The Commission Model at Woodrow First School
The "Festival of Food" Commission
To raise the profile of a new Healthy Minds Cafe. The cafe is within a foundation which offers support to young people and adults in Redditch.
The cafe is open to people using the services in the building, but also to members of the public. It also provides a route into work for young people who can work towards food hygiene qualifications etc.
So possibilities included…
Give children’s reviews of vegan meals and snacks on the cafe menu
Create some open sandwich recipe ideas for the cafe or a version of a Buddha bowl
Create some child friendly persuasive posters for the Old Needleworks cafe - the cafe is tucked away and some say it is hard to find
Create some art work which could add to the decor and encourage families from Woodrow to visit
Create social media content in order to raise awareness within the community
Because of the short time frame (5 weeks) it was agreed with the client that we would produce some art work and a Woodrow Special item for the menu - to encourage families to visit the cafe and try it out.
AGE GROUP: Year 4 (8-9)
Design Technology - the children evaluate various items on the menu, e.g., gluten-free bread; and then design a particular menu item - The Woodrow Special. When evaluating a food item and making/ preparing, they learn and follow food hygiene rules. They also think about how an item of food can be presented.
PSHE - the children explore healthy lifestyles - including whether what they put into their bodies has an impact.
Writing - they apply their knowledge of persuasive writing to create posters or adverts for the cafe.
Art - Festival of Food drawing, painting and sculpture from observation unit from AccessArt. Children create some 3 D paintings of food items to display in the cafe.
Reading - summarising chapters of a story “Hope Jones Does Not Eat Meat,” and of non-fiction based on different diets.
Science - classifying plants. Organising plants by which part is eaten by humans. The role that food production might play in climate change.
ICT - create a database to collate opinions on different subjects.
Where food comes from, i.e., animal/plant; food miles
Food and health/mood
Broadening people’s outlooks
Do we eat with our eyes?
Is veganism a food fad?
Use the poem “Vegan Delight” by Benjamin Zephaniah as a model for writing a poem.
Make surveys. What would persuade a parent to take their child to the cafe?
Prepare vegan food - taste and evaluate. Try gluten free and non-gluten free panini, bagels and wraps.
Use the evaluation from this to help inform the design of an extra product for the menu.
Picnic with parents - design, prepare and share the food.
Exploring points of view - omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, food intolerances
Use the poem “Hot Dog” by Kit Wright and the story “Hope Jones Does Not Eat Meat” by Josh Lacey. Children in role as family members with differing views. Also in role as a butcher and farmer.
Children think about how some peoples negative attitude towards vegan and vegetarian food might be changed.
Children and adults in role as different aged customers in the cafe.
We create "The Woodrow Special" - a cheesecake bagel! We hold a picnic with parents and carers to try "The Woodrow Special."
Social media content raising awareness of the cafe. Artwork created, to add to the cafe decor. "The Woodrow Special" is added to the cafe menu.
REFLECTIONS by Lisa Hinton
The commission has established a link with a community organisation which can hopefully continue beyond the project. Finding the right client is tricky but worth it when there are genuine benefits for the client as well as meaningful tasks for the children.
These projects take longer than you think! It is a shame that this particular group of children are now moving on to a new school and can’t continue to deepen the connection which was starting to emerge with the client. Therefore, I would either start at the beginning of an academic year or work with a different year group of children in future projects.
We didn’t find time to meet the client in person or visit the cafe and this would also have helped to make a stronger link, and more meaning to the work, I feel.
"History at Home" Commission
To evaluate the “History at Home” online learning resources on the Black Country Living Museum website. Give feedback to the programme developer and make suggestions for future resources.
Black Country Living Museum Education Department. Tom Dipple (Programme Developer)
What is it like to be learning at home versus learning at school?
What makes learning resources interesting and child friendly?
How can history based resources respect the people from the past?
History - local history study. What was it like for families and children during the Industrial Revolution?
Computing - accessing information on the internet. Creating a presentation with sound and pictures. Internet and e safety.
Reading - finding out about James Brindley and life on the cut or the canals.
Writing - taking notes. Writing questions. Communicating with the client through written messages. Creating a mock up of a non-fiction slide in a PowerPoint presentation.
PSHE - what it means to be part of a community.
Evaluating a PowerPoint presentation - classifying the slides as to their purpose and their effectiveness. Rating the slides in order to decide on one which might be improved.
Researching the life of James Brindley in order to suggest improvements to the information about him within the History at Home resources.
Evaluating the "Life on the Cut" video resource. Using iMovie to make a “mock up” of a child-friendly version.
Exploring points of view – firstly, of children during covid lockdown, trying to learn at home. Parents of children trying to support home learning.
The life of James Brindley - adult in role, talking as if a painting has been activated to speak. Who was he? What was he like? How can the resource reflect his life and be respectful to him as well as engaging?
Ideas for improvements to the PowerPoint slides, shared with Tom Dipple
“Mock up” imovie videos - much shorter, less talking, more friendly - a real person seen on screen.
Tom Dipple wrote a report for the children, as they were at home again due to the second covid lockdown. It explained how he and his team were going to use the children’s ideas when making their next set of resources for the website.
They finally got to meet him when Tom invited the children to the museum as it opened up again just before their school year ended.
REFLECTIONS by Lisa Hinton
The children initially had mixed feelings about working for a real life client - excited through to nervous and anxious about being able to do a good job. Tom spoke to them via Teams and put them at ease - he told them not to be worried about what they said about the resources as he wanted their honest opinions. This empowered them and the work had a buzz about it!
Working with an organisation who have some experience of working with children is a bonus I think.
Timings can be tricky - finding the right times to meet and keeping the project moving with lots of interaction, so we needed to have other things to do if we were waiting for contact. As a teacher I think we need to be mindful of this and the fact that the client will be very busy!
The children loved this work as they had a real voice and there was a genuine need for their input. They connected with Tom and this made them want to do a good job for him.
I wrote about the experience for the NATD journal. The article is titled “The Commissioners”
Erasmus Plus 2019-22