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Shaping young minds with Polydron

by Michael Ford last modified 29 Jan, 2020 05:02 PM

A school in north Wiltshire has partnered with a successful manufacturer to aid pupils' aspirations.

Mrs Gibbens, EYFS* Lead, explains:

"At St Bartholomew’s Primary Academy everything is underpinned by our school vision statement of ‘Hand in hand we learn, we grow, we soar’. It is our ambition for all members of the school community to have the highest aspirations of themselves and others. One way we live out our vision is by allowing the children to experience and meet successful individuals, entrepreneurs and companies.

"Last October we became involved with the company Polydron UK and were asked if our EYFS pupils would like to take part in promotional materials. This involved our children being given the opportunity to explore the variety of polydron resources whilst being filmed.

"We were excited to take part in this process and predicted that the children would enjoy investigating the selected ‘Original’ and ‘Magnetic Polydron’. We did not expect, however, the level of engagement from all the pupils involved!

"Not only did the children deepen their understanding of 2D shapes which can build 3D structures, thus developing their mathematical understanding of shape, but from working alongside the children, we were delighted to see the manifestation of many of our school values.

"Initially, the children needed to show courage to attempt to connect the tiles to achieve an end result. As their confidence and experiences grew they also had to show resilience when models occasionally collapsed. Perseverance was evident in many of the children’s eagerness to re-build,

“I’ll just have another go... I won’t give up!” (AC, aged 5)
“This time I’ll perseverance, I’m not going to stop!” (EH, aged 4)

"The session provided a perfect opportunity for us to observe the children’s innate curiosity to learn and to assess their fine motor skills as well as highlighting pupils Personal and Social skills. Who showed kindness and were willing to share? Which children were the most co-operative? Who preferred to work solo rather than in a group? Which children were able to cooperate and make suggestions for group structures? What scores would fit the Leuven scales of involvement and engagement?

"The enthusiasm for using this equipment has continued with the children regularly selecting it to develop their own learning. It has been fascinating to see the dynamics and diplomacy of different, (sometimes unexpected), pupils becoming successful leaders.

"The necessary positive communication and interaction between pupils has also been celebrated, particularly of those children requiring speech and language support.

"A great find, and one which we would wholeheartedly recommend in other EYFS settings!"

*Early Years Foundation Stage

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