Shanties, Safety, Shopping and Little Monkeys

Year 9’s Deep Learning Day (DLD) involved a Development Day. This was an extended simulation of the issues facing less economically developed countries. Looking at the issues of poverty and employment, one simulation involved the manufacture of paper bags as a cottage industry, with exacting high standards for piecework and fluctuations in price. The photos show groups hard at work making bags to a standard design, while Mr Purchall drives a hard bargain as the foreman.



A second simulation involved the construction of a shanty house from cardboard and shopping bags. This is a really good example of a DLD activity. In many ways it is fun and creative, as students had to design and build their “home”. Further, students practised their teamwork and leadership skills. However, the design was restricted according to the limits of real slums, and students were given a limited amount of materials. This meant they needed to barter with other groups, and some were forced to steal, resulting in a period in “jail”. Once the shelters were built, they were evaluated, drawing out more learning about conditions in slums, the lack of basic facilities such as mains water or electricity, and the need to consider how to run some sort of business as well.



This year’s curriculum changes mean that Course 42 (Personal and Social Education) for Years 10 and 11 is taught through DLDs and special lessons. Therefore Year 10 spent the day learning about, and reflecting on, relationships. The day was launched with a drama presentation from Bigfoot Theatre Company based around two typical teenage scenarios, followed by workshops with tutor groups. These explored the impact of social media and peer pressure on relationships, as well as investigation issues of trust, control, stigma and exploitation. A key element was ensuring safety within relationships. In addition, there were other sessions focusing on the dangers of legal highs.



Year 8 developed employability skills through an enterprise day, covered in detail elsewhere on the website. We were praised highly by our business partners for the engagement of our teachers, and the pictures below show Ms Prance being impressed by a shop design, and Mr Jones advising one of the teams in the art of presentation…





Year 7 went to Paignton Zoo. This trip focusses on the habitat and the adaptation of animals. Following a lecture during which students are encouraged to ask as many questions as possible, students explore the zoo. Each has a worksheet with questions focusing on habitat and adaptation of the different animals. Science teachers use the worksheets and other knowledge gained from the visit to support lessons in the year 7 module about habitats over the subsequent couple of weeks.

Being early in the year, the visit is also important in helping Year 7 to form friendships and gel together as a group.


Little monkeys at Paignton Zoo….

…and another little monkey!