School focus: Hinde House Primary School
Pupils at Hinde House Primary, in Wincobank, are active learners who experience learning in a different way during a school day that goes beyond the four walls of the classroom.
Whether it be walking to nearby Wincobank Hill to learn about its Roman history or visiting the Peak District to have a go at map reading, learning is brought to life in hopes of giving the children a ‘meaningful’ and hands on experience.
Lessons are not solely confined to the classroom, with teachers using a range of adventurous activities to build on core learning and help the children with their understanding of various subjects.
Every year group is encouraged to provide a range of relevant school trips, which happen at least three times a year.
And, in addition, those in Key Stage 2 are offered two residential trips – Whirlow Hall Farm, in Whirlow, in Year 4 and Thornbridge Hall, in Bakewell, in Year 6
Joint deputy headteacher Fran Brown said: “We have a very active approach to our curriculum so we do a lot of active learning.
“Lessons aren’t always sat at the table being spoken at and doing group work. We get outside, we go out into the yard and we do a lot of games that involve children getting up and being active.
“For example, we have school scooters and children can scoot for the answers on the yard during their challenges.”
Joint deputy headteacher Debbie Maclean said: “We’ve got an outside classroom, children love using that, and have timetabled lessons to enjoy it.
“All the children every day also do a ‘Hinde House kilometre’. We call it the Hinde House kilometre because children go out and they do 10 laps of the playground or the brick works which is just next to our school.
“We’ve measured out a kilometre in different ways and the children will go on those different routes, depending on their age.
“We’ve kept at it, and they’ve got better and better. It is about that consistent approach through school.”
Mrs Brown added: “This is our third year, and we are seeing benefits. For example, one of the teachers did it in the morning last week who doesn’t normally and she said afterwards the children were so much more ready for learning, they were focused and much more active in their participation in the lesson.”
The school recently took part in a cross country event, in which a Year 6 student won the boys event, beating off competition from others across Sheffield – perhaps testament to the focus on an active lifestyle at the school.
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Students at Hinde House Primary are also encouraged to take advantage of a host of extra-curricular activities – offering everything from gymnastics to football, to IT coding and Young Voices – which usually run three times a week over the course of the year.
Every Wednesday is also branded ‘wheelie Wednesday’, giving the youngsters the chance to bring their scooter or bike to school to use in the playground during supervised time at 8am, before they are locked away ready to again be used at break and lunch time.
Mrs Brown said: “They love it. It encourages them to be active and they can use their scooter or bike to travel to school. We also have the school scooters, which the teachers can use as they wish.
“The Year 6’s went on a trip to the Concord Sports Centre recently and instead of walking there, they cycled or used their scooters, the teacher included.”
Children also take part in short class exercises, with different programmes for different year groups.
Mrs Maclean said: “It is around five to 10 minutes in class in which the children are doing some kind of exercise in a morning to start the day off and that improves concentration, hand-eye co-ordination, those kinds of things.”
Elsewhere the school is centred around nine core values, which include teaching the children about care, respect and resilience in a bid to make them the ‘best they can be'.
Lessons are focused on a ‘key learning question’ to get the youngsters exploring and questioning certain topics.
Mrs Brown added: “For example the Tudors question has been about Henry VIII was he mean or was he marvellous. Then at the end of that they will do a tasked activity which is about thinking actively in social context.
“The children are presented with something to investigate and they’ll work collaboratively to do that. We often get the parents in to help and it is often creative and involves making or presenting. The Year 2’s have been learning about The Beatles this half term.
“Parents came in and they made, out of junk modelling, instruments. We then had a band come in to perform for the children and they’ve got their homemade instruments and they were playing along. It is that real life experience which is really important for our children.”
The school also enjoy a close relationship with the secondary phase of Hinde House School, based in Shiregreen Lane, often sharing facilities and preparing the younger children for the transition to secondary education.