Broomley First School’s year four class are now preparing for Middle School with the summer holidays well under way and their hay meadow soon in need of it’s first cut.
This retrospective blog records our experience of supporting a fabulous meadow planting project over the last eight months.
The project has been a collaboration between Mr Moore, the school’s year four teacher, the Broomley Bee team lead by Jilly Halliday along with Julie McGrane from Leading Learning. It has been a foray into Project Based Learning and a mechanism to embed extra curricular beekeeping into the core curriculum. The project has involved local community, an array of academics, experts and gardeners in planting a hay meadow to create forage for bees. Children have learned to soil sample, classify plant and insect species, work effectively in teams, understand life cycles, environmental decline, the impact of agricultural policy and so much more.
In this first entry we take a quick look at why we started the project back in January 2015.
Why we started the project – January 2015
While there has been an extraordinary amount of help and support which we will discuss in future entries there have been three key people who have led the project.
Jilly Halliday: An amazingly enthusiastic beekeeper and networker. Resolute in her desire to get children beekeeping Jilly and her team had already begun an extra-curricular club. With the challenges of safeguarding and a very busy school this was yet to be utilised as a learning opportunity for more children in school. Jilly was keen to ensure that, where appropriate, the beekeeping group had maximum impact and would be sustained over time.
Mr Moore: Really popular with his pupils, Mr Moore had nurtured a fantastic year four class with exemplary behaviour. Keen to enable children to take greater ownership of their learning as well as becoming more flexible in his teaching approach, Mr Moore wanted to explore the contribution PBL could make to achieving his aim.
Julie McGrane: As a secondary school teacher by trade I wanted to maintain my teaching skills and see if they would be as effective with younger children. Having observed lots of primary school lessons I was also convinced that many younger children could cope with more challenging work than they often receive. As director of Leading Learning I also wanted to develop my experience of PBL as part of our wider work.
In the next entry I will share how we got the project started.