I’m Miss Tomkins. I teach in Year 4 and am privileged to have taught so many wonderful children during my time at St Francis. I am currently teaching a great group of children in 4T, who are very curious and ask some intelligent and thought-provoking questions on topics that we have covered.
We have covered one and a half Building the Kingdom themes: The Dignity of Human Person and Options for the Poor and Vulnerable. For the first topic, we took the children on a walk where we uncovered some empty sleeping bags. This prompted a discussion about dignity of the human person and how we could ensure people were treated with dignity. In Science, we looked at nutrition and the importance of eating a balanced diet. We discussed the difficulties a homeless person might have in eating a balanced diet and how we might help them. I am pleased that many of the children in 4T told me how they had seen and helped a homeless person as a result of these discussions. We also looked at disability and how the removal of barriers for people with a disability helped them to live with dignity. We played sitting basketball, in PE and discussed how the environment could be adapted to assist people with disabilities to participate in sports. This theme was explored in our History topic on the Tudors where we explored how the poor and Catholic people in Tudor times were not treated with dignity.
When looking at Options for the Poor and Vulnerable, we began with a competition which only certain children in the class could enter as they weren’t given enough money to enter. This led into a discussion about how options for poorer people were less than those for wealthier people. The children gave some very thoughtful opinions and asked excellent questions. We looked at where and how chocolate is made, the cocoa bean and where it grows in the world. We were planning to link this back to options for the poor and vulnerable and discuss the cocoa trade and how, in some areas, those who work in the cocoa trade are exploited by the owners of cocoa bean plantations. We explored the options of poor and vulnerable people in Victorian times, with a particular focus on the conditions in Victorian factories. We visited the Cadbury factory in Bournville to see how chocolate was made and the facilities that the Cadbury Brothers provided for their workers.