Space mission

Edge Grove’s annual workshop for local ‘gifted and talented’ children offered a series of activities around the theme of space

Independent prep school Edge Grove recently hosted its annual ‘Inspire & Challenge’ workshop, an interactive two-hour event designed specifically for selected ‘gifted and talented’ children in years five and six. The school opened its doors to 36 local children from seven local primary schools for a ‘space’-themed workshop.

The workshop involved various interactive group tasks in science, English, and maths, which required the children to apply their problem-solving and thinking skills. The children also had lunch in the Edge Grove dining room followed by play time after the session finished.

Ben Evans, headmaster at Edge Grove, said: “We wanted to recognise and show our support for the outstanding young talent in our local community and to share in that together as a group of schools all working towards the same goal – to inspire and challenge our pupils. We were delighted to receive such a warm response from the other local schools, it has been a wonderful learning experience for all involved and we certainly plan to hold more events like this in the future.”

The two-hour event was divided into 40-minute sessions and included an English workshop where pupils explored the poem ‘A Martian sends a Postcard Home’ by Craig Raine, which describes every day earthly objects from an alien’s perspective, using metaphorical language. In the role of a Martian, children used their own figurative imagery to create their own interpretations of Earth. 

For the science element, the children explored the possibility of life on Mars. They were given three soil samples and asked to test them, then decide which they thought was most likely to have come from Mars. They were also able to choose what tests they wanted to subject the soil to. 

For the maths segment, the children had to imagine their spaceship had been destroyed and had to apply their mathematical skills and logic to find a way of returning to the moon with their aunt, uncle and friend. They were given some vital pieces of information and had to work in pairs to solve eight tasks. These ranged from calculating the journey time to building an astro-radar set from equilateral triangles.

The event was conducted by Laura O’Hare, Edge Grove’s head of ‘gifted and talented’, who said: “We were hugely impressed by the children’s commitment and enthusiasm for each challenge. They were able to work individually and as a team, they were energetic, analytical and very inspiring to be around.”    

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