As Mick Waters, former Chief of QCA once said ‘We should make learning irresistible to our children’. One of the pedagogical approaches that we use in school is to make as many meaningful cross curricular links as we can, to find opportunities to learn from real life examples and to create as many hands on opportunities as we can.
To this end, Mr Dalton, Mrs Milward and Ms Howell have been planning a Year 4 project which will culminate in the children creating a forest of sound using electricity.
Inspired by a visit to the Icon Gallery Birmingham, the three teachers considered how the work of artist Rie Nakajima might be brought into the classroom to enhance and enrich the children’s understanding of electronic circuitry. The three members of staff went to a talk by the artist the night before, to consider ways that the teaching and learning could be enriched by her ideas. To her, everything is an instrument, including the very room that we stand in. She makes beautiful drones, rattles and thundering sounds using the simplest of circuits and components. The effect within a room is mesmerizing because she works carefully with the acoustics of the space so that her sound sculptures have a beautiful resonance.
A visit was organized for the two classes to attend the same exhibition, and they have now been experimenting with making sounds through electricity using the kind of ordinary objects that the artist might use. This will be followed up with some further drama and music workshops and a workshop with the renowned STEM science specialist, Linda Atherton, who will push the thinking further.
For our open afternoon/evening, the children will have installed a fantastic electronic soundscape for parents and children to enjoy. Watch this space…