In September 2015, we launched a new initiative called 'School Without Walls'. The premise was simple - and, it turned out, very effective: to inspire the more reluctant writers to WANT to write by using the great outdoors as an incentive. The first group to work with Mr Boys and Mr Pearson was a group of seven Year 4 boys. Trips included Elberry Cove, Haytor & The Templar Way, Occombe Woods and Youngs Park.
After the October half term, Mr Boys continued to work with a group of six children from Year five. One of their inspirational trips included travelling by train to Exeter (a first for several of them) to visit the Exeter Museum and to venture down the City's underground passages.
In the Spring and Summer terms of 2016, Mr Boys worked with a group of nine year six boys on a variety of writing genres. Trips for this group included: den building in Haldon Forest followed by a winter camp (on the coldest night of the year!) to inspire instructional writing; a trek on Dartmoor to inspire poetry writing; a morning at Dawlish Warren prior to a unit on explanatory writing; a visit to Brownstone Battery & an all day hike around (and on) the lower River Dart to inspire narrative writing (also using the book 'Goodnight Mr Tom' as a starting point); a walk around the whole of the Torbay coastline as a hook prior to persuasive writing. As if this wasn't enough excitement already, the group also visited Soundart Radio (where Mr Boys presents a weekly show) to talk about their School Without Walls learning and to read out some of their writing live on air! Progress in the boys' writing over the two terms, proved just how effective this style of learning is. Additionally, parents, class teachers - and the children themselves - all commented on how much more confident the boys had become as individuals.
For most of the Autumn term of 2016, Mr Boys worked with a group of Year 5 children. They repeated the highly succesful Haldon Forest and Dewerstone / Dartmoor Trek as well as a day visiting Hallsands to produce some fantastic descriptive writing. However, the highlight for this group of children was a day spent at Bovey Castle, undertaking a variety of team challenges and activities - including a 4x4 off-roading session! You can see the persuasive writing that was the outcome from this in the 'Pupils' Work' section of this page.
For the last couple of weeks of the Autumn term and the Spring term of 2017, the SWW focus has once again switched to Year 6, with new trips, including a morning trekking across a misty Moor to Wistman's Wood to inspire descriptive writing.
Further examples of the outcomes - the writing - from this wonderful style of learning, will be posted here very shortly. In the meantime, please do enjoy watching some of the videos of our School Without Walls videos.