The End of an Era – Goodbye Orange Class

It’s been a while since I blogged, for various reasons, but I feel like this is a good time to write a new post. After five years of working in the wonderful Orange Class I have now moved out of the classroom and will be teaching Year 5 in September. This is a very surreal experience for me as the classroom has been such a huge part of my life and career. I have tried to develop a curriculum that is rich, diverse and stimulating and takes account of multiliteracies, critical literacy and new literacies, while still teaching the National Curriculum. I have also tried to create a stimulating learning environment. I believe that a classroom should be a haven for both staff and pupils – a place that stimulates creativity and offers a safe place for learning. Over the past five years I have tried to develop different areas of my classroom that stimulate real creative learning.

The picture above, for example, is the cloak room which I turned into a ‘Theatre of Dreams’ to link with our topic of Dreams. The children performed drama work in this area. We also made a talking Magic Mirror (from ‘Snow White’) which lit up and spoke dialogue from the story. I have created other areas over the years too – creativity areas to support animation work, blogging benches with computers and a dinosaur dig-site to link with our Dinosaur unit of work.

I always try to promote reading for pleasure and I think a class library is essential for this. I therefore decided to create a separate area in my classroom and purchased some cheap wood effect flooring from eBay to create a defined area. I also created a comic bank as well as a setting up an old TV for multimodal stories and films. The was also a dressing up box in the corner too so children could act out the stories they read.

I always tried to make interesting displays with the children. This part of a display about the Great Fire of London before it was taken down and renewed. The children painted the background and created the 3D houses to recreate Pudding Lane. I always tried to keep the classroom bright and welcoming. But after dismantling it over the past two weeks I feel like it has really lost its soul…

I taught my first ever lesson as an NQT on that carpet and I have focused all of my research within the walls of this classroom. @ClassroomTweets was born here along with all of the projects I have planned and developed with my classes. I wrote my first article about my work in this classroom and my MA thesis was written using data I collected there.  It’s such a strange feeling to be leaving as it’s been a real haven for me over the past few years. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with the same team, who have become like a second family to me – thank you to Kelly, Elaine and Sylvia for five wonderful years and for all of the children who have been in Orange Class. I am excited about the next challenge in Year 5 but I will never forget my time in Orange Class… it has been great.