'I am a photographer' with Year 5

In Year 5, we trialled the ‘I am a Photographer’ unit alongside our environmental topic ‘Keen to be Green’.

One of the benefits of the scheme of work is that it fits so neatly with the topics being studied – we could probably have chosen from any of the Year 5, and indeed Year 6, units and they would have enhanced the topic.

The photograhy one was fantastic for the summer term and for really developing the creativity in the children, especially those whose limited fine motor skills meant that their artistic ideas often did not materialise in practice.

The most heartening aspect of the whole unit was the success and self-esteem of these pupils (sometimes with SEN) who found that they were on a level playing field in photography with their peers and, in fact, often showed an aptitude for thinking outside of the box.

The demos were a fantastic resource, with one showing being enough for most children to learn the necessary skills and move on quickly to a more advanced level (another good boost for self-esteem).

The children learned to take photos of nature with an environmental twist and then used GIMP and Picassa to enhance their photos, with the aim of sending an environmental message.

Some of the ideas were to make the plants look plastic or dead; one child managed to make his photo of a rose look as though it was bleeding (I have no idea how!)  They managed to use the backdrop of the building works next door to the school to hammer home their environmental message.

The photos were all displayed and judged for a local competition.  They also wrote eco-poems to go alongside their photos for the School’s Open Evening, leading to a lot of positive comments from parents and other members of the school community.

After such a successful trial, the School has taken on the whole scheme.

At present in Year 5, we are using the ‘I am a Statitistician’ unit and the children are enjoying exploring links between arm length and throwing ability, foot size and running, birth date and lung capacity.

As you can see, again the unit is fitting well with our ‘Healthy Heart’ topic.  I never would have believed that children would find statistics so interesting or that I would find it so easy to teach!

Sarah Potts
Deputy Head
Bengeo Primary, Hertfordshire

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