All last week Bowood Class immersed themselves in an exciting project where we investigated, designed, made and evaluated shelters. To tie in with our Rainforest topic, we made them rainforest shelters. The week began with watching Ray Mear’s Jungle Survivor videos – the children loved them and were making notes like mad in preparation for their instructional survival guides. The class were put into three’s and then went about prioritising their ‘top ten tips’ and designing A3 posters. Never leave home without a machete came pretty much close to number one rule. Excitement was bubbling (primarily because the children thought they were going to make a life size rainforest shelter in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle – unfortunately (risk assessments aside) the school funds wouldn’t run to that kind of school trip…..
The teams then investigated roles and responsibilities of three key jobs, that of an engineer, designer and project manager. The children designed job descriptions and we looked at skills and qualities needed for each role. They then had to decide who would have each role (without saying ‘I want to be..’) The had to suggest another of their team for each role assessing their qualities and matching where possible. This was a great speaking and listening session and really got the children fixed working as a team whilst being responsible for certain aspects of the project.
Next, we used our ICT session to think of a design and create a logo to go on the front of their ‘project files’. The suggestions were fab – Team Venon, Team Claw, Team Cheetah, Team Snake to ame a few.. They the children researched about all different shelters around the world and they were collecting ideas for their brief ‘To design and make a shelter to stand up in , that would stand for 30 days and be waterproof and keep wild animals out!’ This was where the life size bit came in I feel. I then went on to explain that they would measure up as if they were to build if life size but then they would scale it down using a scale of 10cm to 1m. Much measuring and converting then took place and voilà, designs were aplenty!
This all led up to Thursday where we had a one day Ofsted monitoring visit on Enterprise!! Having looked up exactly what enterprise meant, I was more than happy to feel that ALL bases were well and truly covered! The inspector was going to observe the children collaborating, problems solving, doing critical thinking, using ICT, using tools, motivating each other – all transferable skills in the workplace! We also had laptops where the children were costing the total of their shelters from a prepared Excel file shopping list and they had to work out quantities and include the correct formulae to add the subtotals, totals, and change from £100. We’ve been doing spreadsheets (from the highly recommended spreadsheets devised and shared by @simonhaughton) fo the past term so this was their chance to put all they had learnt into practice. Cue the pan pipes music to set the mood for the build.
SO…how did the do? Brilliantly, all on task, all communicating effectively, adhering to the health and safety rules we had devised too for the day!!! I love immersive days where the children get the opportunity to just DO (of course the set up was a mini marathon and a lot of preparation was required in order for them to just do) and the results? Well see for yourself… 10 beautifully designed and executed rainforest shelters. Shelters that even the great Ray Mears would have been proud to have slept in! Oh, and I emailed Ray Mears, hoping he would give a little bit of encouragement for the class during their mammoth survival challenge and his company Woodlore replied,
Thank you for your email.
We hope that your Ofsted inspection went well and we would like to congratulate you and your class on such a fantastic project.
We wish you all the best for the future.
Senior Operations Administrator
Not quite Ray Mears but close enough, thank you Woodlore! Well, on reflection a fantastic project and one I will definitely do again.