ERA Award 2011 - Hope Education - Bags of fun... pirates
ERA Awards 2011Brand: Hope EducationResource Name: Bags of Fun… PiratesCategory: Best Primary Resource or Equipment - non ICTPrice: £99.95Age Range: KS1 and KS2Inspired by classroom themed learning and children’s fantastic creativeimagination, we are proud to launch our exciting new range of Bags of Fun...story packs, and have chosen our favourite “Pirates” themed pack for the ERAAwards 2011. The Bags of Fun… pack is a great value non-prescriptive teachingresource for KS1 and KS2, providing teachers with a solid foundation ofresources and activities to be used time and time again to spark furtherdiscussion. Bags of Fun... Pirates extends across many learning areasencompassing literacy, art and craft and speaking and listening, and combinesfactual information with fictional stories and develop simple understanding whilemotivating early learners to extend their knowledge.The Bags of Fun… range was designed with the aim to inspire children to takeon different roles (in this case Pirates), learn about their historical origins, piratelanguage and secret codes. The pack includes resources to make your owntreasure maps and messages in bottles, decorate treasure chests with sacredjewels and make pirate hats. The pack also includes a fantastic pirate handpuppet, 2 board games: Yo Ho Ho and Walk the Plank! and a themedbackground, all supplied in a unique Bags of Fun... sack which doubles up as aseating mat suitable for outdoor use.
The idea for this new range was initiated from a brainstorming session with alocal primary school. By combining the governmental plans at that time forthemed / topical learning, and building on the success of our previous“Storysack” (but with an older KS1/2 target audience), the Bags of Fun… conceptwas conceived. The new government is committed to giving schools greaterfreedom over the curriculum. Although we cannot predict the outcome of theNational Curriculum review, we can be assured that any resource that allowsteachers to incorporate fun into their lessons can only aid children’s learning andhelp them realise their potential.We were conscious not to make Bags of Fun… as prescriptive as our Storysackrange which only focuses on a singular book. Instead we aimed towardsdesigning the product on feedback we had already received from teachers onhow much fun and excitement the idea of themed learning, in particular pirates,generates in the classroom for both girls and boys across a broad age range.Although not an official curricular topic, teachers stated they found them “greatstarting points” and useful for engaging the children and introducing them toHistory and Science. We believe that Bags of Fun… could provide a startingpoint for teacher’s lesson plans and can act as a gentle introduction to fun andintriguing topics such as pirates, dinosaurs, space, under the sea etc, which theycan then expand on as and when they feel it is appropriate.With the combination of books, activities, hat making and board games to namea few, the Bags of Fun… Pirates pack is a great resource for encouraging roleplay, introducing new topics and doing something a little bit different to brightenthe day. It has been designed to be suitable for both group work and individualuse, and as it can be used again and again it is a valuable resource for anyclassroom.When developing the Bags of Fun… product range, we wanted to make thestorage sack more than just a container for all the packs elements, so wedesigned it to double as a weatherproof outdoor mat to offer added value andallow teachers the added function of embracing the idea of outdoor learning (UKweather permitting of course!).The new Bags of Fun… Pirates pack was given to Lyndhurst Primary School andArundale Primary School to test out with their KS1 classes. Each school kindlyoffered us feedback on how they found the resources and what their childrenthought of it.Arundale Primary SchoolTony Hoskin, KS1 TeacherThis is a great resource for using in several different subjects including English,music, maths, drama and art. The treasure boxes and gems for treasure trailwere great for encouraging discussion, and the hats and puppets created some
great activity ideas. We used the games inside the pack during play time and‘treat time’.The unique selection of elements inside the Bags of Fun… Pirates pack is greatfor inspiring a range of activities; some of our children sang pirate songs and puton a puppet show for the rest of the class. The children really loved it!When we asked the children what they liked about the pack, this is what theysaid:“I like the games because you can play with your friends and the puppetsbecause we can have a lot of fun and make up different stories.”“Gems and boxes – we could hide them in school and make a treasure map tofind them.”“I liked the board game because you can have a competition with your friendsand it’s exciting.”“The Bags of Fun… Pirates pack is excellent value for money. The variety ofactivities inside and the fact it can be used across key stages make it an effectiveand useful resource for the school to have.” Children were encouraged to read The class put on a puppet show the story books together using the Pirate puppet and backdrop Everyone sang Pirate songs …and played “Walk The Plank” to together… win themselves some treasure
Lyndhurst Primary SchoolAnn Burke, Year 2 Teacher“The Bags of Fun… Pirates pack was excellent as a cross curricular resource,and a great role play stimulus. The games were good, and the pack encouragedthe children’s imaginations and got them talking and writing about the activitiesand different topics.The children were really excited about the pack, and particularly enjoyed makingthe hats.”