How Schools can provide Challenge in the Pre-Prep

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Samantha Jaspal, Headteacher of Berkhamsted Pre-Prep and Day Nursery, outlines how to provide stretch and challenge for highly able children under the age of 7. The presentation explores the dangers of hot-housing, examines aspects of childhood cognitive development, as well as making practical suggestions of extension activities.

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How Schools can provide Challenge in the Pre-Prep

  1. 1. Leading Change with Parents Tuesday 28th January, 2014 Denham Grove, Denham Samantha L. Jaspal, B.A. (QTS) Headteacher, Berkhamsted Pre-Prep
  2. 2. What do we mean by progress in the Pre-Prep? The Pre-Prep Learning Brain How to Develop Mastery: Austin’s Butterfly How to Challenge Children in the Pre-Prep
  3. 3. What do we mean by progress in the Pre-Prep?
  4. 4. How to Challenge in the Pre-Prep What do we mean by Progress?
  5. 5. What do we mean by Progress? Learning to Read Ik heet Irene en ik lees graag. Ik lees graag longe boeken.
  6. 6. What do we mean by Progress? Learning to Read Ik lees graag korte boeken. Ik lees graag boeken met plaatjes.
  7. 7. What do we mean by Progress? Learning to Read Ik lees graag grappige boeken. Ik lees graag verrietige boeken.
  8. 8. What do we mean by Progress? Reading Challenge Reading Task: The Krinklejup A krinklejup was parling a tristlebin when a barjam stipped. The barjam then grupped the krinklejup. The krinklejup zisked zoelly. Comprehension Exercise: What was the krinklejup doing? parling a tristlebin What stipped? a barjam stipped What did the barjam grup? the krinklejup How did the krinklejup zisk? zoelly
  9. 9. What do we mean by Progress? Reading Challenge Reading Task: The Krinklejup A krinklejup was parling a tristlebin when a barjam stipped. The barjam then grupped the krinklejup. The krinklejup zisked zoelly.
  10. 10. What do we mean by Progress? Reading Challenge Reading Task: The Krinklejup A krinklejup was parling a tristlebin when a barjam stipped. The barjam then grupped the krinklejup. The krinklejup zisked zoelly. Comprehension Exercise: NOUNS: krinklejub, trislebin, barjam VERBS: was parling, stipped, grupped, zisked ADVERBS: zoelly
  11. 11. What do we mean by Progress? Reading Challenge Reading Task: The Krinklejup A krinklejup was parling a tristlebin when a barjam stipped. The barjam then grupped the krinklejup. The krinklejup zisked zoelly. Comprehension Exercise: Questions that probe deeper Describe what a krinklejup/ a tristlebin / a barjam looks like. Why you think the barjam grupped the krinklejup? Describe how to stip, grup and zisk? What would make you zisk zoelly?
  12. 12. What do we mean by Progress? Reading Challenge Reading Task: The Krinklejup A krinklejup was parling a tristlebin when a barjam stipped. The barjam then grupped the krinklejup. The krinklejup zisked zoelly.
  13. 13. How to Challenge in the Pre-Prep What do we mean by Progress? Reading Task: The Wolf A wolf was chasing a little girl when a huntsman appeared. The huntsman then shot at the wolf. The wolf ran away frightened.
  14. 14. What do we mean by Progress? Reading Challenge Reading Task: The Wolf A wolf was chasing a little girl when a huntsman appeared. The huntsman then shot at the wolf. The wolf ran away frightened. Comprehension Exercise 2: Describe what a krinklejup/ a tristlebin / a barjam looks like. Why you think the barjam grupped the krinklejup? Describe how to stip, grup and zisk? What would make you zisk zoelly?
  15. 15. How to Challenge in the Pre-Prep What do we mean by Progress? It is too easy to think that a young child has grasped a topic, idea or skill.
  16. 16. How to Challenge in the Pre-Prep What do we mean by Progress?
  17. 17. How to Challenge in the Pre-Prep What do we mean by Progress?
  18. 18. The Pre-Prep Learning Brain and Pupil Profiles
  19. 19. The Pre-Prep Learning Brain – Early Years Hothousing Hothousing “is the process of inducing infants to acquire knowledge that is typically acquired at a later developmental level.” Sigel 1987, p.212
  20. 20. The Pre-Prep Learning Brain – Early Years Hothousing “One can teach very young children a lot of material that can be learned in a rote, mechanistic fashion but without their understanding. Why bother to spend the time and energy to teach material earlier, when the probability is very high that most children will learn it all later anyway, more easily and with understanding? “In sum, my basic argument derived from research on cognitive development is that acquisition and use of knowledge involve understanding because understanding allows for generalisation of acquired knowledge to various contexts.” Sigel 1987 p.215-6
  21. 21. The Pre-Prep Learning Brain – Early Years Learning Words 12 months Children move from sounds to words. 18 - 24 months Vocabulary of 20 – 50 words 5 years old Vocabulary of 2000 words
  22. 22. The Pre-Prep Learning Brain – Early Years Learning to Read and Write “Categorizing words and learning the alphabet involves attending to sounds of speech.” p.47 Nursery Rhymes play an important part in this process as they demonstrate an implicit awareness of the sound and rhythm of spoken language. Jack and Jill went up the Hill Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall . . . Peter Piper . . . Fee, Fie, Fo, Fum
  23. 23. The Pre-Prep Learning Brain – Early Years Learning to Write “Few children will have established the skills involved in writing until the age of four, no matter how good their conversational language or how exposed they are to books and other forms of writing.” Blakemore and Frith The Learning Brain 2005 p.48
