Ed Cousens reports back on the varied and exciting pupil contributions to the Westbourne House School Community Hub, which was launched in January 2021.
We launched the WHS Community Hub as a focal point for all the various creative ventures and projects we ran during lockdown 3, when pupils were learning remotely at home.
Looking back at the videos created, it is really wonderful to see the independence, creativity and spirit of the pupils shine through. My hope is that these videos and projects will inspire the children to keep creating, filming and making over the Easter holidays and into the future.
Seven Heaven – A Virtual Restaurant
I was very intrigued to see what our Year 7 chefs would come up with when given the creative freedom to make an instructional healthy-eating video at home.
The project had three main aims for the Year 7 pupils. Firstly, it offered them the chance to step away from the routine of the weekly curriculum and have fun with an unusual challenge, only made possible by home learning. Secondly, the project would help them acquire some useful knowledge and skills such as presenting and delivering a concise message to their viewer and learning how to prepare some healthy and delicious dishes. Thirdly, the Year 7 pupils prepared their video for an audience of hundreds of younger pupils, which allowed them to shoulder and feel a real sense of responsibility and leadership, something we value and initiate for them in normal times.
The pupils were really excited about the challenge:
“I am really excited to open our Seven Heaven Restaurant. I am looking at ideas for super healthy smoothies using lovely frozen fruits.” - 7M Pupil
“I like the idea of making a healthy breakfast dish that contains wild berries and exotic yoghurts mixed with unusual mueslis and seeds” - 7H Pupil
“I might make the famous Waldorf Salad from Fawlty Towers that Basil could never seem to get right.” 7S Pupil
Blue Peter TV
My four siblings and I were captivated by the Blue Peter demonstration videos and often attempted to make the featured project with our granny. It was terrific how even the smallest and simplest creation could be very rewarding and satisfying to make.
In normal times, the Year 8 pupils are challenged to create an exciting and enriching activity or project for the Year 4 pupils to enjoy. It helps create a sense of responsibility for Year 8 and gives them the opportunity to practise leadership and team skills. We are keen that the junior children look up to the Year 8s as reliable, responsible and fun role models. My hope was that this project would initiate a digital equivalent of this challenge.
I was pleased to see lots of variety in the ideas that our Year 8 pupils came up with: how to make a raffia mat, catapult, bike rack, pencil holder, decorated jar, storage box, spaghetti bridge and bird feeder. They also created some great videos teaching skills such as how to endo on a mountain bike, how to airbrush and how to do a snap on a surf board.
Pupils experimented with presentation skills, either through voice or through technology, and certainly learnt a lot about the capabilities of video editing software.
“I am intrigued by the idea of setting mine to music at double speed to show a younger pupil how to make some fun crafts in super quick time!” - 8S Pupil
“I wouldn’t normally have gone to the trouble of making something out of household objects but now I am beginning to think of some fun possibilities.” - 8H Pupil
“Just by doing some online research, I found all sorts of things I might make separately myself later on.” - 8W Pupil
The below bird feeder project is a great example, which includes fabulous footage of the birds visiting the feeder in the final four minutes.
Lockdown Lunch Club
Children across the community put on their creative thinking caps and uploaded ideas for us all to enjoy over our extended two-hour lockdown lunch break. Footage uploaded to the lunch club gallery included skateboarding, flying a homemade glider, frisbee golf, origami plus cookery videos, remote control car stunts and even willow fence making.
“We always use the midday break for family time so I am going to take some photos of our cycling.” Y5 Pupil
“My brother and I are always inventing new things to do so watch this space!” - Y7 Pupil
Pupils can still access the WHS Community Hub on Google Classroom. Please feel free to use the hub to keep your children entertained over the Easter holidays.