Harry Potter brings bottom-ranked school to the top

November 14th, 2007 - 2:43 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov 14 (ANI): Harry Potter has cast his spell on a bottom-ranked school, which shot to the top after introducing a curriculum based on the young boy wizard.
An official government report has extolled a primary school as “outstanding” after it introduced Harry Potter-themed lessons, it has been revealed.
The fictional young wizard created by J K Rowling has helped standards at Robert Mellors Primary and Nursery in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, climb spectacularly after students picked him to be the inspiration for all their classes.
This term has seen students learning subtraction with the help of a Potter-esque “spell”, writing their own plays based on the best-selling books and even keeping fit by pretending to get on and off imaginary broomsticks.
The annual classes have been named after the much-popular houses at the Hogwarts - Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.
The children wave wands as they participate in the fun of learning and the staff teaches lessons by donning wigs and costumes.
The Harry Potter influence has made pupils so enthralled by their lessons that their behaviour in class has improved as well as their results have shot up.
The school, in a deprived area, has jumped from the bottom 25 per cent of schools nationally to just outside the top 5 per cent over the last three years after deciding to let pupils pick a theme for the curriculum each term.
During the most recent visit from Ofsted, the inspector witnessed a maths lesson where the children were motivated to learn about subtraction by pretending that it is a magic formula created by Harry Potter.
For English, pupils learn about dramatisation and create their own scripts for plays based on the text from chapter two of J K Rowling’s debut novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
In History, the childrena re taught the history of flight, starting with a discussion of Harry Potter’s broomstick, then discussing if that is real and tracing the real development of aviation, including the Wright brothers.
The official report describes achievement at the school as “outstanding”.
“Pupils enter the school with standards well below average. Over the last three years, standards and achievement have improved greatly and were above average in Key Stage 2 tests in 2006,” the Daily Mail quoted the report, as saying.
“Pupils are enthusiastic about their work in mathematics and particularly enjoy practical tasks and those that allow them to investigate mathematics. Some pupils said they enjoyed calculations because they knew what they were doing and they liked getting things right.
“They commented that mathematics is fun because they are always challenged and their teachers link it to the work they are doing in other subjects. Lessons observed were taught through the topic being covered in literacy. For example, subtraction was seen as a spell by ‘Harry Potter’.”
The interim report added: “Behaviour in lessons was of the highest standard and reflects pupils’ enjoyment.
Head teacher Donna Chambers said: “Other schools do topic-based learning, but not to the extent we do. With maths, the teacher will say ‘today we are learning how to do inverse operation’. They put on their Harry Potter hat and wands, and work it out in their books.” (ANI)

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