Ysgol Gynradd Gwaelod y Garth Primary School in north Cardiff has begun an innovative new partnership with Wales-headquartered premium housebuilder, Redrow to further encourage its pupils’ interest in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).
All pupils aged four to 11 will be involved in the delivery and use of a STEM-themed street in the school grounds with every learning opportunity seized along the way.
The partnership has begun with a presentation on the design and build process to the school’s Years 1 to 6 pupils by Redrow’s Design Manager, Mike Smith and Trainee Technical Coordinator, Charlotte Joyce. They talked about how the company masterplans communities from homes through to streets, schools, shops and green space, with everything starting from a sketch. They also gave the children tips on how to create interesting, attractive design by varying external finishes.
The pupils will now produce sketches for their own street of three houses and a shop. The winning design will be announced at a Health & Safety-themed school assembly given by Redrow. The children will visit Redrow’s nearby Plasdwr development to view a house under construction and the showhomes ahead of building their new street together with a team from Redrow.
Each of the three houses is to have a particular theme related to the STEM topics being taught at the school – for example, space or plants – and offer a space where the pupils can explore them independently. One will be sensory-based to ensure those with additional learning needs can also participate in independent learning activities and the shop will sell produce from the school’s allotment and eggs from its chickens, due to arrive later this year.
Headteacher, Catrin Evans, said the school, which offers both Welsh and English-medium primary education, says STEM subjects are “a huge focus” and hopes the partnership with Redrow will take interest among its 280 pupils to the next level.
Our older children have a STEM-themed garden pod that they use for independent learning, and this street will be for our younger, Foundation-phase pupils, while the older ones will help create it, she said.
We want no limits to our children’s learning and so like to approach companies who can bring the real-life experience of STEM subjects to our children. The response from Redrow has been fantastic – a real partnership where we can make the most of their knowledge and expertise. It’s important to us that every learning opportunity is captured for our pupils in every year group and Redrow has embraced that wholeheartedly.
Redrow’s south Wales Sales Director, Beverley Wookey said,
When the school approached us, we thought it was a brilliant idea, exactly the kind of local community project we love to be part of, and our team couldn’t wait to get involved.
These children could well be among the first generation to live at Plasdwr, as well as the next generation of Redrow employees. So this is a great project that will not only show them what is involved in creating new homes and a new community on their doorstep, but then see them create their own.
They were so enthusiastic and engaged at the presentation, asking so many bright questions. Plus, the children really seem to understand the importance of community within their school, which is wonderful, and we’re already looking forward to seeing the designs.