by Wendy on April 12, 2014

Daylesford logo treated our dedicated school teachers and volunteers to some refreshing Prosecco and delicious nibbles, to celebrate the completion and accomplishment of our BEANii Dickens programmes in three primary schools in Westminster this week.

Since January and over ten weekly sessions, Years 4 & 5 students in the three schools have taken part in a series of scientific demonstrations and explored, through drama workshops, some of the factors that impact the prevalence of diseases between now and Victorian London. The programme ended with the performance of an interactive educational theatre show, co-created with the participated class, to school pupils, teachers and parents.photo 3

After the last show at St. Barnabas’ School on Wednesday, we gathered on Daylesford’s terrace to reflect on the experience and shared evaluation of our programme's impact on participated students' excitement for and attainment in learning. 

Excitement for learning:

85% thought BEANii Dickens made the learning of science more fun

81% thought BEANii Dickens made the learning of history more fun

Attainment in learning:

Before the programme, 19% understood two thirds of the science and history topics covered

At the end of the programme, 75% understood two thirds of the science and history topics covered

Furthermore, 70%, 66% & 53% claimed healthier changes in food, exercise and hygiene respectively as a result of what they have learnt at BEANii!

Photo_DaylesfordAnn Townshend, Head of St. Barnabas’ School, was delighted with the interest, progress and attainment of the participated students, as well as the remarkable confidence demonstrated by the children during the presentation of their show. She told us how she valued the way that our cross-curriculum programme uniquely brought the learning of science, history, literacy and drama together.

Lucy Kitching, science co-ordinator at St. Augustine’s School, and teacher of a class with 71% students that don’t speak English as a first language, said this, ‘'The BEANii programme enabled the children to develop their scientific understanding and skills through a range of practical activities.  As the children wouldn't have had the opportunity at school, their favourite activity was dissecting the heart and lungs.   Many of the children were determined to learn their lines for the show and the drama activities helped to develop their language further.'

We asked Carolyn Bradshaw, a 2nd year nutrition student at King’s College London and mother of twin 2-year olds why she travelled all the way from Hampshire every week to volunteer in the programme and this is what she said, ‘It’s vital that children understand the importance of healthy eating, exercise and personal hygiene from an early age. After the 10 weeks, the children at St Barnabas' had a really good understanding of how these things can impact their body systems. I found that working with the children and gaining their trust was very rewarding and I was very impressed by their progress.’  

The biggest thank you to all the volunteers and teachers at St Augustine’s, St. Barnabas’ and St. Peter’s for making the BEANii Dickens programme such a rewarding experience for all.

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