Issue 103: The New School Year

Many of you classroom teachers will be well into the groove by now. We peripatetic teachers don’t really get going until the second week of term, to let the usual pattern of the school timetable established, and to give us a chance to organise our own teaching schedules.

One thing that struck me anew was how young the children are. By the end of last term, our year sixes were all nearly year 7s, tall and confident and more than ready for secondary school, and the year 3s were bursting out of their infant classrooms, eager for the upgrade to junior school.

Now, the new Year 6s look strangely shrunken, the year 3s look tiny, and the year 1s seem to need an afternoon snooze much more than a music lesson after lunch.

very tired snakeI know I didn’t do a good job of pacing the lesson for the youngest children last week. Too much “work”, and not enough play. We are doing “pulse and rhythm”, and we played games, and sang simple songs, and played instruments, and suddenly, after about thirty minutes, the children all seemed to just fizzle out of energy.

I think I need to have more “play-like” activities, where the children can just go “off-line” and dream along for a while without needing to concentrate. A story  maybe. Or even – dare I say it – a little bit of colouring? Just for the last few minutes!

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