‘Ancient Egypt is perhaps year 4’s favourite topic with its’ wealth of history steeped in stunning art and the greatest archaeological discovery of all time. To make it REAL and purposeful we asked last years’ children which Egypt-based charity they would like to support, donkeys were the preferred choice of a massive majority.Wanting to make a real difference in our local area as well, we visited the local donkey sanctuary to find out what sort of challenges, cruelties and transformations our animals went through. We learned what makes donkeys special, how they are treated and what they need to recouperate.Rather than just fund-raising we wanted to raise awareness and produce a quality item related to Egypt so we decided to design a jute bag made from natural fibres very close to papyrus. All of our children researched Egyptian designs from artefacts and tomb paintings then went on to design their own art for the bag competition. A representative from Go jute came to explain what makes a good design and why we should choose jute over plastic.Later, winners were chosen and the bags were printed.
In literacy we learned through play scripts and dialogues how to speak to customers, using role play, persuasion, facts and research.Finally our children went out to a variety of venues to sell to the public. They learned quickly how to adapt to individual customers, to speak with fluency and confidence and to be resilient if customers were not interested. Every child sold a bag, some sold as many as 31!Back at school the children used their maths skills to count up the money and do related maths problems, adding up, taking away the costs, then dividing the proceeds between the charities at home and in Cairo. It gave them a great deal of satisfaction to see the fruits of their labours accumulate.We can see how much confidence, focus and reasoning this type of topic can develop in even the most shy or introverted child and feel the skills far outweigh those acquired in traditional class based learning.
In January the Flicka foundation will invite their donkeys to our assembly to receive a cheque that will improve the animals’ lives and our children will be proud to know that they have influenced our world for the better.As a result of a related assembly one year 3 child went home to show her dad The Plastic Whale film and explained how plastic is clogging our oceans and killing several species, the power of the children’s message is indisputable.‘
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