Student Teachers @ Pit

Posted on by Anita O'Donovan

We are two student teachers from Leeds Trinity University; we’ve been given the opportunity to spend two weeks on placement at the National Coal Mining Museum, in order to experience the benefits of learning outside of the classroom and how it may differ from a mainstream class.

The NCM offers workshops that help children to develop their understanding of different topics such as; Rocks and Fossils, History, Light and Dark, in ways that are not accessible in school. The Sally Fletcher and Aunty Brenda workshops offer children an insight into the difficult life of miners and their families at different years.

When we observed these workshops it was evident that all the children were engaged and involved as they were able to handle artefacts, discuss what they could see, and even dress up as some of the characters!

During our time here at the NCM we’ve both learnt many different things about teaching: how vital it is getting children to fully immerse themselves in the environment and atmosphere of a topic, the importance of getting physical objects to explore and question, and that creating a memorable experience for children can be more important than completing worksheets or watching a video.

This placement has taught us a lot of new techniques that we can take with us into our classrooms.

One of the highlights of our placement has been assisting schools in the underground tours. The children showed enthusiasm and excitement, and it is evident that they were learning throughout the whole experience. We felt that the team of miners are able to adapt well to different groups of children, teach facts in a fun and different way, as well as creating a memorable experience.

We also really enjoyed the Rocks and Fossils workshop as it fits in well with the National Curriculum and allowed children to get a hands-on experience of the different rocks. The children took part in several engaging activities that challenged all pupils whilst catering for different needs. The workshop ended with each child creating a fossil to take back to school.

Overall our time at the NCM has been unforgettable and provided us with many different strategies that we can use throughout our teaching practice. We will definitely recommend this to all the schools we come across as an amazing experience that ties in well with all learning.

Written by Ayesha Zahid and Stephen Dunn.

Posted in Education


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