The power of collaborative learning

Putting Learning into Context and Making it Matter by Charlotte Milne

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Charlotte Milne has been teaching at Aldenham Prep since September 2016 and is the Year 3 Teacher.

A School Trip to The Shard and Tower Bridgeimg_0012

School trips are an important, powerful teaching tool. They are used to bring purpose to learning, put it in context and provide children with a valuable, memorable learning experience. At Aldenham Prep, we aim to organise and plan at least one trip a term centred around a particular subject in order to develop their understanding further. As teachers we are also hopeful that school trips will inspire and motivate our pupils.

This was certainly achieved in Year with this term’s school trip. As part of a Design and Technology topic – ‘Structures’ – we took a trip to London to visit the city’s most magnificently designed and constructed structures. Although we would see nearly of all London’s famous landmarks during our visit, the main aim of the day was to visit The Shard and Tower Bridge. The end goal – to design and create our very own structure inspired by our trip.

With clear, blue skies we set off, wrapped up warm and ready for our London adventure. The children were excited to be transported by underground and as we entered a carriage, we quickly cleared! They counted the stops until we arrived at London Bridge. As we stepped off the train, 18 open-mouthed children looked up at The Shard – our first stop. The children spent their time here completing their scavenger hunt, drawing the breath-taking view and talking about the structure itself.

After a spot of lunch by city hall, we made our way to Tower Bridge where we met out guides. They led us up and through the impressive bridge and talked us through the history and building of the bridge. Here the children would lie, tummies down, on the reinforced glass 140 feet above the Thames. They also got to see the old engine rooms that previously powered the opening of the bridge to allow boats through.

While leaving London the children continued to talk about all they had seen. The intended impact of the school trip was written all over their faces – bright eyed and excited to report the day back at home with their parents and to use what they had seen when designing their own mini structures.


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