Project Based Learning – Diversity Week
On Tuesday 21st June and Wednesday 22nd June, all pupils in Years 7 and 8 enjoyed two days of Project Based Learning, focusing on the events and themes of School Diversity Week.
School Diversity Week is a huge celebration of inclusion that takes place every June, opening up important conversations about acceptance, kindness, tolerance and respect.
Pupils enjoyed a range of interesting activities, working in groups towards a main aim: plan, design and pitch an idea for a new invention aimed at supporting a pupil with either a physical disability or a mental health condition, with pupils specifically exploring the challenges faced by young people with neurological conditions, blindness, and generalised anxiety.
Pupils began the day by exploring the meaning of diversity and inclusion, as well as exploring what it may feel like to be different and the challenges young people face with fitting in and feeling accepted.
Pupils then enjoyed meeting visitors from two charities: We Are Beams and Kent Association for the Blind.
We Are Beams is an educational and occupational charity that works with families to support children with neurological conditions. Fundraising Officer, Andy Ray, from We Are Beams brought in many of their sensory toys and accessories to give our pupils some ideas for their inventions. Our second guest speaker was from Kent Association for the Blind, where ambassadors Beth and John delivered an excellent presentation about the challenges presented by blindness, as well as ways in which educational environments can be adapted to support people with visual impairments.
Pupils then worked in their teams to design their inventions, first planning and sketching their initial concepts, then choosing their product and labelling its key features, before writing instructions and speeches explaining their product. The Project culminated with groups delivering their pitches in a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style event to our three ‘Dragons’: Miss Mills, Mr Clough and Mr Manktelow.
There were many wonderfully creative entries, such as assistive technology walking canes, programmable sensory-therapy accessories, multi-sensory VR headsets and modifiable educational furniture.
Congratulations to the winning group of Charlie Matthews, Evie Pope, Jonah Burrows and Thomas Eyre. The Dragons judged this group to be the winner based on the execution of their presentation, the adherence to the brief, and the creativity of the concept.
This group designed an interactive sensory cube, aimed at supporting pupils with anxiety. The cube contains touch-sensitive lights, sounds and smells to promote multi-sensory stimulation, aimed at supporting pupils with neurological conditions and generalised anxiety.
We hope all Year 7 and 8 pupils enjoyed the two days.