Fourteen Reception pupils from Monkton Combe Pre-Prep School in Bath have been using their creativity to learn about construction and site safety after being invited to take part in the ‘Big Bad Wolf’ event, a hands-on activity morning organised by construction company Beard which is designed to pique children’s interest in the building industry in a safe and engaging environment.
Beard, which is currently working with the school and Squires and Brown Architects to construct a new building for pre-prep pupils, aged two to seven years old, provided a template to help the youngsters build model homes using lollipop sticks and straws. The children were tasked with making their houses as sturdy as possible while the ‘Big Bad Wolf’, a disguised leaf-blower, attempted to ‘huff, puff and blow’ them down. The children were then taken on a site tour by a Beard project manager where they learned how their new school building was being built and how to stay safe on and around a construction site.
“We are always keen to organise activities which encourage children to learn and visualise the construction process in a fun, creative and engaging way,” says Beard project manager Mike Miles. “At the same time, we want to drive home the message that construction sites are not safe places for youngsters to play.
“We were very pleased with the way that the Monkton children listened, asked questions and put their new skills into practice. I could certainly see some budding project managers in the making!”
The new pre-prep building, which is being constructed on a former car park next to the school’s swimming pool and leisure complex, will bring the pre-prep and prep school’s closer together by replacing the much smaller existing building which is located some 500 metres walk from the main school.
The new building will provide eight large new classrooms, a nursery and its own reception as well as office space, a staff room and a terrace, all with a fantastic view. Other facilities will include a home economics room, hall and a kitchen for functions as well as several playgrounds including a woodland area. Sustainable features include under-floor heating, a very high standard of insulation and natural ventilation driven by wind-catchers, all of which will contribute to lower running costs for the school. The building is due for completion in time for the autumn term 2016.
Headmaster of Monkton Prep School, Andrew Marshall-Taylor, said: “This is an ambitious and aspirational project which will confirm Monkton’s place as a leading provider of education in Bath. The new development also marks an important phase in the life of the school as we bring both pre-prep and prep together on one site. Beard’s highly professional management of the project has ensured that things have run smoothly and key milestones have been reached on schedule. It has been a delight to work with the Beard team.”