There are some books that just keep going in Education, this is true at primary school and secondary school. I studied Of Mice and Men when I was at school, I then taught the book when I was an English teacher and now the teen is studying it for her GCSE’s in May. They are the great literary giants that whole curriculum’s and and schemes of work are built around. Nothing makes a teacher happier too than when excellent resources are being made that they can pick up and tweak and use with their classes. As a teacher you change how you deliver a clesson based on the individual students needs but having ready resources is a great planning tool and will make the teachers life a little easier. The good resources will also add depth to the children’s learning experience. I used to think if I could have job writing schemes of work and making resources I would enjoy it. It is a time to get creative and bring learning to life – yet with the pressures of assessment teachers often don’t have the time they would like to spend on making resources.
Therefore I was really pleased to see that the Forestry Commission have created a Teachers Pack for the Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. Many know that the Forestry Commission have become really child friendly over the years with the popular Gruffalo trail and more recently the Stickman Trail this all helps parents who are concerned about inactive children or those just wanting to make the most of the natural playground of a forest.
Schools recognise the value of outdoor learning, again forest schools are being developed in many primary schools. Following Forestry Commission, England’s research, 83% of teachers said they’d would like to participate in more outdoor learning if it was more accessible. FCE looked at what prohibited teachers from teaching in the woodlands/ forest and how they could overcome these barriers to increase the ability of schools to teach outdoors when they wish to do so. The result, The Gruffalo’s teachers pack.
The pack will be available to download and is free of charge, making a great resource for classrooms. Using the well-loved Gruffalo character, the learning activities are instantly appealing to children. This pack is not only useful for younger years teachers but those looking to engage their children when out and about, for teaching assistants, school governors and those who choose to home educate. The pack includes ideas on using compasses, reading maps and even making a nest. The curriculum links are explicit which is important for recording learning outcomes and plans. The activities are well explained and broken down into the three subheadings
- Prepare – This lists what is needed
- Plan and make – How are you going to make it
- Evaluate and Improve- Questions to ask as part of a plenary.
- Each page also highlights the cross curricular links and this is important to record as it follows the digging deeper and mastery.