HEADMASTER’S BLOG – FRIDAY 19TH JANUARY
It has been a tricky week for weather and it was a shame that we had to cancel so many fixtures on Wednesday, though I am pleased that it didn’t stop us getting plenty of worthwhile sport under our belt. Hockey, netball, swimming and the small matter of an ‘epic’ cross country run all par for the course at Sedbergh Prep.
Despite potentially difficult driving conditions, we were able to get our two Year 6 classes to their first experience of the Lego League out at St Bees and I joined 6JADO on Tuesday. For those that are new to the concept, the Lego League has preoccupied our Year 6 children in their Design and Technology lessons throughout the course of the Michaelmas Term.
Predominantly, this has taken the form of a coding challenge where a robot, designed by the pupils, has to complete various ‘missions’ in the Lego landscape built to plan by the children themselves.
This year, the theme has been hydrodynamics, with various problems set around the theme of water shortage. For instance, the Lego robot might need to travel across the playing area, avoiding obstacles, pick up and replace a broken water pipe before returning back to base.
The students programme their vehicle using the appropriate software and design the attachment that will do the job for each particular task.
On the day itself, the Lego ambassadors were on the lookout for the way the pupils worked together and their interactions with other schools. A blind task tested their ability to analyse and solve a problem given to them without warning and the children presented their own solution to global water shortages, taking questions from the panel of judges.
It is a brilliant scheme and represents everything that Design and Technology should be about. On both days, one of the teams from Sedbergh Prep won the robotic challenge and I could not be more proud of the way our children conducted themselves. Suitably inspired, I gave the Lower School pupils their own design challenge at assembly on Wednesday morning, presenting them with a domino-themed brief and asking them to work in teams to solve the problem.
Needless to say, there was some very sharp work in evidence and a couple of groups that thought outside of the box to surprise us all.
The government has declared 2018 as the Year of Engineering. It is a career that will become increasingly important to us as a society for all the reasons that you can see in this short clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEcmOCglPEU) and this week is just one example of the ways in which we are looking to shape our children’s education in this regard.
We are also the proud owners of two new Lego cups on display in the foyer- have a great weekend!