Grayrigg CE School - Start Small Think Big

The Oaks Class - aged 7-11 (key-stage 2)

The Big Brothers and Sisters of our School

The Oaks children work with Mrs Cooper (headteacher) for most of their lessons, although they also have the pleasure of working with Mrs Hendrickse in science, RE and forest school. The aim in the Oaks is to inspire the children. They are the school leaders and lead on the school’s Christian values.

In Oaks the values are:

Year 3: Endurance and Hope
Year 4: Compassion and Respect
Year 5: Justice and Peace
Year 6: Courage and Humility

In the Oaks we encourage children to take a lead on their learning and try to avoid too much teacher talk. The aim is to give children ownership of their learning, to engage them and help them see learning as an adventure. The teacher is the guide. This doesn’t mean we let them choose what they want to do but we encourage them to work things out for themselves. For example: When exploring long multiplication, they were given completed calculations to work out how they had been answered, with the teacher there to guide, scaffold and avoid misconceptions. Giving the children opportunities to explore mathematical concepts for example can lead to them working beyond their years. We encourage the children to see their mistakes as opportunities to learn.

Our aim is inspiring the children beyond the classroom. One way we achieve this is by bringing in local experts to work with the children, the important word here being to WORK with the children. It is not uncommon for children in a school to be visited by an expert for a question and answer session, but here at Grayrigg we like to get our hands dirty.

As part of the work about the circulatory system, the children were joined by Dr Forrest, a veterinarian who talked about the similarities in the organs of all mammals. This session culminated in an optional activity of dissecting a lambs heart. She has also completed work with the children about the circulatory system.

Children in the Oaks take full advantage of their rural setting, taking learning outside when the opportunity arises. This may involve building shadufs to collect water from the river, as part of a topic about Ancient Egypt; learning about insulation through caving or water dispersal on Lake Windermere in kayaks. We are fortunate to have a qualified outdoor instructor as a member of staff here at Grayrigg, children have enjoyed ghyll scrambling, caving, kayaking, mountain climbing, abseiling and much more.

Whilst our stunning rural setting provides many advantages, we also encourage the children to look beyond what they know. Over the four years they spend in the Oaks class the children are given the opportunity to participate in two residential visits to cities. These visits take place early in the academic year. They are then used to inspire learning throughout the year. Visits have included York and London.