Tinkering 2021 – 2022
Tuesday 21st September Project 1 – Den building!
Every year we start with the Den building challenge and children are able to ‘build’ on the skills that they learnt in the previous year.
Year 1 have been learning and innovating the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. They had become very interested in using different knots to create traps for Goldilocks. The challenge was to build a den for the Three Bears along with traps for Goldilocks so that she couldn’t get in. The children designed their dens in groups, worked together to bring the ideas to life and evaluated their successes.
Year 2 had been learning and innovating the story of The Three Little Pigs and they were set the challenge of building a secret lair for the Wolf which included extra security measures for keeping unwanted guests out. The children worked on the skill of changing and adapting their designs, making changes and adaptations to overcome problems that they encountered.
Term 2 – Bridge Building (23rd November)
We were lucky enough to have a team of Designers from Pentagon play with us for the Tinkering Tuesday. They had prepared a presentation for KS1 and talked the children through the design process that they use when building their playgrounds. The children quickly realised the similarities between the process that our visitors have to follow to create new playgrounds for schools and the process that we follow on our Tinkering days. We have even more aspiring Designers now!
Reception have been learning the story of ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ and they were given a challenge to build a bridge that was strong enough for all the Billy Goats to get across. They worked together, thinking about the materials that they wanted to use and how to make the bridge say up and not fall over.
Year 1 have been learning the story of ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’ and they had the challenge of trying to get the Elves tools to the Shoemaker’s shop. The bridge had to cross a 2 metre gap and the children were not allowed to touch the tools to get them across. Before the Tinkering day, we revisited joining materials, looking at ways to tie, join and secure materials together. Many of the groups used knots that we had learnt in their designs. Our visitors judged the bridges, marking them on stability, joins, creativity and whether they managed to get the Elves tools to their destination.
Term 3 – Project 3 – Bird feeders (January 25th)
To coincide with the Big Schools Bird watch, the children were set the challenge of creating bird feeders. In the days leading up to the challenge, children have been talking about birds that might be found in the school and the local area. Children had watched videos about the national bird watch and were excited about gathering their own information about the birds we get in school.
Reception worked in groups to create their bird feeders. They talked about the bird feeders that they had at home and ones that they had seen out and about. They chose to use plastic bottles and discussed how they could attach places for the birds to sit and feed. They needed some adult help to put the feeder together, but they were able to explain the process and talk about which aspects were tricky.
Year 1 looked at lots of different bird feeders, including ones made out of lego, bottles, sticks and wood. They then worked in groups of 3 or 4 as Designers, creating designs based on their research. They thought about the materials and tools that they would use. The children knew that they would be judged on whether it could support the weight of the bird, how it hangs from the tree as well as their creativity. Once the feeders were complete, the children hung them outside and started thinking about how they could hide from the birds…
Year 2 had spent time researching bird feeders and thinking about how they could use ideas for their own project. The children had measured an average bird and found out the weights that their bird feeder needed to support. During the build process, they had to be Engineers, measuring and weighing to ensure accuracy in what they were building. They used glue guns to join their materials. Afterwards, they wrote evaluations. They were able to explain which parts went well and reflect on changes that they would make next time.
Term 4 – Water Savers
Linked with National water saving day on the 22nd of March, our Tinkering projects were all based around water. We were lucky with the weather and all the children enjoyed being Designers, Scientists and Engineers, trying to solve the problems that their teachers had set them.
Term 5 – Fit for a Queen!
Seedings were making flags and hats for a Jubilee party. It was lovely to have so many parents and the childen came up with such imaginative ideas. It was a lovely morning and it is clear that there are lots of budding engineers!
Reception – A Crown for a Queen
Reception were set the challenge of creating a crown for the Queen. The crown wasn’t just any old crown, it needed to be the tallest crown that they could make. They had to work in groups and figure out how they could make the crown tall, yet strong and stable. Starting with a simple band the children had to use their measuring skills to make it as high as they could. The Queen will love these Reception!
Year 1 – The Queen’s jewellery holder
Year one were faced with the challenge of building a jewellery holder for the Queen that could rotate so that she could select her jewellery. The children thought carefully about their designs, worked brilliantly together like Bees and tried and tested their ideas, showing the resilience of the Tortoise. The products were so creative and they embraced the idea of using materials that made the jewellery holder special enough for the Queen.
The judging was difficult. Half the group stayed, demonstrating and explaining how their jewellery holder worked and the other half went around judging. We used all of our Maths skills to add up the scores.
Excellent engineering Year 1!
Term 6 – Dioramas
Following their visit to the farm, Nursery were making enclosures for the animals. They had to consider how big the animals were, what they might need to eat and how to make the enclosure warm and comfortable. I think those animals would have been very happy!
