Lower School has been a sea of activity this week as girls investigate what it takes to have a ‘great mind’. They have looked at great minds from history – inventors, adventurers and entrepreneurs and even got to put their own great minds to good use with some business related research, development and sales tasks.
The Reception girls have been learning about the great mind who invented LEGO - Ole Kirk Christiansen. They talked about how LEGO had changed over the past 80 years and why it is so popular. The girls have brought in different sets from home and have had great fun building and improving their models. They also played a game where partners have to listen really carefully to each other's instructions to build a model that matches....without peaking!
The girls in Year One have taken their ‘Great Minds’ inspiration from Edith Holden, the author of “The country diary of an Edwardian Lady”. In Science lessons, they have been looking at and labelling plants; noticing their similarities and differences, as well as observing and recording the growth of their own sunflowers. The girls have also been making observational drawings of plants and leaves as well using different shaped leaves to print designs.
In English lessons, the girls have used the country diary as a starting point for creating their own entries for June, which will include a flower description, a poem and an illustration.
Year 2 composed motivational quotes to inspire each other and studied trailblazing nurse Mary Seacole, creating fact files and illustrations about her inspiring work.
Year 3 found out about Britain’s most famous aviatrix, Amy Johnson, who in 1930 became the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia. Watching an original newscast showing her triumphant arrival in Brisbane to a huge cheering crowd, helped the girls to understand the magnitude of her achievement. They were also fascinated to learn that her tiny plane was made out of material and wood, held together by wire. Pupils plotted her route together on a world map and looked at all the dangers she must have faced on her long journey. The girls then imagined they were Amy and wrote a letter home describing their trip. To round off their week, they were inspired to join in a national art project called ‘A Moth for Amy’. They were all impressed by Amy’s determination to achieve her goals. As one of our girls said:’ She makes me feel that I can do anything that I dream of’.
A small, insignificant gold box heralded the start of Year 4’s Great Minds quest. What could it contain that was worthy of a whole week's work? The girls voiced their opinions- gold, diamonds, money, magic? Sadly, all wrong. When it was carefully opened and unwrapped from its protective tissue, the girls nodded in agreement- a treasure indeed!
From that point on, the girls were fully absorbed in the wonders of palaeontology and the fascinating life story of Mary Anning from Lyme Regis in Dorset, who became one of the most famous fossil hunters of all time and advanced the scientific world’s understanding of ‘them sea monsters’, despite her humble background and lack of formal education. A truly original and great mind.
Year 5 pupils have been inspired by great business minds and spent time at the start of the week researching entrepreneurs such as John Cadbury, Anita Roddick, Victoria Beckham and Dr John S. Pemberton. They then started on their main project for the week; the Fiver Challenge, running for a month. The girls have been given £5 to start a business and try to make profit selling a product or a service. They have started a car washing team, and other teams are selling refreshing ice drinks and sorbets, safety pin necklaces, accessories, pick n mix sweets and smoothies. The girls have been learning the fundamental rules of business: choosing a good product, market research, creating a business logo, creating a business plan, community engagement, putting together a sales pitch, managing their finances and finding out about gross profit, breaking even, unit cost and finally how to market and promote their product or service.
Those Year 6 girls who didn't go on the French trip set their own great minds to action solving a series of Mrs Stables' 'first world problems': her dog would not go out in the rain, and kept bringing in mud from outside, she couldn't use her iPad in the bath and had nowhere to put a cup of coffee when watching TV. What were her pupils going to do about it? They rose to the challenge and came up with some rather nifty solutions!
Two of the Year 6 girls summed up their fun and challenging week:
"This week was Great Minds Week. We solved problems and invented answers to challenges. On Monday we tackled the Speedy Shelter Challenge. We had to design a shelter that could protect us from a downpour and could be folded away quickly. Then we were introduced to the Balloon Debate – we prepared speeches and then voted that medicine was the best invention ever. We also researched and produced information posters about people with great minds such as Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton as well as more obscure ‘Women who Rocked the World’ like Grace Hopper, a computer scientist. We solved a range of ‘First World Problems’ for Mrs Stables; everyone came up with different ideas, from windscreen covers to dog coats. Mrs Stables even tested them! Throughout the week we built a giant brain to illustrate that the right side of the brain was creative (we decorated it with bright colours) and the left side was analytical (we stuck on mathematical symbols and words like detailed and scientific). We really enjoyed the week and couldn’t have had a better one!
By Raka (6T) and Tilly (6S)