Children were left in a spin when they were given a hands-on start to their school project about fun fairs.
The youngsters at Greenway Academy, in Greenway, Horsham, arrived at school on Monday (January 11) to find a Victorian era merry-go-round dominating the playground.
The merry-go-round, complete with 30 horses, had been erected in a hail storm the day before by Robert Harris and his team, from Harris Fun Fair.
Natasha Boult, head of the upper school, explained the older children would be designing and building their own miniature fun fair rides as part of their project work and the playground treat enabled them to see up close how the merry-go-round worked.
She said: “It is a nine-week unit which predominantly teaches science and design and technology.
“Throughout the topic, children will learn how to design, make and evaluate their own fun fair ride so first-hand experience is a real benefit to this project.
“Their science learning will include using lights and buzzers in circuits, which will in turn, enable them to incorporate this into their design.”
Madeline Wright, 11, was all smiles as she clambered off her horse after taking a spin.
She said: “I think it really helps our learning because before we went on this they told us all about how old it is and all the generations of the Harris family who own it.”
The merry-go-round has been part of the Harris family for six generations after it was purchased 140 years ago.
Mr Harris gave talks to the classes about the history of fairs in England, from the Saxons and the Romans to the Norman Conquest and the Victorians.
He said: “The children have been absolutely amazing and a pleasure to speak to. As children of the cyber age, as I call them, they were so respectful and interested.”
He could have added excited to that list, as little ones from the neighbouring Greenway Nursery spent much of the day with their noses pressed against their classroom windows, itching for their turn.
That turn came later as they and children from Trafalgar Infants, one of Greenway’s feeder schools, were invited to join the fun.
Robert Sanders, chairman of governors at Greenway, was visiting the academy with other members of the governing body and said the merry-go-round ‘marked the start of another exciting term at Greenway’.
As for the children, they wrote an account of their day before work started on the designing of their own rides.
Macy Jackson, ten, said: “I really enjoyed it because when you looked up you could see how it works.”
Aimee Denhart, ten, added: “It was really fun and helps us with our learning a lot because you can see how everything works.”
The merry-go-round was only at Greenway for one day but Mrs Boult hoped it had made a lasting impression on the children.
She said: “The project is all about engineering so we’re hoping to inspire future engineers and future designers.
“Their science learning is all about circuits, so they have been looking at how the bulbs work.”
The Harris Fun Fair is based in Ashington.
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