Bubbles and Missions in Casllwchwr
Bubbles and missions is an exciting, challenging and invigorating way of teaching and learning. It allows children to be independent learners that develop skills that will allow them to progress into life long learners.
It provides opportunities for children to experience rich tasks with a real life context. Children take ownership of their learning through EPIC planning; all pupil voice ideas are valued and considered when bubbles and missions are planned.
What is a Bubble?
A bubble is a focus activity with a teacher or a teaching assistant. During this focus activity children will be applying skills that will have been covered through discrete teaching in previous sessions. The bubbles will be differentiated three ways using our Earth, Moon, and Stars system. Children are encouraged to be ambitious but realistic when choosing which level to complete. When a teacher is working in a bubble the rest of the class try hard not to burst that bubble. This teaches children to be resilient and resourceful if they need help: they can use QR codes or prompts that have been provided, they can work with a partner or they can work as a team.
We endeavour to ensure that the children cover all areas of the new curriculum. Here are some examples of bubbles at Casllwchwr
Foundation Phase- Researching Christmas in other countries, writing a welsh letter to Father Christmas, Science experiment (How to dissolve a candy cane the quickest).
KS2- Planning a leaving party for a member of staff, Welsh letter writing to Father Christmas, Poetry, Descriptive writing, Science- Developing strand, Negative numbers in maths.
What is a mission?
A mission is an activity that the children access independently. There is more than one mission from children to choose from. The expectation during missions is that children work independently, take their time and complete their work to a high standard. Missions are often enhanced with QR codes, or further explanations that give children a deeper knowledge and understanding of the skill they are developing.
Foundation Phase- making snowmen biscuits and writing instructions; data handling to find favourite Christmas song; designing wrapping paper; programming the Bee-Bot to collect the presents; designing Christmas cards and calendars.
KS2- Lego (build a nativity scene); If you have the longest legs do you jump the furthest experiment; Christmas around the world; Locate countries on a map; Draw the nativity scene with chalk; Improving sentence work and animal poetry.
Our story so far
Valuable time has been invested in our staff at Casllwchwr for them to attend training courses to gain a deeper understanding of bubbles and missions.
Staff returned to school, enthused and inspired to put our own stamp on this way of learning. We initially tried bubbles and missions in our Foundation Phase and in Year 5, before later branching out to all of KS2.
We discussed and perfected the organisation of bubbles and missions. When bubbles and missions are worked on within each classroom they are set up so that 1 bubble would be with a teacher and 1 bubble would be with a teaching assistant. There would be a selection of missions within the classroom for the children.
During phased learning our bubbles and missions go cross phase. Year 4, 5 and 6 combine and Year 1, 2 and 3 combine. During phase learning the structure is the same. Each teacher and teaching assistant within a class has a bubble and within each class there is a selection of missions. We always ensure that we utilise the space we have around school effectively so children are exposed to outdoor learning, cookery, learning lunge and ICT. During phased learning the children get to mix with the adjacent year groups.
During phased learning children will each have a passport or an overview and they will self assess each activity that they visit. This gives teachers a clear overview of engagement and participation during bubbles and missions.
Links to School Development Plan
Priority 1:1 Use ICT to support differentiation and challenge -including outdoor learning
Priority 1:2 Further develop pupils’ independent learning
Priority 2:3 Develop staff questioning to focus on the ‘Earth, Moon, Stars Challenge’ to drive pupils to meet higher skills
Priority 3:1To develop independent learning when problem solving
What do our pupils say?
“ I think they are really fun, it makes it more confident” Year 6
“ I enjoy the missions because I can choose what to do and solve problems with my friends” Year 6
“I enjoy it because you get to work with other year groups and you get to learn new things independently” Year 5
“I like bubbles and missions because they are really helpful and I get to work on my own and they prepare you for things you for having to be independent” Year 5
“I like bubbles and missions because when you are doing missions you get the chance to work by yourself. You can work with a friend to help because you do not disturb the teacher during a bubble” Year 4
“I like bubbles and missions because the missions are fun activities and sometimes you work with miss and she helps you. Sometimes you have to do things by yourself in life and missions help you to get ready for this” Year 4
“I think it good when you’re in a bubble because your teacher can help you if you need it. There is a variety of things to do when you go around” Year 3
“I think bubbles are good because you get support in bubbles but can help each other in missions” Year 3
“I like bubbles because sometimes you work with your teacher but sometimes you get a chance to work by yourself” Year 2
“I like bubbles and missions because when you do missions you have to do them all on your own” Year 2
“I like bubbles and missions because you get to work with other teachers to do other activities” Year 1
“They help us to learn and work independently” Year 1
What do our teachers and teaching assistant say?
“They are great because it allows children to work independently and challenge themselves to reach their full potential” Mrs Austin Year 6
“Seeing the children excited at the variety of missions and providing them with the opportunities of different ways of recording work has made me really happy because I know they are engaged and enjoying their learning” Mrs Reece, Year 5
“It’s a fresh and exciting way of teaching and learning” Miss Preece Year 4/Reception
“I love the bubbles and missions style teaching because you can see children grow in confidence when they achieve something without a teacher guiding them” Miss Glendon Year 2
“It is lovely to see the children developing independence and being so enthusiastic about learning” Mrs Ashman Year 1
“Bubbles and missions work well as the children are engaged in the activities provided. It gives us time to sit with the children and ask higher order questions to truly understand the depth of their learning” Mrs Powell Year 2
Our aim from bubbles and missions
We aim to instill independence, encourage ambition and creativity and allow each child to reach their full potential.