  24. 24. The Pre-Prep Learning Brain Learning to Write “The brain’s motor cortex, which controls hand and finger coordination is not usually fully developed until five years old . . . Development continues through the primary school years. Because there are large individual differences in the speed of acquiring fine motor coordination, it is pointless to be cross with a young child who makes little progress in writing simply because they cannot control their hand movements. Whether or not coordination should be accelerated through handwriting or through other kinds of finger exercises is an open question.” Blakemore and Frith The Learning Brain 2005 p.48
  25. 25. The Pre-Prep Learning Brain – Pre-Prep Learning to Read and Write “As vocabulary and grammatical competence increases, children become able to give a continuous account of events – to “tell a story.” This narrative form of talk is related to the independent expression of language need for writing. Children who have competent narrative skills learn to read and write more readily than those who have not established these skills.” p.48
  26. 26. Pupil Profiles Likelihood to SURVIVE Apgar Vital Signs at Birth 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Appearance Pulse Grimace Activity Respiration
  27. 27. Pupil Profiles Likelihood to SURVIVE Apgar Vital Signs at Birth Likelihood to THRIVE at School Educational Vital Signs 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 1. Articulacy, Literacy and Numeracy 2. Getting on with Teachers 3. General Knowledge 4. Contributing to School 5. Wide Friendship Groups Appearance Pulse Grimace Activity Respiration
  28. 28. Pupil Profiles Well-rounded Articulacy, literacy and numeracy Wide friendship General Knowledge Getting on with teachers Contributing to School
  29. 29. Pupil Profile Imbalanced Articulacy, literacy and numeracy Wide friendship General Knowledge Getting on with teachers Contributing to School
  30. 30. How to Challenge in the Pre-Prep More of the same? “I really wish I hadn’t told my teachers that I could write because then they just made me do it more.”
  31. 31. How to Develop Mastery: Austin’s Butterfly
  32. 32. Case Study: Drawing Butterflies Austin’s Butterfly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqh1MRWZjms
  33. 33. Case Study: Drawing Butterflies Austin’s Butterfly
  34. 34. How to Challenge Children in the Pre-Prep
  35. 35. Early Years Provision Early Years Curriculum • Personalisation • Enjoyment • Depth Adult Interaction Highly Able • Identification • Acceleration • Enrichment Shared Experience Engendering Curiosity Early Stimulation
  36. 36. PATHS Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies Developing Children’s Emotional Literacy Skills: 1. Self Awareness 2. Managing Feelings 3. Motivation 4. Empathy 5. Social Skills
  37. 37. Case Study Sarah’s Profile Articulacy, literacy and numeracy Wide friendship General Knowledge Getting on with teachers Contributing to School
  38. 38. Case Study Staff Activity What are the key issues that arise when supporting a child like Sarah?
  39. 39. Stretch and Challenge Some Practical Strategies Teacher-led activities • Learning Groups • Open-ended Questioning • Extensive Discussion • Dynamic Investigation • Peer Teaching Independent/ Home Activities • Developing Mastery – Austin’s Butterfly • • • • Mathematical Sacks Imaginative Play Outdoor/Longitudinal Study Experimentation with Resources/ Mixed Media
  40. 40. Stretch and Challenge Practical Strategies Peer to Peer Learning Opportunity to engage with an intellectual peer • work on a special project together • make up games and puzzles for each other. Reporting Back Time • Allowing time for a child to report back to a group after an independent task.
  41. 41. Stretch and Challenge Practical Strategies Outdoor/Longitudinal Study Recording the Weather Extension Tasks • Measuring the Temperature at a set time each day – Recording in a Table – Making a Graph • Measuring Wind-speed – Recording in a Table – Making a Graph
  42. 42. Stretch and Challenge Practical Strategies Experimentation with Resources • Mixed Media A “pretend” 6th Birthday Cake
  43. 43. Stretch and Challenge Practical Strategies Resources Most Early Years settings are well equipped. However catering effectively for highly able young children is dependent on how these resources are used. Regular building blocks develop principles in Physics, team-building and imagination.
  44. 44. Stretch and Challenge Practical Strategies Conclusions • • • • • • • Ensure understanding before moving on. Aim for mastery rather than more of the same. Avoid prolonged or repetitive writing tasks. Let children follow their interests. Develop the child holistically. Foster and maintain successful partnerships. Think about how you can use existing resources more imaginatively.
  45. 45. Further Reading and References • Blakemore, SJ and Frith, U. The Learning Brain, 2005 • Lindon, J. Reflective Practice and Early Years Professionalism, 2010 • Sigel, I. ‘Does Hothousing Rob Children of Their Childhood’ Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 2, pp. 211-225 (1987) • Sutherland, M. Gifted and Talented in the Early Years, 2005 • Sutherland, M. Developing the Young Gifted and Talented Learner, 2008 • Wallace, B. Teaching Thinking Skills Across The Early Years – A Practical Approach for Children Aged 4-7, 2002 • Austin’s Butterfly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqh1MRWZjms
  46. 46. Samantha L. Jaspal, B.A. (QTS) Headteacher, Berkhamsted Pre-Prep and Day Nursery Email: Twitter: Linkedin: Blog: preprephead@berkhamstedschool.org @preprephead www.linkedin.com/in/samanthajaspal www.preprephead.blogspot.com

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