The Discovery Time book is an exciting resource for primary teachers
Encouraging a student-directed learning environment where children create, explore and work on problem solving activities...
What is Discovery Time?
This exciting, activity-based programme provides a vehicle for teachers and students to explore curriculum learning and key competency development, in a fun, challenging, student-directed, authentic context.
Sessions allow for a wide range of activities from the arts to the sciences, following student’s ideas, interests and passions.
Teachers are saying...
“It puts balance back into the curriculum.”
“It puts students in charge of their own learning.”
“It’s a chance to stand back and really observe your students.”
Students are saying...
“It’s the best part of the whole week.”
“You learn to challenge yourself.”
“You get to do stuff that you have never done before - you think you can’t do it, but you can.”
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Why do Discovery Time?
In our schools we need to be educating the whole child – catering for the social, emotional and physical as well as the cognitive development of the student.
Research shows that the best way to do this is to ensure that children are given opportunities to engaged in:
The importance of play cannot be underestimated. It is what happens when children are self-directing and actively involved in their learning.
Being actively involved leads to more powerful understanding and ownership of new knowledge.
Make their own choices about what they will do and how they will go about it. The teachers may set the scene but the students decide what will happen next.
When you allow children to direct their own learning, be actively involved and playful then creativity, innovation and problem solving occur naturally.
and to be guided by Skilful adult involvement
This is the glue that holds all the other elements together. It is the careful adult observations, the conversations they have, the qualities they value and encourage, and the questions they ask that lead to a successful Discovery Time session.
We’d love this part of the site to be interactive and bursting with great ideas, innovations and adaptations. So send us your thoughts, magic moments, videos and photos.
An article worth reading… What Works? Research into Practice By Dr. Shelley Stagg Peterson, OISE/University of Toronto “By Grade 4, children whose vocabulary knowledge is below grade level are likely to have difficulties in reading comprehension. How can teachers in primary classrooms support students’ vocabulary development?” Tips to Support Students’ Vocabulary Development Teachers can […]
Child led learning or how it feels to not be in charge “Child-led learning sounds like it should be easy, just see what the children are interested in and excited by and then follow it…. Where child led learning becomes more challenging is in the personal internal battles you face as a practitioner.” […]
“Key Competencies are the beating heart of education” (Guy Claxton) And they are the very essence of Discovery Time. Selecting an appropriate key competency focus and introducing to your class is important. Some key ideas from our Discovery Time book might get you started. Selecting a Key competency focus Think about the things you have […]
How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One, Back Off! This Opinion piece by Adam Grant in the NY times is well worth reading. He says that our brightest most talented students may excel in their chosen fields but it is those who have had freedom to explore, create and bend the rules that will make […]
Imagine a school day where morning and lunchtime play have been cut to a minimum to leave more time for the core curriculum – maths and literacy! This is the reality for many schools in the USA! Some brave schools in Ohio are bucking the trend and giving more time for free unstructured play – that’s 15 minutes […]