28 June 2016

Sci-Fi and Wi-Fi – dinosaur and robot invasion boosts literacy skills at Mere Green

IT’s alive! A troublesome T-Rex and rebellious robot landed at Mere Green Primary School this month as part of a groundbreaking technology project to bring literacy to life in the classroom.

T-Rex Mere Green

In a two-week literacy project, staff at the outstanding school used augmented reality to set up ‘mysterious’ happenings around school.  Strange footprints, damage to school property and missing items were all reported and investigated by all the children, who used their experiences to pen  imaginative and creative stories about the events.

Year 3 investigated CCTV footage to find a robot had entered the ICT suite and was dismantling an old computer for spare parts to his crashed space ship.  Year 4 found large empty shells and strange footprints, which prompted extensive story writing.

 

Terri Coombs, IT leader and specialist leader of education at Mere Green, worked alongside literacy leader Aimee Bursnall to provide children with the opportunity of using IT in a new and innovative way in order to motivate creative writing.

Terri Coombs and Year 2 and 3 pupils from Mere Green Primary

Ms.Coombs (pictured above with year 2 and 3 children) said:

The project has been a roaring success, there was a ‘buzz’ around school and children were excitedly chatting about their experiences, the excitement it provided proved to be a successful motivator for writing.”

Adam Pattinson, a year 5 teacher, said: 

Using augmented reality really helped to gain the children’s interest. We showed thee children videos and photographs of dinosaurs in our classroom. They were fascinated about where the dinosaurs could have come from. Many of them became super sleuths when trying to find out about them and enjoyed trying to prove whether the dinosaurs were real or not.”

Dino on camera

 

The intrepid children also enjoyed putting together “fantastic” letters to headteacher, Anna Balson, to tell her all about the dinosaurs. Not only did the experience build confidence and fire young imaginations, but the invasion left a real footprint on the children’s literacy skills, as these year 3 children reported:

Tiane said:

My writing was better. I used better words because I could see the robot coming to life.”

It was more realistic – like it was alive, which helped my imagination,” said Layton.

Benny said:

My writing was better. It was interesting because it’s something that has never happened and I got to read my work out in assembly.”

Year 3 teacher, George Dunning, said:

Using augmented reality was really easy, the children loved the mystery created by the disaster in the ICT suite (crime scene) and had lots of ideas. But when they discovered CCTV footage of the robot they developed some brilliant stories and used some of the best language we have seen all year.”

In 2015 Mere Green Primary School was awarded the 360 E safety Mark by the South West Grid for Learning Trust. The school was commended for demonstrating a high standard of online safety education and awareness for its whole learning community, both on and off site.