By Alan Barrett, Apr 22 2013 12:51PM
I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by. Perhaps it's an age thing, (don't tell the wife!).
So far this year I've been in the Lake District, Cheshire north, south, east and west, all over Staffordshire, Derbyshire once, Manchester, The Wirrall, Liverpool, Buxton and of course, my beloved Stoke-on-Trent.
One of the great joys of this job is meeting new people, another is renewing acquaintances with old friends, especially those who have moved schools and rebooked me for their new workplace. It gives a sense of purpose and thanksgiving that I've made a good enough impression that they want my skills in a new environment.
Talking of environment, I had the great privilege of working with a good friends of mine recently in outdoor settings. (See what I did there? Pretty smart, eh?)
I'm chair of "Status Grow - (cropping all over the world)", which is a community group aiming to use derelict ground for community allotments. We've been given a plot of land behind a local church/community centre and we've raised some funds to get in a willow weaver, who has worked with our volunteers, including me, to build us a storytelling yurt completely out of willow. It will root and grow and be part of the grounds for as long as they want it.
Just last week I was at the Dorothy Clive Garden, near Woore, working with a group of mixed age children. Using the garden as a sensory inspiration, we held a treasure hunt of the senses in the morning, followed by 2 different poetry sessions (splitting KS1 and KS2) in the afternoon. Simple diamond poetry and haiku were the order of the day, because we then used the poems as "leaves", written on fabric and tied to the "poetree" in the middle of the garden.
Inspiration can be found anywhere, and classrooms don't always have to be indoors, nor pupils sat at desks. I'm blessed that I have such opportunities, perhaps you could use this idea yourselves.
Take care and God bless,