Building brilliance

4th February 2005 at 00:00
When I heard that I was teaching a "homes and houses" topic to my Year 1 class that would include visiting a new housing site, I was very excited.

"Poundbury, in Dorset, the home of Prince Charles's vision of affordable housing." But then I thought about the dangers - the holes, falling tiles and children falling off buildings.

My fears were allayed by a visit from an officer from the local building and schools partnership. She brought with her 31 small hard-hats, some steel toe-cap boots and a wealth of knowledge. She talked about safety procedures and the dangers on a building site, and the children told her the dos and don'ts they had learned through topic work.

When we arrived at the village, we identified the types of building for data handling. Steve, from C and J Fry, the building company, told the children about insulation (a science topic) and let them lay bricks with cement to show them the cavity between the two skins. We learned about tessellation this way and pupils laid bricks using various bonds to see which was stronger.

We discussed height and weight by comparing a 17-metre fork-lift with a 12m one. The site manager asked the children to guess how high up the building the fork-lift could reach and which cases of bricks it could manage.

It was a fascinating day, which produced some really rich language and a depth of knowledge that no amount of picture-showing or discussion in the classroom could have replicated.

Helen Irving Year 1 teacher, Prince of Wales School, Dorchester

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now