Mantle of the Expert

An Introduction to Mantle of the Expert
Since 2018, following some staff training, we have been doing a lot of our teaching and learning through Mantle of the Expert.

Mantle of the Expert is an approach to education that uses imaginary contexts to generate purposeful and engaging activities for learning. It uses a range of drama techniques to immerse children into the fictional context and so all of the learning activities have a purpose. 
 
The children become an expert team (within  the story). They have a client who sets them a task, or several different tasks. They solve problems together and, as needed, learn facts and information as they go. 
 
You can find out more on the Mantle of the Expert website here. 
 
Some of the projects the children have been involved with since starting Mantle of the Expert can be seen below...
Currently... (Autumn Term 2021)
 
The Hedgehogs have just started a story based around Percy the Park Keeper. So far, they have created his park and have been learning which animals might live there. 

Squirrel class have created an ancient oak tree which will be central to their mantle story. 

The Badgers are delving into the world of the Romans with their story this half term. 
Woodland Rangers:
Year 1 and 2 2019

Woodland Rangers:
Our mantle topic began with Squirrels class finding out all about squirrels because we were squirrels and have a resident squirrel (named Sam) living in our class. Slowly but surely our classroom became a woodland habitat for Sam and we discovered what other kinds of creatures lived in woodlands and how the food chains connected. We began to consider ourselves ‘Woodland Rangers’. We were contacted by the MK Parks Trust who had some concerned residents near Newton Longville who had spotted a strange glimpse of a creature in the woods. We quickly identified the creature as a Gruffalo and set about writing instructions and warnings about ‘What to do if there’s a Gruffalo in the woods near you’. Unfortunately, soon a baby Gruffalo was delivered to us as the mother had disappeared. We studied the Gruffalo food chain and habitats before successfully and safely relocating it.

Percy's Park Keepers: Reception and Year 1 2019
Percy's Park Keepers:
The children learnt that Percy the Park Keeper had found a stray hedgehog. Its habitat had been destroyed and it desperately needed help. The children helped Percy to care for the hedgehog and to find it a new habitat. They helped Percy to look after the new woodland and the animals in it. Excitingly, they discovered a gruffalo was living in the woods; unfortunately it was wreaking havoc so the team had to decide what to do with it! Through this mantle, the children learnt a lot about the woodland habitat, caring for animals, animal features,seasonal changes.... and more!
Turtle Watch: Year 1 and 2 2019
Turtle Watch:
The children learnt of a (fictional) Polynesian island called Honu Island (Turtle Island). The local people were concerned that they hadn't seen any turtles on the island for the past decade. The children became Turtle Watch - they tracked turtle behaviour and considered why the island was no longer a suitable habitat for the turtles. They looked at beach and ocean habitats, and at human and physical features of the island. 
 
Arctic Adventurers: Reception and Year 1 2020
Arctic Adventurers:
The children spent some time learning about bears and then they learnt of a polar bear trapped on an iceberg off the coast of Greenland (an Inuit named Anori contacted them, knowing they were bear experts). They quickly decided they should do something to help, so they became Arctic Adventurers. Each step of the journey was a challenge and the children learnt about how to dress for the climate, how bears can walk on snow so easily (which led to making bear shoes) and some of the geographical features of Greenland. They also witnessed the Northern Lights on their journey which led to some lovely art work. Thankfully, they managed to rescue the polar bear and, as a thank you, were invited to have cake and play games in Anori's igloo. Finally, the children began to learn about climate change and how this is affecting the icebergs and the polar bears. 
Fire Marshals: Year 1 and 2 2019
Fire Marshals:
The children learnt about The Great Fire of London. They stepped into the past to become Londoners in 1667, rebuilding London and becoming a team of volunteer firefighters, on hand to ensure there was never another Great Fire again. Through this context, the children learnt a lot of history and also looked at materials (science) in terms of what firefighting equipment would have been made of in the 1600s.