For the entry point to our unit on Growing Up we told the children that they are going to enter the Ambrosoli Medical Centre Student Doctor Training Programme and in order to successfully enter the programme children would have to take an entry test to discover more about their co-operation, communication and adaptability. We would then be able to see if they could enter onto the course. The whole idea behind this was to put the children into the role of trainee doctors, in order to take the focus on puberty away from themselves so that they are able to discuss the issues arising from a professional independent viewpoint rather than feel they are just talking about themselves. Feedback from previous students has shown this approach has made children feel comfortable approaching this topic.
Children were split at random into four groups and each carried out a carousel of activities based on the human body. Each task had six questions to discuss and decide on an answer followed by an extension investigation that allowed the children to share their knowledge and find out something new. The four areas of the body covered were:
- The eye
- The skeleton
- The teeth
- The brain (this linked to the unit on brainwaves that we completed recently)
The children were then given a short multiple choice examination this was completed individually. After this we marked the tests together and discussed what was surprising and why. After lunch we then gathered the student’s together and awarded each of them a signed certificate showing that they had passed the test and are now able to successfully enter the programme. This was then stuck in the children’s exercise books.