Florence Nightingale's suitcase set up in a classroom to inspire children's imaginations. It has lots of bright and interesting objects in it.

Marshfield School: Meeting Florence Nightingale in KS1 history

Marshfield School has been doing exceptional work using now>press>play to immerse their students in their IPC curriculum for over 3 years! We are delighted to announce that they are our first now>press>play Flagship School.  To celebrate Year 2 teacher Jake Dunn has spoken to us about their experience and shared some of his lessons on Florence Nightingale using now>press>play.

Why we use now>press>play

We purchased now>press>play at the BETT Education Show back in 2017 after witnessing first hand how amazing the immersive Experience was. We were in fact the first ever school to purchase now>press>play at BETT! 

now>press>play is used across the entire school from Nursery to Year 6 as a tool to supplement the use of the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) which we have been recognised as a centre of excellence for. At Marshfield, we pride ourselves in providing children with real life experiences and opportunities to broaden their understandings with trips taking place and visitors coming into school to share experiences. However, due to Covid-19 this has had to temporarily cease.

Thankfully, now>press>play Experiences are woven into the curriculum with opportunities to deepen understanding available to all children through IPC Entry Points to start a unit such as becoming explorers in the Arctic, Jack climbing the giant beanstalk or improving the lives of soldiers in Scutari Hospital as Florence Nightingale.

“Lessons at Marshfield Primary school using now>press>play ​are fun, dynamic and inclusive. When observing a lesson using now>press>play ​there is just a magical feeling as children are immersed into a make-believe world or transported back in time. It is truly beautiful to watch children fully engrossed in new vocabulary and experiences that they may never have experienced otherwise. now>press>play ​is a simple tool to bring learning to life and encourage children’s episodic memory skills.”

Extending learning with now>press>play’s follow-on resources

As a class teacher I can relate to how children’s imaginations map out learning and how experiences open up the possibility of constructing a series of lessons allowing writing opportunities to take place to benefit many areas of the curriculum.

The now>press>play follow up resources go hand in hand with their immersive Experiences which provide the children with opportunities to reflect or evidence their learning. At Marshfield, we have a large percentage of children who have English as an additional language therefore the development of vocabulary plays a significant role in learning. Class teachers utilise now>press>play’s Experience guides and scripts to pre-empt unfamiliar vocabulary for their classes which are used to create vocabulary cards containing pictures and definitions. The development and increased awareness of experience based vocabulary has a positive effect on future learning and writing opportunities.

Props are also used where required to develop children’s subject specific awareness. Most recently children in Year 2 undertook a “Florence Nightingale” experience as part of their Time Travellers unit. Florence Nightingale’s suitcase situated in the classroom provided an additional hook to intrigue and captivate the children’s imaginations whilst also offering the opportunity to ask questions and explore the world during the 1800s. 

Props used by Marshfield School in their Florence Nightingale teaching.

now>press>play allows the children to develop their imagination giving awe and wonder to learning, allowing topics to come to life, giving children a rich vocabulary and an alternative experience outside of the classroom.

Using the Experience scripts, we format these to incorporate reading comprehension style questions similar to Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 tests. They provide the children with the opportunity to solve factual, inferential, sequencing, true or false and also vocabulary in contract questions. We use the now>press>play Experiences to develop children’s confidence and improve their overall progress of reading.

[Jake Dunn has very generously shared two examples of comprehension worksheets he’s created, you can view them here:

How now>press>play supports our SEND learners

now>press>play significantly supports all learners in school including learners with SEND. At Marshfield, we strongly believe in having an inclusive environment whilst providing additional resources and provision to meet emerging needs.

Last year, I undertook the Arctic Experiences with a number of local head teachers and over 20 children from my class including a child on the Autistic Spectrum. From the beginning he showcased how inclusive the Experience was through demonstrating how to turn on and increase the volume of his headphones as well as completely taking part in the Experience along with strangers by crawling through the ice, building an igloo and greeting the Inuit people. The child mentioned thoroughly enjoyed the Experience and it showed in follow up learning, demonstrating how beneficial the Experience was to his learning.

Children from Marshfield School smile as they use Now Press Play in their classroom.

“now>press>play is an invaluable learning resource. It allows children of all stages of development to be immersed in exciting new experiences. I have worked in EYFS for over 12 years and I am yet to see a resource that captures the imagination of all children quite like now>press>play does. We have lots of children who are new to English and this really supports them in learning new vocabulary related to our topic.”

Developing empathy and wellbeing with now>press>play

One of the many things that we as a school appreciate about now>press>play is how it provides the opportunity to discuss ongoing global issues such as deforestation, climate change and our individual responsibilities to the environment. We have seen an increasing trend of emotional understanding and empathy when discussing such events.

Wellbeing and nurture is at the heart of our school which was most recently highlighted in 2019 when we received the National Nurturing Schools Award in recognition of the work which is undertaken to support all children and staff. now>press>play provides the opportunity for children to reflect and consider their mental health through taking part in specific Experiences as well as using the headphones to play meditation music and sounds. This has been noticeable for me as a class teacher when children have used morality, thoughtfulness, respect and resilience skills.

Four children enjoy using Now Press Play outdoors at Marshfield School

At Marshfield we pride ourselves that now>press>play benefits teaching and learning and has contributed to Marshfield being recently shortlisted for Primary School of the Year 2020 as well as being 2nd best school in the Bradford District and 99th best school in the UK based on the progress of children. We feel that our world class learning goes hand in hand with the fun, imaginative learning opportunities that go with now>press>play.

“I thoroughly enjoy the experience that now>press>play brings especially when I see the children’s imaginations fully captivated by the experiences! now>press>play is a fantastic resource which allows children the opportunity to delve into the past, explore the wider world and also become scientists! It is a fantastic resource which both I and the children love.”

What our students thought:

“That was brilliant. Can we do it again?”

“I really enjoyed using Now Press Play! I pretended to be Florence Nightingale helping the poor soldiers in the Crimean War.”

“It’s so fun and exciting when you can pretend to be in the Arctic. I liked doing the actions and pretending to crawl in the snow.”

“We learnt lots about our topic and learnt lots of new information. It helped me in my writing.”

Children act out a Now Press Play Experience in their classroom

Many thanks to Marshfield Primary School for sharing their response to now>press>play. We are really looking forward to hearing more about where the children and staff go next with now>press>play on their learning journey.