Katie Harris, 11, is telling me that she recently spent a lesson making paper aeroplanes and measuring how far they flew. What did she learn? “It was really enjoyable. It wasn’t just about one subject like maths, there was science in there as well,” she replied.
Katie is a pupil at Bursted Wood primary in Bexley, southeast London, one of eight schools in the borough at the forefront of a stampede back to “creative learning” and progressive teaching methods that were popular more than a decade ago.
Despite the bad press such methods got back then, when they were blamed for turning out thousands of children who couldn’t read or write properly, a survey of 115 primary schools last week revealed that four out of five are returning to teaching based around “topics” such as chocolate.
At Bursted Wood, traditional secondary-school style classes in subjects such as history, geography and maths have been ditched for topics planned out on “creative learning wheels”.