Upper School Choice - chess

Exploring Kew With Year 7

25th January 24

Students in Year 7 braved the cold snap for a trip to Kew Gardens to launch one of this Term’s Explorations.

Explorations are extended projects which are led by teams of teachers from mixed subjects, where students apply skills from one or more school subjects to answer enquiry questions. For this Explorations, they’ll be combining Design Technology, Maths and Science to answer the question: How can we design a sensory garden for our school?

The trip to Kew provided the students with lots of different sources of inspiration as they were tasked with looking at elements they might want to incorporate in their own designs.

In groups they looked at a map of the gardens and chose which areas they wanted to visit. They were asked to photograph structures, materials and plants which they found interesting or inspiring and to make notes on why they liked each element.

Working with the teachers they stopped regularly to review what they’d seen and to talk about the sensory elements of the different spaces which they’d enjoyed and why. From looking at different ways the spaces were being used to how they smelt and felt, students took inspiration everywhere, from the treetop walkway to the palm houses. They even had a chance to play on some of the structures in the children’s sensory garden before they headed back to School.

Teacher Kim told us: “I want them to look at the map and choose where to go, to think about what will be useful. They also need to use the map to guide us there. Trips like this are not just about inspiration for our project they are about learning to take responsibility and working as a team – skills that are transferrable into many areas of adult life.”

With thanks to filmmaker Michael Pheasant for these fabulous shots of the students exploring and gathering ideas. We’re working on a film about Explorations and following one from beginning to end so watch this space to see the final result.

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