Grayrigg CE School - Start Small Think Big

Mighty Oaks- Year 5 and 6

The Big Brothers and Sisters of our School

The Mighty Oaks children work with Mrs Cooper (head teacher) in the mornings and Miss Wright in the afternoon.

They are the school leaders and lead on the school’s Christian values.

In Mighty Oaks the values are:

  • Year 5: Justice and Peace
  • Year 6: Courage and Humility

In the Mighty 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. We look for opportunities to work with people who may inspire them. We work to move beyond a simple question and answer session when working with these experts but try to involve them in our learning, for example…

As part of the work about the respiratory 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 lambs lungs - it was inspirational to see the children tracking down the trachea, bronchi, all the way to the alveoli. Previously she completed work with the children about the circulatory system.

We also started our work about DNA by taking our older pupils to work with forensic detectives from Cumbria Constabulary after which the Mighty Oaks then organised a forensic day for the year 3 and 4 pupils.

In other areas we build on work led by experts. For example, after working with Men in Sheds in the Oaks class the Mighty Oaks. In year 6 apply the skills they have learnt at “the shed” to create their own up cycling project.

As with all other classes, the Mighty Oaks have a weekly outdoor session. This encourages resilience, risk assessing, thinking creatively, critically and reflectively. In their work the children use tools, create structures, build fires to cook food and much more. They also explore different local environments through these sessions which climax in a wild camp at the end of year six - where they build dens to sleep in, cook their own dinner and breakfast.

Whilst our stunning rural setting provides many advantages, we also encourage the children to look beyond what they know. During their time in the Mighty Oaks the children will enjoy a residential to London. The whole visit is done using public transport to ensure all the skills the develop are transferable to real life. It is always wonderful to see the children immersed in the hustle bustle of city life- enjoying the diversity of life beyond the Lake District.

Children in year 5 all become Mini Police officers- find out more about this here

Children in year 5 become Ethos leaders- find out more about this here