On Monday 5 February Crescent pupils took part in a dedicated Junior da Vinci 'Mastery Day', a special day off timetable working in mixed age groups on a series of challenging tasks designed to develop and test their Mastery skills in subjects across the curriculum.

The Junior da Vinci initiative launched at the beginning of this academic year provides structured recognition for pupils' progress. As the children develop in their subjects they receive individual awards that separately recognise their ‘Mastery’, ‘Creativity’ and ‘Practice’ of a topic; on achievement of all three strands of the scheme they become a da Vinci student. The initiative has been enthusiastically embraced and children’s progress is celebrated and recorded weekly on the noticeboard in school and in our weekly e-newsletter.

Crescent School's dedicated 'Mastery Day’ provided opportunities for the children to demonstrate 'Mastery' and ‘Creativity’. It was a chance to put their skills into action to display their knowledge and show initiative. Teachers set tasks and had resources available but the children working in their groups had to decide what to and how to do it. All the pupils participated in the themed day and took part in tasks, puzzles, projects and conundrums linked to the idea of ‘Party’! Along the length of the main corridor children showed perseverance and tenacity applying the skills previously learnt in their classroom lessons to solve challenges and puzzles.

Pre-prep children answered questions such as 'How much will our party food cost?', 'What new party games shall we play?' and worked together to develop designs for party hats and themed party rooms. Whilst in Prep the children considered 'How many balloons do we need to cover this floor?', 'How will we invite people to our party?' and 'How much will our party cost?'. They also developed models of multi-tier cakes, put together party music play lists, designed party themed rooms and created new party games and dances. Throughout the school the children were focused and engaged as they worked together to reach conclusions, answers and solutions.

It was a challenging and enjoyable day for all the children and staff. Deputy Head, Ms Bryony Forth explained, "The format of the day worked well. The children had plenty of opportunities to demonstrate their different skills. It was fascinating to watch the dynamics of the groups and their approaches to the different tasks. Some of the children were initially cautious, waiting for a teacher to set expectations whilst others dived in, perhaps sometimes too quickly. I know they will all have learnt lots from the experience; their ideas and solutions were impressive so we are sure to be distributing plenty of da Vinci awards as a result of the day."