Mantle of the Expert

An Introduction to Mantle of the Expert
In Key Stage One for the past year we have been teaching 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. 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...
Turtle Watch
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 as suitable habitat for the turtles. They looked at beach and ocean habitats, and at human and physical features of the island. 
Australia Explorers
Australia Explorers:
The children became explorers. They were tasked with visiting Australia to discover a new landmark to attract tourists. Before setting off, the children carried out extensive research on Australia to ensure they were prepared. Once there, they went into the outback and discovered a mountain - The Mountain of Colourful Dreams. As they were preparing to advertise this mountain, the children discovered that it actually belonged to the Anangu People - a group of Aboriginal people who also owned Uluru (Ayre's Rock). The team learnt about the stories and ancient wisdom of the Anangu People and learnt how to respect the land. 
The Tree Team
 The Tree Team:
The children became The Tree Team, tasked with deciding what to do about an ancient oak tree that had been hit by lightening. They learnt about the animals that lived in and around the tree, and the possible implications of cutting the tree down. They learnt the history of the tree and how life was different when it was a sapling. The learning focussed on woodland habitats, and trees and logs as microhabits. 
Fire Marshals
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.