Session 1 of Secrets & Codes.
After looking at a variety of visual codes and coming up with as many different types of codes as they could, we moved on to the preparatory stages of mapping and pattern making. The children (year 6 / Age 10) got into the gist of the idea well and start mapping some stories by thinking of a special place in their village, writing a story about it, then hanging a corresponding tag on the map where there story took place. Their knowledge of the village geographically, their ability to read maps and generate ideas, and their pride in the things that are important to them were all hugely impressive. The children will continue adding their tags until I go back for session 2. It was really interesting that of those we got through, all but two were in a big long line down the middle of the village.
Next week, weather permitting, we'll be going for a walk to the local, abandoned church hall, which used to be the school, before the newer one was built. I'll be asking them to look at details of the landscape and architecture with the aid of viewfinders, and to use their imagination to think about what it would be like inside, and what the walk to school might have been like in the 'olden days'. I wanted to find a local guest, a member of the community who went to the school, to bring the place to life for them and talk about their experience of it. A quick chat with the headteacher soon revealed that he would be the very person. Serendipity...We might walk a bit further to look at the 1960s estate nearby and talk about why those houses were built; or the big old house on the corner which used to house the family who owned the village's mills. They'll have disposable cameras to photograph the things that are visually attractive to them, for when we start developing our abstract patterns via image transfer and textiles later on.