Students come up with proposals to celebrate the parish they live in

Winners with councillors Ken Wood and Roger Clarke SUS-150127-113246001
Winners with councillors Ken Wood and Roger Clarke SUS-150127-113246001

On Monday 19th January Year 7 pupils at Steyning Grammar School displayed proposals for events to ‘Celebrate the parish they live in’ to a group of councillors representing the local surrounding parishes.

This event was the culmination of this terms Project Based Learning task to research the area they live to come up with proposals for a celebration.

Nick Wergan, Headteacher said: “Project based learning underlines our commitment to embedding the key skills for success into our students’ curriculum alongside subject-based learning.

“It is also an excellent opportunity to work with our local community, very directly in this instance with all our catchment parishes, following on from our collaborative curriculum work with Steyning Strikers and Steyning Downland Scheme.”

This project began with a talk given by school Governor Jan Hobson and Lindsay Thompson Head of Key Stage 4 who explained the thinking behind the school’s own 400th celebration.

Michelle Stokes, Steyning Grammar School, Project Based Learning teacher said: “Students were asked to present their research in a way that was creative and interesting with a display for councillors to judge.

“Students were asked to include a cost analysis and conduct some market research into the viability of their proposals. Pupils worked individually as well as in teams, coming together in parish groups to discuss and compare their research and critique each other’s work.”

The students themselves selected the best pieces of work to go forward and be judged by parish councillors. On the day each pupil had to present their proposals to the councillors, who were asked to judge and give feedback to the students.

The overall winner of the Henfield parish was Freya Taylor-Lester’s whose idea was a video to capture ‘A day in the life of Henfield’. The judges thought that this idea and the display were first rate, and they liked the presentation showing how the video would be made.

Ben Neal received a joint second award with his very original idea for an event called ‘The Big Comparison’, councillors particularly liked the ‘Now’ & ‘Then’ idea and the chance for residents to add in their own pictures. Also joint second was Maisie Munns with her ‘Upper Beeding Mosaic’ councillors were very impressed with quality of research and thought given into what might be good in the community. Cerys Nicks received a third prize with her popular idea for ‘Lancing Movies’.

Judges thought the range of ideas were fantastic with a ‘Bramber Scavenger Hunt, La Tour de Steyning’, a ‘Picnic to Celebrate the Railway’ in Henfield, Partridge Green Dog Walk, Upper Beeding Woodland Sculpture, a rather practical idea for a welcome sign for Small Dole, along with a very original idea for a ‘St Cupcakes Day!’ – a good play on words for a St Cuthman’s day celebration which judges thought would make a great annual event.

Student Jodie Tyler, who had the idea for an ‘Upper Beeding Tea and Walk’, said: “I enjoyed being able to decide my own ideas for a celebration on where I lived. I did a little bit of research each day at school during lesson times and I really enjoyed it.”

Catherine Bowlan, Parish Councillor from Upper Beeding said: “We were very impressed with Jodie and her knowledge and research on our parish. She had a lovely idea for a ‘Tea Party’ in the village hall. We have invited all students to take part and run their idea at the Upper Beeding Primary School Summer Fete, which is a great opportunity for students from this parish.”

Michelle explained: “This project has really excited the students who have come up with a variety of very interesting and unique ideas.

The opportunity for the Year 7 students to interact with representatives from the Parish Council has been an important part of this project. To have a real and respected audience to give some feedback on the projects has been a valuable part of the experience for our students.

The councillors showed a great deal of interest in the students’ work and were very rigorous in their judging, which has made the experience very worthwhile, and is an important part of their learning.”

Report and pictures contributed by Steyning Grammar School.