Our Year 6 boys have been tinkering as they have been learning how to craft wood with their hands, in a new workshop, which was a gift of the Parents’ Association.
Tinkering, as the first step in Kolb’s ‘Experiential Learning’ continuum, became popular amongst learning theorists in the 1970’s who drew heavily on the work of earlier psychologists Dewey, Lewin and Piaget. It promotes learning through experience and our boys are doing this explicitly by playing with materials in this new workshop, developing their understanding of how things are made, exploring and testing ideas, and problem solving as they figure out what will and won’t work.
Lunchtime sessions in the workshop have been open to all boys in Year 6 and all are encouraged to take part. This focused, unstructured time working with their hands is also extremely beneficial for their mental wellbeing.
The now fully equipped workshop contains work benches and hand tools, and the boys have been guided through the construction of a carry-all toolbox, following a basic plan and using several techniques, including marking out, cutting with a saw, gluing and nailing.
To observe how the boys have built up their skills, from the first session to the last, is really satisfying, and they are all so proud of the job they do, which is good to see. I have enjoyed passing on some skills that the boys will be able to use throughout their lives into the future.