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West Hill Primary take on The Moonbase Challenge

West Hill Primary went on a mission to the moon! As part of their work with Enabling Enterprise, the entire school took part in a challenge day that would have them reaching for the stars. Every year group joined together to complete an enterprising task to build a society on the moon. They used their teamwork skills to find the perfect crew, their imagination and creativity to design a new animal species, and their problem solving skills to overcome challenges along the way. This day gave students the chance to intensely develop skills and introduced them to new careers available to them. With every classe competing to win the best society, they had little time to waste!

A collaborative and stretching challenge

Chair of Governors, Brian Varney, spent the day at West Hill and said “It was a real privilege to witness such an amazing day at the school and a real joy to observe the pupils throwing themselves into the project.”

You know it’s going to be a day of epic proportions when Head teacher Julie Dobson enters the assembly hall in a full space suit, with the mission impossible theme tune playing in the back ground. All students from West Hill Primary would be taking on a collaborative and stretching challenge, and they were eager to find out what this would entail.

At 9am sharp, Ms Dobson received an urgent phone call from the government asking for some help. She needed to recruit an elite team of enthusiastic and capable students to help with a near impossible mission. Listening in on this call were the students, staff and governors, the Enabling Enterprise team and Gabrielle, a volunteer from the brand loyalty company, Aimia. With all this commotion the atmosphere was charged. Tia from Year 1 was ‘so SO excited’. But what was their mission?

Their mission, should they choose to accept it, was to set up a new society on a far off moon as planet Earth was in imminent danger. They would need to work together to succeed in this complex mission, they would need lots of imagination to come up with original ideas when given their brief, and they would need to solve problems that would inevitably arise when moving to a distant moon.

Working Together: The Perfect Crew

Teamwork was a particular focus of the day. They kicked off this intergalactic challenge by hand picking the perfect crew to accompany them on their mission. Holding a team meeting was the first step, before reading and discussing the profiles of each member and identifying key skills and character traits and working out which roles would be indispensable.

After sharing their ideas and making sure different opinions were voiced, the ‘Space Experts’ from Year 2 were ready to make a final decision. Their perfect crew would include a farmer to grow the crops, a doctor to help the sick, and of course a pilot to fly the rocket.

A New Animal Species

Building on their lesson time projects throughout the year, creativity also came to the fore throughout the day. Following the selection of the crew for their new Moon Base, students set about genetically engineering the most useful animal for their crew to take with them. This required a great use of imagination, and the teams did not disappoint!

One animal had sharp claws for digging, dagger teeth to ward off predators, it even had the ability to shape shift so it could scare off all types of animals. Now that kind of animal would be a helpful addition to any planet, how creative! And one student in Year 3 shared his animal species with the class, ‘my superhero animal can look at the back of his head so if an intruder attacks it can stop it’.

Problem Solving: Town Planners and Architect

Next up, the teams were ready to design and build their cities. They would have to think strategically when planning their towns and solve some rather tricky problems along the way.

What would they do when toxic sludge emerged and it was threatening the health of residents? Well, many savvy teams placed their hospitals nearby to treat the sorry victims.

What do you they when an active volcano was due to erupt on the East side of the moon? They would place a fire station next to it to ensure that humanity was safe and secure in their own homes. The Intergalactic Rulers in Year 4 showed excellent problem solving skills, and were praised by their teacher, “All members contributed and we were very impressed with how mature and independent they when dealing with problems.”

A Persuasive Advertisement

With the buildings in place and the city taking shape, all the teams had left to do was persuade people to come and live in their cities. Each team would have to use their literacy skills to write a persuasive script, practice this in their teams and present to the rest of the class with great confidence and enthusiasm.

The United Galaxy Explorers used rhetorical questions and onomatopoeia to persuade the class to move to their new society. “The end of the world – BOOM! Where will you go? What will you do?” They promised their new society on the moon would reunite people of planet earth, people of all different cultures, religions and languages. What a powerful presentation!

What the Headteacher said

Reflecting on the achievements of the day, Headteacher, Julie Dobson said, “The key skills that are at the heart of Enabling Enterprise fit so well with our school values and our vision statement of ‘Ready to learn, inspired to succeed, prepared for life.’ I was really impressed by the way the children were collaborating, the quality of their talk and their expanding vocabulary. This was all inspired by the Moonbase challenge.”

What the business professional said:

We were fortunate enough to have a director from one of our business partners support students throughout the day. Gabrielle de Wardener, the Culture and CSR Director at Aimia said, ‘I was extremely impressed with the organisation of the day, the materials and set up. This was matched by the wonderful enthusiasm of the teachers who introduced ideas with such skill and playfulness that the children seemed effortlessly to absorb big concepts – such as leadership, decision-making and the importance of collaboration for innovation – which many adults struggle with!’

Well done to the dream team that is West Hill Primary, you took on a challenge of universal proportions and reached the stars! Enabling Enterprise are supporting students to build enterprise skills both in the classroom and out of the classroom. Find out more about the Challenge Days that we offer, and Contact Us to get your school involved.

About Enabling Enterprise: … Our Mission Enabling Enterprise is an award-winning not-for-profit social enterprise, set up...

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