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November 2016

November 2016


The beginning of November saw the completion of our video introduction to our ‘Marvellous Movers’ project. We are indebted to the pupils of Dominican College, Portstewart who helped us with the editing process and we are extremely proud of their efforts!


Miss Gilmore, along with the other finalists, was invited to view the Rolls Royce facilities in Derby and also met our designated ambassador Mr. Tony Sweeting. He hopes to be able to join us electronically at some of our meetings and to visit in the New Year. It was really motivating to see his enthusiasm for our project! Miss Gilmore was later joined by Mr. Millar at the Rolls Royce Science prize awards evening at the Science Museum, London. We felt honoured to have been invited to this prestigious event and enjoyed hearing from the keynote speakers Mr. Colin Smith CBE, Group President, Rolls-Royce plc, Saika Akhtar, Manufacturing Engineer - Rolls Royce plc, Professor Tom Rodden, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Sir Tim Smit KBE, Founding Director, Eden Project.


The highlight of the evening was having the opportunity to meet the current finalist teams and new team leaders and to find out about their projects. The whole experience made us even more passionate about our project!


The past month has flown in a flurry of planning and organisation as we got down to the nuts and bolts of planning lessons and how we encourage the pupils from both schools to collaborate effectively.


The first step in the process is to ensure that all pupils are equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding that will enable them to engage fully in the project. The challenge is to ensure a consistent message so that when children come together to work they’re at the same stage and can develop their enquiries and later design side by side. This has been achieved by shared lesson planning which has included the exploration of what a vehicle is and how it moves.


Exciting links have developed with our town’s local grammar school Dominican College and a local tertiary education College - Northern Regional College. Mr Kevin Ramsay, Senior teacher from Dominican College, has attended a planning meeting to discuss how he and the grammar school pupils can facilitate the process and mentor the primary pupils during the design and build process.


Our Primary 1-4 pupils are participating in joint activity based sessions allowing them to explore what a vehicle is through a range of hands on experiences. We are organising a visit to a mechanic workshop teaching facility at Northern Regional College for the Key Stage 2 pupils. Following on from this we hope to have a question and answer session with local industry specialists and pupils from Dominican College so that pupils can enrich their learning further. More details and photos in our next blog.


We hope that the additional play resources and trip to workshop, made possible by the Rolls Royce fund, and the proposed mentoring by older pupils will ignite the imagination of the primary pupils of both schools to enter into the design and build stage. It is clear that many children are already engaging with the project and exploring what ‘Marvellous Movers’ entails for them.


Here are some quotes from them already:


“I’m thinking of something really new that nobody else has ever seen that looks like an animal but is really a vehicle!” P4


“I visited my cousin’s garage and took these photos of a real engine so I could show the rest of my class the real life parts of a vehicle.” P6


And from teachers:


“This is really firing up the kids imaginations in my class!”


“One pupil brought in a solar powered vehicle to show the class and they started asking questions spontaneously of each other as to how it works - it was great to see them so engrossed!”


What’s next?


  • What equipment and materials do we need for the next stage in the process?
  • Organisation of working groups for the design and build stage.
  • Confirm a date for our Final Exhibition of work.