During the last three weeks of term, all of Year Four at the Powell School in Cirencester had the opportunity to visit Bromford Housing Group to take part in an exciting challenge day run by Enabling Enterprise. Split across two separate sessions, Year Four created some truly special work, and here we’d like to share the story of these two sessions.

Both groups were given the same task, to design and create a landmark bridge to link the Isle of Sheppey with the English mainland. The task was going to be far from easy though. The students were divided into teams of six, and given a volunteer from Bromford Group to help them along the way. The first task was for each team to get to know their helpers, and they did this by asking questions that only nine year olds could dream up! Along with the highly sensible questions provided by Enabling Enterprise, “What did you want to be when you were nine?” “What skills are important in your job?” were some which could only be conceived in the mind of a nine year old, “What is your favourite ice lolly?” and “Who is your favourite video game character?” just some of the highly important questions asked by Year Four! With the ice not just broken but obliterated into smithereens, we continued with the task at hand.

We threw ourselves head first into the task by electing a team leader, who, alongside their volunteer, would run team meetings and help to develop the strategy that would hopefully lead the team to victory! With that big decision out of the way, the teams were each given a pack of differing resources, and asked to design their landmark bridges, however Enabling Enterprise threw a curve ball into the mix, instructing the teams to trade with one another to ensure they had everything they needed to create their masterpieces! Some of the most keenly sought after resources across both days were scissors and extra newspaper, and the teams often entered heated negotiations in order to obtain what they wanted; concessions were hard-fought but in the end all of the teams came out with enough resources to begin the hard-graft of creating their bridges!

Our little Leonardo Da Vinci’s set off to work, each team working furiously to create something jaw-dropping. One of the key problems which many of the teams struggled with was keeping the bridge stable and ensuring it didn’t fall down when it was placed on the testing area; different teams came up with different solutions to solve this dilemma. One team wrapped their bridge tightly with sellotape so that it would stay rigid, while another used cross-hatching to create a firm base on which to build a strong bridge; these kinds of problems arose constantly throughout the building process. With a tight time limit, limited resources, and the other problems that arose the challenge was monumental, but somehow each team across both sessions created something magical. And with that it was time for lunch!

The children, having devoured what seemed like their own bodyweight in sandwiches, Chipsticks, Quavers and fruit, were more than ready to attack the afternoon challenge, presenting their work to the other volunteers, in their new role as THE JUDGES! Before they could assume their new role however, they had to help the teams learn how to present, and they took to this task with relish, giving the children the tips and tricks of the trade, from eye contact to being LOUD and speaking with confidence, the volunteers coached the Year Four’s to be the best that they could be.

And with that, all that was left was for the children to present, and they did so with aplomb, many using their dramatic talents to great effect, while others took a more highly professional approach, giving extensive details on why the bridge was such a landmark, and the different types of transport that could pass through them. The quality of presentation was extremely high from children so young, and the judges agonised over their decisions on both days, it was incredibly difficult for them to make their final decision. In the end though, a winner was chosen on each day, and we’d like to say congratulations to them both. Fine work, and well done!

The children from the Powell school across the two days were absolutely spectacular, we really enjoyed working with you and can’t wait to see you again next year! We’d also like to extend our sincere thanks everyone at Bromford Group, we had enormous fun working with you across the two sessions and can’t wait to do it again. Thank you!

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