Saturday, 24 May 2014

Going out with a bang

After 3 years spanning every year of primary education between the 3 deckhands, boat school is coming to an end. We have looked around at the local schools, put in the application forms and now we just have to wait for a decision and a place. It is good to see them excited about going and about the new opportunities that school will bring them. Going back to ‘normal’ school when we returned was always part of the plan. The fact that the eldest is due to start secondary school in September featured largely in our timing for the ‘big adventure’.

Reception phonics numeracy in Autumn 2011
Year 5&6 doing work inspired by school report day Spring 2014

*edited 11/5/17 to make sense, it was clearly not phonics he was learning from those number cards!

From reception year phonics through year 3 science and up to year 6 maths we have now been there, done that. In addition to more than a passing nod to the national curriculum they have covered and discovered so much. It has been fun and not so much fun, it has been a pleasure and sometimes not, the planning has been sometimes easy, sometimes more challenging. Some things were an absolute hit, other things didn’t work or go down as well as I had hoped or expected but we have all learned lots. Did you know that woodlice had pouches like a kangaroo and pirates really did have parrots?

Working in the park at Loraedo, Spring 2013

Over the last few weeks, inspired by a local event, the deckhands asked for a mini topic on pirates. What young boys would not want to sing sea shanties, read about pirates – especially the gory details - revel in tales of privateers, write piratical stories, draw pictures, find out about weapons and build a cannon.

This was definitely one for the skipper to get involved with. After some research and planning, they came up with a design for a cannon which really looked the part. Out of insulating tiles, cardboard tubing, spray paint, glue and tape arose a weapon fit to attack any ship. With the aid of party poppers and string the cannon banged and smoked. The deckhands took it in turns to load and fire and the final term of boat school ended with a bang.

Since they started boat school at Topsham quay in 2011, there have been lessons inside whilst rain hammered on the roof, on deck in the sunshine, in parks, on beaches and in museums and art galleries. There have been trips to caves, rock formations, salt pans and cathedrals. They have made volcanoes, a solar system and a full set of clay nativity figures. Together we have sung, danced, written, drawn, calculated, watched and explored our way through many subjects, many topics and many random offshoots caused by questions and a thirst for knowledge. What more can we ask than that they want to know about everything and understand how to look for answers.
In the words of Gandhi 'Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.' 

Working on the deck in Santander, Autumn 2012

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