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Primary Teacher Amy: The Doctors Visit

Follow Primary teacher Amy as she documents her experiences supply teaching in South London schools and Nurseries through Protocol Education. In her first blog of the new year Amy discusses a recent project that took place at the last school she taught at - the "Doctors Visit"!

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The Doctors Visit

This was a project which took place several months ago when I was working in a previous role but it's fresh in my memory at the moment as I was recently sent a poster based on feedback from the study.


The project was carried out by junior doctors and arts creatives who are in the process of setting up a charity called 'Hands on Hearts.'

The aim of the charity is to promote health and wellbeing by educating children about health through interactive and fun/play based activities. Their visit to Year 3 in my last school was the pilot, but also a study in which they collected data and implemented this into research.

How it works

Children were asked a variety of questions prior to the activities about their household size, number of smokers per household, knowledge of where certain body parts were, understanding of hospitals and their feelings associated with hospitals. These questions were asked again afterwards to see if understanding and attitudes had changed. Brent was considered an appropriate borough to work in as it has (according to the recent London Poverty Profile)  scores above average for 16 out of 20 poverty indicators. It was clear that overcrowding is a big issue in our community and this is known to have detrimental effects on a range of health factors.

Each Year 3 class was divided into groups of ten (supervised by a Teacher,TA and Doctor) and they rotated around the following activities:

  1. Finding their pulse using stethoscopes, comparing their pulse before and after exercise and seeing whether this matched their predictions
  2. Putting on tabards with bronchi and trachea printed on them and using a tub of chocolate syrup (to represent tar) to paint each others drawn on lungs. They then discussed the imagined effects of tar on breathing.
  3. Handling plastic bones and trying to identify them, watching a short slide presentation of x- rays of foreign objects and fractures and learning how to tie broad arm slings!


From a teaching point of view this had many features of an outstanding lesson - it was a true example of children learning by doing. Although I facilitated the visit by inviting the doctors to school,arranging the space and sending out consent letters to parents,  the credit has to go to the lead teacher involved. She devised the charity and thought of the activities and necessary resources. My colleagues and I were able to provide behaviour support and bring the activities back to learning but the doctors were fabulous in terms of their creativity and ideas!

I will have to write about their findings, follow up and the future of the charity in another blog -  there is too much to say!

Related Blogs:

The Makings of a Good Supply Teacher

UK Lesson Plans: Work with What You are Given

Tags: Amy, Supply Teacher, Canadian, Primary, Teach in UK, Doctor, Protocol Education, Teach in London

Category: Australian Teachers

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