Day in the Life: Geits/Primary 7
Our Senior School journey starts with our unique Geits (Primary 7) experience. This transition year is housed in our Senior School but there is a considerable amount of liaison between the teams in the lower secondary and upper primary to ensure that the move from Junior School is as seamless as possible.
We also try to liaise with the schools of those children coming to the Academy for the first time at this time.
In the same way as in any traditional primary school, the children are based in their own classrooms for all non-specialist subjects. What is different is that all teaching is by Senior School staff. As well as the subjects taught in the Junior School the children are introduced to Design Technology and Latin in Geits.
We have a dedicated Geits Base and supervised playground area where the children can ‘grow’ as Senior School pupils under the guidance of a dedicated team of teachers and support staff who get to know them as people. Here they are encouraged to further develop a breadth of interests and to tackle life in a determined and resilient manner.
As with 2nds (S1), Geits is a traditional entry point at the Academy.
Pupils may have a quick breakfast in the Dining Hall before playing table tennis or cricket in the Geits base. By 8.30am they should be in their classroom with their teacher, organised and ready for the exciting day ahead. Their class teacher, or 7ths (S6) mentor, may give them a quiz or an “in the news” type of activity and will go over key notices about the day and week ahead.
Assembly is a chance for the whole school community to come together in our beautiful Main Hall. We all sing together and many pupils, including Geits, have the opportunity to present from the stage. If it is a Thursday morning, the Geits have their assembly in the Magnusson Theatre with the year above: the 2nds (S1). During the school year, each class has the opportunity to present a creative, pupil-led assembly on a topic of their choice.
PSHE (Personal Social and Health Education): Last week, class completed a lesson on kindness and gratitude. Today they are focusing on the theme of Friendships: Tonic or Toxic? Through a series of interactive exercises, pupils will identify the basis of a healthy friendship, recognise elements of good and toxic friendships and learn to use different ways to handle tricky situations. Next week’s lesson will focus on the theme of forgiveness in relationships.
English: PechaKucha presentations are being delivered by pupils this morning, using their iPads which are connected to the Apple TV in the classroom. They have to present 20 images on a topic of their choice. Each image or slide automatically moves on after 20 seconds. They must talk about each one without notes!
At break there is a tuck shop, followed by sports and fun in the playground. If it is raining, board games and other activities are available indoors.
French: After starting with some interactive games focusing on food and drink and the numbers 1–100, the class are now acting out an imaginary scene in a snack bar. They are taking it in turns to order food and find out the correct price of their order in French.
Geography: Pupils are learning about the structure of the earth and how earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis are caused. Diagrams are created to show the different type of plate boundaries and these are then placed on a world map.
Maths: Pupils are working on calculations involving time, speed and distance. Outside, pupils time each other running a set distance before calculating their speed.
Lunch: Geits have the unique privilege of going to lunch first, so there are no queues! There are plenty of food options and Geits are encouraged to make healthy, balanced choices. They need as much energy as possible, as at break they may be singing in full choir; preparing for a concert at the Usher Hall; they could be involved in the Eco Committee’s activities, planting vegetables and feeding the birds; or even discussing human rights in Junior Amnesty Group. The Geits have their own dedicated playground with an astro-pitch for playing football and netball amongst other sports. The Geits are still part of the main school, however, so they can choose to explore and play in the other parts of the school.
History: The class will continue working on their castles project where they are designed the ultimate castle – including all the technical features they have learned about. Some pupils are building their castles using Minecraft; some are building them from cardboard; and some are creating 2D drawings. The focus this year is on the history of Scotland and England during the Middle Ages.
Computing: In this double period, the pupils are learning how to write algorithms to solve a series of challenges on their iPads which are connected to Sphero Bolt robots.
Activities: The pupils have all chosen different activities to take part in. There are over 15 options for this day including orchestra, the school play, Model United Nations, frisbee, pottery and Warhammer! Pupils are encouraged to choose varied activities over the course of the year. Not only is it a chance for pupils to work in different groups, often in a more informal setting from lessons, but it allows pupils to work with different teachers in the school.