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First-hand Experiences

‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’

Benjamin Franklin


At High Halden Primary School, we believe children thrive on the exploration and discovery that shapes their knowledge and understanding of how and why things work. The information they gather in this way is not simply filed in a memory bank for later reference, but worked through and repeated countless times in different situations, allowing them to process and make sense of what they have learned. As Tina Bruce (2004) suggests: direct action, physical and intellectual engagement with experiences, in addition to problem solving and repetition, ensures that synapses (our brain’s wiring) become stronger. Therefore, at High Halden Primary School, we seek opportunities to provide this type of hands-on learning for students in everyday contexts that matter to them and provide them with the skills and cultural capital to succeed in later life. 


When planning experiences, class teachers take into account the context of their class and how this will benefit their attainment and cultural capital. The first-hand experiences that we offer can be on a small or large scale, depending on the children that we are working with and their needs. 


Examples of first hand experiences provided:

  • Using public transport

  • Visiting the beach

  • Visiting a city/large town

  • Learning to cook a meal

  • Growing vegetables and plants

  • Learning to swim

  • Going on a muddy walk

  • Raising money for charities

  • Developing the school grounds (creating bird boxes, hides and nature gardens)

Our pupil rationale for First-hand Experiences