It's just like home here.... with more children, like a big family!! Year 4 pupil 2015/2016
Tim Peake Primary Project
The primary department at the Shrubberies School applied to be part of the Tim Peake primary project and were given a grant of £1000 to make the project accessible to all of our primary pupils, including those with profound and physical disabilities and autism.
We introduced Tim Peake to the classes through pictures and video clips and when we watched the live lift off on the interactive whiteboard it was such fun to see the pupils spontaneously waving and calling out ‘Good bye Tim Peake!’
One class made their own space shuttle, adding lights that could be switch activated and they dressed up as astronauts. They chose space photos to make a projected background and thoroughly enjoyed acting out a space walk after seeing Tim Peake do his. They shared the activity with a younger group enabling them to activate the lights and play at being astronauts.
We purchased an interactive package of wireless switches and a control box to link them. Pupils with more profound learning difficulties and autism were able to choose and press colour switches to activate a star projector or lights under a pop up projector tent which created a close up environment within a dark room.
This term we have been looking at clips of Tim cooking his food in sachets and drinking the bubble of water that he made. We have used the switches for pupils to control a blender to make their own frozen space fruit smoothies. We were surprised by one pupil who won’t eat fruit but he ate some of the smoothie with a spoon and said ‘nice!’ because he had made it. Pupils also wanted to find out how Tim went to the toilet on the Space station and asked really good questions about what happens to the wee after it goes into the tube.
We have now loaned a switch to a post 16 class so that their pupils in wheelchairs can control kitchen appliances when they do cooking activities to encourage greater independence for pupils with limited physical ability.
We have also been sharing our button switch resources and pop up tent with the Early Years department so that the younger pupils can use the switches to activate simple battery operated toys and lights in the dark room.
The teachers have been very pleased at how much understanding has developed through the project. Some pupils understood that Tim wore a helmet because ‘there’s no oxygen in space’ and another said ‘There’s no gravity!’ when he was pretending to float in space. One of the pupils asked ‘What happens if it goes wrong?’ when we talked about the space walk and that brought up lots of discussion about the importance of practising tasks and we then watched Tim in his training clips. One pupil who finds it difficult to engage with abstract ideas became animated when she watched Tim do a somersault because ‘He’s got pink socks on!’ and the gorilla chasing him around the space station provoked creative ideas to suggest how it got up there!