Shrewsbury Year 6 students put their teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills to the test on Explorers day, which is part of their topic on explorers; a valuable mixture of History and Geography. In addition to this, students get an insight into the formation of the modern world and learn to recognise some of the key technological developments that enabled the Golden Age of Exploration to take place.
Participating in their school Houses for both points and bragging rights, students rotated around different parts of the school engaging in activities such as the erection and packing down of a two-person tent - which, as the students found out, required team members to work together efficiently in order to be successful. Staying outdoors, students also learnt how to navigate using a compass and became familiar with following directions using the vital survival tool.
Returning indoors, students learnt about the need to stay fit and healthy by making oat-based flapjacks with resident chef, Mr Lousley. As it happened, they needed brain food to tackle the next challenge - the famous BreakoutEDU box. A series of clues, coordinates and hints were placed around a classroom for students to decode and ultimately, unlock the mystery box. Impossible without collaboration and a plan, Head of Year 6, Mr O’Brien says the skills learnt on Explorers Day are integral in the students’ development - especially as they head toward the Senior school.
“The fast-paced and varied nature of Explorers Day forces students to adapt their thinking and approaches to challenges quickly. Additionally, the range of challenges and skill-sets within gives all learning types a chance to shine,” he informed.
The final trial, known as the ‘ice challenge’ proved to be the most difficult for all Houses with only a few teams managing to complete it. After placing a hand in freezing cold water for 45 seconds, students needed to work together to catch chopsticks before they fell.
Mr O’Brien and his fellow Year 6 teachers are hoping the skills learnt from Explorers Day are replicated throughout the year.