Year 7s at Ebbsfleet Academy work towards a sustainable future through the built environment

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation were delighted to be invited to judge a year 7 Eco-Classroom design project on Friday 9th July at Ebbsfleet Academy.

The project, initiated by Class Of Your Own is a prequel to the launch of the Design Engineer, Construct! (DEC) Learning Programme that the school will be introducing in September 2021.

EDC were asked to assist in the judging, along with Richard Maltby and Josh Spinks of Maltby Surveys, who had helped the children understand the key role that land surveyors play in the development of building projects that morning. The project involves pupils splitting into groups and each individual choosing a specific job role from architect, to land surveyor, to marketing – there was even a managing director.

The teams have to work together to create the best eco-classroom and garden, giving it a name, explaining how it is environmentally-friendly, what features it would include, such as solar panels for energy, greenhouses to grow food and enable the project to become self-sufficient, to planting and landscaping to attract bees and pollinators. The key objective was how the project would teach the local community to live a more sustainable life.

In attendance was Class Of Your Own’s Teaching Development Manager, Daniel McDonagh, himself a DEC teacher of 9 years experience and now supporting new teachers as they themselves learn new knowledge and skills required to teach DEC.

“It’s great to be in Ebbsfleet today and meet the children and teachers who will be learning DEC next year”, said Daniel. “Everyone has done so well today and it just shows what can be achieved if children are inspired to apply core knowledge to a real context. There’s so much talent here, and a genuine commitment to see it flourish – it’s going to be a great DEC school.”

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation’s Skills Coordinator, Lara Pool said “I am delighted that Ebbsfleet Academy will be introducing the DEC programme to its curriculum in September. With the huge number of major construction projects in the local area, EDC are working with partners, schools and colleges to inspire young people into careers in the built environment. Construction is not just about the amazing building trades such as bricklaying, carpentry and electrical, but has opportunities across a whole variety of professions, from surveying to planning, to architecture, engineering and sustainability disciplines, all of which offer career pathways from secondary school onwards.”

Naps Gallimore, Design teacher at Ebbsfleet Academy has worked with Alison Watson MBE of Class Of Your Own for many years in a school in North London and is leading on the Academy’s introduction of the programme.

The winning team, ‘The Young Architects’, produced plans for their classroom with a focus on landscaping, design and an ambition to save the planet through the next generation of youngsters wholly aware of and willing to tackle climate change. It was a close competition however, with their team winning by just 1 point ahead of the second placed ‘Beehive’ team.

Richard Maltby was equally impressed. “The Year 7 students were a credit to the academy fully engaging with the various tasks with great enthusiasm and excellent thoughts, ideas and designs for the Eco Classroom showing wonderful teamwork, the presentations were all well constructed and delivered, it was difficult to pick a winner.”

By introducing young people at an early age to the opportunities within the built environment, all the partners are hoping to inspire local youngsters to follow long-term, well paid career paths that will become available over the coming years in the North Kent area.

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