The cabinets around the school fulfil several functions:
- to contain
strange and interesting objects that will inspire childrens
curiosity and encourage them to form pods to
- develop projects around their own
interests and curiosities.
- to display
examples of on-going pod-projects.
- to contain
the stories and idea-sheets produced at the end of projects
– a group of children working
together on a project.
- we want children to be aware of the
different kinds of thinking and learning involved in the various
tasks required by each project; also to develop an understanding
of which kinds of thinking are most useful in particular
situations, and relevant to solving particular types of problems.
To help make
these ideas more explicit we have designated four
different roles that children will 'play' as they carry out their
projects Explorer, Detective, Builder, Story-Maker
these roles could be used as components in the pod-planners to help
organise the project, and may be useful when children need to assign
tasks to each other within each pod. There are four sheets,
intended for use by the children as reminders, which explain what
characteristics of behaviour each of the roles requires.
firstly to explain the
way the projects will work and discuss the concept of
'roles' with children. Other
assistants (teachers, parents, older children) will be needed to
help children develop various skills that are necessary depending
on the nature of the project for example help with using a
microscope, searching the internet more effectively, or soldering
components together. We hope to develop a notice-board system so
that children can advertise for assistants in advance.
– anyone with
particular expertise invited to provide help (on a specific problem) or
inspiration. This might, for example, be a one-off visitor who is an expert in
Roman archaeology, or an e-mail correspondence with the relative of one of the
children in the pod, who can help with information on 19th Century
- the Story-Maker role that
occurs at the end of each project is an opportunity for children to reflect on
what they have learned during the project and to shape this experience into a
story that is meaningful to themselves and others (an audience). The importance
of preparing the story for others lies not only in providing a record of their
work, but in requiring the greater reflection needed to communicate a story to
an audience successfully - what are the significant parts of the story? – where
did we start from? - which problems were hard?
- how did we overcome these problems? what did we learn
about how we learn? - what metaphors and analogies can we use to reinforce
meaning in the story? - what will the best media to use to get this story across
to an audience?
does not need to take a written form it might be a video
recording, a song, a piece of 'box-art' in one of the cabinet
drawers, a play or a set of web-pages for our Cabinet of
these are sheets produced by pods based on work done in their projects for use
by other children. Where this work is relevant to particular curriculum
subjects, it may be incorporated into classroom use. The sheets may take the
form of puzzles, quizzes, ideas to follow-up – anything that will intrigue,
inspire or puzzle others.