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See inside Norfolk's first LEGO classroom

Howard Junior School children and class teacher Chris Copeman, celebrate their LEGO classroom at King's Lynn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Howard Junior School children and class teacher Chris Copeman, celebrate their LEGO classroom at King's Lynn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

It may seem strange to put a best-selling toy at the heart of a classroom.

Amelia Adamson, 10, builds a stairway in the Howard Junior School's new LEGO classroom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAmelia Adamson, 10, builds a stairway in the Howard Junior School's new LEGO classroom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

But that is just what Howard Junior School in King’s Lynn has done in its new LEGO-based learning space.

Using the blocks as an educational tool is gaining popularity in schools across the region, but none have yet taken the bold step to build a entire classroom around it.

Head Gregory Hill, with one of the LEGO characters in the Howard Junior School's new LEGO classroom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYHead Gregory Hill, with one of the LEGO characters in the Howard Junior School's new LEGO classroom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Known as Inspire Too, the LEGO learning space is a follow-up to the Gaywood school’s ground-breaking Inspire Suite, which is focused on iPad-based learning.

The school is also the only official Apple Regional Training Centre in Norfolk, offering training courses to show educators how Apple technology such as iPads can be used to enhance children’s learning.

Learning through LEGO in the Howard Junior School's new LEGO classroom. From left, Megan Oliver, seven; Tyler Lehurst, nine; Lacey Barker, eight; and Nerija Raguckaite, 10, building from challenge cards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYLearning through LEGO in the Howard Junior School's new LEGO classroom. From left, Megan Oliver, seven; Tyler Lehurst, nine; Lacey Barker, eight; and Nerija Raguckaite, 10, building from challenge cards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

After steeping itself in iPad knowledge, the school is now fully embracing the learning power of LEGO, from its ability to interest students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to its benefits for team building and pupils’ wellbeing.

Headteacher Greg Hill hopes that the Inspire Too concept will help to put Howard Junior School – and Norfolk – on the map as an innovator of new educational approaches.

Learning through LEGO, Emilija Grebliunaite, left, Kamile Jakutyte, second left, and Deimante Puplauskaite, at work building from challenge cards with class teacher, Chris Copeman, in the Howard Junior School's new LEGO classroom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYLearning through LEGO, Emilija Grebliunaite, left, Kamile Jakutyte, second left, and Deimante Puplauskaite, at work building from challenge cards with class teacher, Chris Copeman, in the Howard Junior School's new LEGO classroom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He said: “We came up with the idea of Inspire Too as our second digital suite – the first being the Inspire Suite, which is iPad based.

“We wanted the Inspire Too to have another learning angle and unique selling point for motivating our pupils, so we decided to go with LEGO learning.

“We hope the LEGO suite will achieve a great deal: getting girls interested in LEGO learning and promoting STEM; teaching coding skills and building LEGO robotics powered by the learnt coding skills; enhancing creativity, collaboration, risk-taking and resilience; and also an awareness of 3D shapes.

“We also promote LEGO for wellbeing and mindfulness.

“LEGO is so important because it’s very inclusive and anyone can create anything with it. It also enables thinking skills and team building. The skills taught with LEGO will be invaluable for future employment our pupils might seek.

“Ultimately, LEGO makes you think for yourself and turns a pupil into a creative individual with critical thinking skills and analytics.”

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