher taking one aspect of STEAM to lead their sessions. The children were divided into 9 groups, mixed from Reception to Year 6, all with a TA attached. Each teacher would teach three groups three times, developing their sessions to a final exhibition at the end of the week.
The children bought into the whole week brilliantly, the lessons were exciting and from circuits to costumes, from sweets to rocket launching, from music to creating traps there was constant learning going on, including for the staff.
The SMSC this week provided was as important as any STEAM learning, the patience and kindness of the older ones, the co-operation of those in the middle years, and the focus of the younger children all came to the fore. It was an astonishing display of human spirit.
For me, the discussion and the writing of my little year ones, was remarkable. Children who were barely writing a sentences were filling pages with their experiences through daily diary writing.
All the staff saw the benefits of the week, and although it would be impossible to bring that surprise wow factor too often, I do think working in vertical groups once a term on art projects, drama days, maths days etc is a must and not difficult to organise!
Needless to see, the aliens had their spaceship fixed and have safely got on their way.