The girls in Reception are embarking on a programme of study about engineering, its impact on them and the world around them.
Already our girls are engineers in the sense that they modify the world to satisfy their needs and wants. As the future engineers and scientists of their generation, our planned curriculum ensures girls keep developing these skills, building a foundation of knowledge that will continue to grow with each year at NHSG.
In the classroom, we have created an environment where the girls naturally gravitate towards designing and building intricate block structures and models which stimulates their developing abilities in engineering and design. We have also introduced a project called ‘Space and the World Around Us’ to challenge the girls to further develop their emerging abilities. We have emphasised the importance of design in engineering and incorporated developmentally appropriate mathematics, science, and technology skills into our learning curriculum.
We started the term by asking the girls what they know about space, and what they wanted to find out. We then focussed our planning around these particular areas and set a homework challenge to engage the girls with science and technology at home using independent research skills.
Girls were fortunate enough to be able to listen and learn from a true engineer, Mrs Shaw, who visited school during this term. She explained how she became interested in engineering at their age and how her career had progressed. Girls were then asked to extend their shared-thinking skills by building bridges, identifying different structures and learning how to strengthen them.
It was evident that the girls were inspired by this opportunity and assimilated what they had found out by applying it to their learning in the block area and deconstructed role play area. The block area is set up to promote in-depth knowledge about 2D and 3D shapes and their properties. The deconstructed role-play area enables problem-solving and extended application of skills and knowledge. While traditional role play areas are often themed by organisations in society (such as vets, supermarket, garden centre), these are adult-orientated scenarios which can restrict imagination and open- ended learning. At NHSG, our deconstructed role play area is much more flexible and girls are utilising this area to extend their knowledge; they have constructed rockets, space stations and houses so far! Resources are used in an imaginative, co-operative and creative way.
The concept has been a real success in the classroom and photographs of our ‘deconstructed’ area have recently been shared on social media by Alistair Bryce Clegg (Education Consultant) as evidence of good EYFS practice.
The girls are really excited to be embarking on this creative design process which will conclude by entering their work into the Young Engineers Project. We anticipate there will be some good news to share about the outcomes during next term.