Young Engineer's Academy

Welcome to Parkfield's Young Engineers' Academy!

February 2016 saw the opening of Parkfield's newest academy - Parkfield's Young Engineers' Academy.

The West Midlands, and Birmingham in particular, have a very proud history of innovation, technological development and manufacturing. As a country though, there is a huge shortage of engineers coming through our education system. This is particularly the case in terms of women breaking into this male dominated environment.

Having won the National Pupil Premium Award in 2015, we wanted to do something innovative with our prize money that would benefit all of our children. We therefore decided to set up our very own Young Engineers' Academy. We believe that we are one of the first primary schools in the country to have such a dedicated resource.
Our activities are linked to the topics we learn in geography and history. Please see the table below for our YEA overview.

 

YEA is an engaging hub drawing on the knowledge and skills each child processes as they learn about facts, figures, drawing through topics taught across the core and foundation subjects. The sessions held in the YEA are once a half term for a whole day allowing all children to extract information at the start of the day to designing and making a product to take away with them.
   
Each session follows through with oracy group and paired discussions, watching videos linked to the topics taught, retrieving information to stimulate the children's thoughts and ideas to drawing, modelling, and making the items using a range of materials and equipment.  
Practical skills are the main aim for the children to be exposed to: cutting out fabric, using hands to make prints, rolling out clay to form pots using hands and fingers to get mucky, marking shapes on timber ready for sawing out using hand saws and smoothing down using glasspaper. 
 
Children in upper key stage 2 create small-scale models from recycling materials in preparation for exposure to Design Technology in secondary school.   

 Overall, the skills taught are to embed the children with life skills they can use in their futures beyond the classroom. As well as hopefully inspiring some of our children to become the next generation of this country's engineers, we are also hoping to develop a range of skills within our children which can be utilised across the curriculum.

We aim for our children, through the use of this academy, to

  • co-operate well with others;
  • develop further their spoken language skills; 
  • develop team work skills;
  • explore a range of solutions to problems;
  • develop resilience;
  • develop a knowledge of a range of technical problems;
  • apply maths and science skills to real life contexts;
  • use a range of materials safely.

We are really hoping that local firms, with a scientific, mathematical, manufacturing or technological background will become involved with our Young Engineers Academy. If you represent one of these firms and are interested in doing this, then please email us. We would be delighted to hear from you. 

Here are some comments about the YEA from our children at Parkfield:

 

" I liked gluing on the clothes to the puppet. I made Camille." 
" I enjoyed colouring in the designs of the puppet Vincent; his mouth was large."  
"It was a sticky session using glue to make the puppets." 
"It was fun painting hands to make flowers." 
"It was interesting drawing moustaches and the beards on Vincent." 
" The painter painted Sunflowers and so did I. I used my hands."

Our facilities are also available for other local schools to use for a small charge. If you are interested in doing this, then please contact us to discuss your needs. We may even be able to help with transport for local schools.