A school for pupils aged 4 to 11 is now trying out an innovative learning system that involves handing out real kitchen knives, saws, and hammers to kids in order to educate them about the real world.
Real tools are being used in lieu of plastic toys to enhance the pupils’ “real-world experiences” by letting them handle the real thing.
Rockland St. Mary Primary School, in Norwich, Norfolk, says that parents were “very supportive” of the new system and that there had been “only one incident with a child” during the past four weeks.
Watch to find out more below.
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Zoe Marsden, 31, and a teacher at the school said that the trial run has seen the school’s youngest pupils using real knives and teapots. She claims they have been successful in teaching children the dangers of dropping objects.
Zoe, who has been with the school for 5 years, explained: “It is anti-pretend things.
“We want them to use their own innovative and manage the risks that will come with them. They will learn to be resourceful, knowing if they drop the teapot, it will smash.
“But to also know that there are no consequences, that if it smashes on the floor we can sort it – but to know there is danger now and to be careful.
“We respect the children to be trusted with these objects, and the children respect us back more.”
Zoe continued: “We have had only one incident with a child. A little boy was trying to open a jar and he was pulling and pulling and ended up hurting his elbow because he couldn’t open the jar.
“But again, that is another lesson for him.”
She said that because the kids are using the real thing, they better understand that these items will break if they’re dropped.
“As children are exploring they are making links that pretend things don’t give them. If you give a child a plastic house or plastic kitchen, you are directing the play for them,” added the teacher.
“We want the environment to be the third teacher – so they can make links to home experiences and enhance real-world experiences.
“Even our dressing up clothes are adults’ clothes and shoes, not princess outfits.
“Some of our children have just turned four and want to clomp about in mommy’s shoes so why not give them real ones rather than plastic ones? They can re-enact what they see in real life.”
She said that since the introduction of the new teaching method, their pupils have become more focused and has had a positive impact on the way they develop in other areas.
She added: “They enjoy it more because they fill like they are doing something that is in the real world. They have been very very fascinated by it all…
“We support the children to be the best they can be, they know how to manage risk.”
Sapientia Education Trust, the school’s sponsor, fully backs the project and added that it fosters more creativity in children.