Blossoms have been learning the story of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. They worked together to create a giant beanstalk scene. It was lovely to see all the Bee teamwork as the children worked together to get the job done. Some wonderful creativity and ideas here!
Year 1 – Robot city dioramas
Year 1 have been reading a story about Boot the robot and his adventures. Their project involved designing and building a new robot city. They had to try and include moving parts and consider the strength of their joins and the materials that would work best. It was great to have so many adults in to help and the childen loved showing off their DT skills. The ideas were incredible and each one was different and unique! The children judged against the design criteria and it was very close!
We are so happy to be back at school and tinkering can return. We always start with Dengineers and each year the children work on different skills.
Term 1 – Tuesday 20th October – Dengineers
Ordinarily, we invite parents in and have a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) ambassador visit to talk about their job. Unfortunately, we couldn’t have visitors in but Mr Hawkins interviewed his neighbour Rob who has an exciting job as lead engineer for an electric scooter company. The children watched the assembly in their classes. At the end of the day, Rob looked at photos of the dens and gave this feedback: ‘I liked the bubble wrap used as insulation on the ‘roof’ and the damp proof membrane on the ‘floor’ in the first photo, just like a real house! Some of them look really sturdy too, great for the windy weather we have had recently. I especially like the ones where an existing structure is being used to support the roof, that’s what I would call thinking outside the box!
Reception have been learning the story of ‘Owl babies’ by Martin Waddell. They built dens for the owl babies. They had to think carefully about the materials that they needed and how big the owl den would need to be.
Year 1 and 2
Year 1 and 2 have been learning about recycling and the materials that can be recycled. They were set the task of creating eco-dens. Year 2 looked at dens and structures beforehand, giving them design ideas for the tinkering morning. First the children worked together to design their dens. After building them, they were judged on stability, comfort, creativity and eco-features. Fir class even had the twin sister of Miss W come to judge!
Term 2 – Bridge building
Being December, this project had a Christmas twist. When the children got to school the class Elf had a present to be delivered to Father Christmas. The problem was getting across the valley. The present was very heavy, weighing a whopping 1kg. The children had learnt about 4 types of bridges the previous day ( Beam, Suspension, Cantilever and Arch). They had to use their knowledge to design and build a bridge strong enough to carry the heavy load.
Once built, the bridges were judged on load bearing, stability, creativity and research. There were some fantastic engineering ideas. Once again, team work was the key to success!
Unfortunately we were in another lockdown. There were lots of Science and Engineering projects going on at home but we weren’t able to have our Tinkering day at school.
Term 4 – Eggcellent packaging
This terms project required the childen to be creative Designers and come up with a new egg and packaging idea to hit the shelves. First, Keystage 1 had to reseacrh the eggs that were currently on the market and then come up with their own idea. The finished packages were judges on creativity, originality and strength and stability. It was an eggcellent day
Term 5 – Roaring rockets
There were rockets everywhere as children were set challenges to build rockets. In Reception the children had to build tall rockets, considering the materials that they would use.
In KS1 the children had to build light weight rockets that could be propelled by air pressure. They were judged on creativity, weight and distance travelled.
During assembly time the classes looked at a PowerPoint by the Engineer Magdalena Grzybek who works at GKN Aerospace. They learnt about the jobs that Magda and Zakir do, looked at pictures of projects that they are working on and came up with questions to ask.
Some of the questions were:
How are the engines made?
How do you make sure that the things that you make work properly?
What kind of environmentally friendly materials are used?
How old were you when you became an Engineer?
How did you become an Engineer?
What made you want to become an Engineer?
We are hoping that Magda and Zakir will send us a video with the answers to our questions.
KS1 – To build a rocket that is lightweight and can be propelled by air pressure.
Term 6 – Crazy Cranes and pulleys
Tinkering in Term 6 was all about exploring and using pulley systems to lift something off the ground.
Nursery – Heavy shopping
Nursery have been visiting the shops recently and carrying their shopping home. They had talked a lot about the bag being heavy to carry. When they came in there was a heavy shopping bag on the floor. Their job was to try and work out how to lift the bag without having to try and lift it themselves.
Reception – Handa’s heavy fruit
Reception have been learning the story of Handa’s Surprise. Their challenge was to try and use a pulley system to lift a basket of fruit. They worked in groups being Engineers and Scientists as they tried to solve the problem of carrying and lifting the fruit.
The children in KS1 started with a video of Cheeky Monkey and Mr Hawkins looking at the Cranes on the Bath Road. They were set the challenge of building a Crane with a pulley system that could lift a cup of water from the ground to the table without spilling it. They needed to consider how to balance the weight, how to control their pulley system and how to ensure that the Crane was stable enough to keep the water in the cup. There was so much Science and Maths going on as children worked in groups to solve the problem. Cranes were judged on whether they could lift the cup to the height of the table, how stable the Crane was and the creativity behind their ideas.