Learning Festival Success at Pool Academy

Minecraft, crime solving and 3D painting helped to make a successful learning festival at Pool Academy.

The school was one of the first in the country to host the Accessibility Learning Festival recently.

A selection of Year 5 to Year 8 children from across the county were invited along to take part in a number of technology-led workshops during the one-day event.

A ‘crime scene’ with police tape had been set up in the corner of the school gym and youngsters had to use their problem solving skills to figure out clues.

There was a Minecraft Education Edition workshop. Minecraft is a computer game using blocks to build adventures and youngsters had to make structures and then write instructions for others to follow.

Other sessions saw youngsters using QR codes, discovering computer coding with a pocket sized computer and a 3D painting workshop.

Five secondary schools signed up for the morning sessions and six primary schools took part in the afternoon.

Pool Academy student Finley, Year 7, said: “I loved the festival.  It was really good fun. I enjoyed the Minecraft session.”

Michael, Year 8, said: “I enjoyed it. It was good to work with others too. The crime scene was good although we couldn’t find the fourth clue.”

Mr Buckingham, from Pool Academy, said: “It is always a pleasure to welcome staff and students from other schools into the Academy. We have developed a close relationship with Tablet Academy over the last 18 months and this has resulted in us being able to host some fantastic events.

“These experiences have benefited a huge number of students, both primary and secondary and across all ability ranges.”

David Fuller, Tablet Academy Principal Education Consultant, led the festival workshops.

He said: “I really like doing the festivals at Pool Academy. Mr Buckingham is an outstanding organiser.

“The children seem to be really enjoying the festival. The challenges they have been given are challenging but in a nice way.”

Mr Fuller said the workshop sessions were created to include a number of different learning skills including literature, arts, biology and problem solving.

He thanked the school for all its efforts in helping with the preparation of the event

The festival has been provided thanks to a partnership between Tablet Academy and BT Business Direct.

The free event was split into two workshop sessions, morning and afternoon, each lasting about two and a half hours.

Phil Jones