Northumberland primary school pupils take to the shed to build for the future


AS a place designed to support and showcase local businesses, Kirkharle courtyard became a vital community hub for rural communities throughout lockdown.

Pupils at a Northumberland primary school have been able to build for the future – thanks to a special ‘invention shed’.

Pupils at Belsay First School can now tinker, build and invent whatever their imaginations can think of, while learning practical skills they will use in the future.

Giving children the freedom to be creative, to get out of the classroom and try something new, this school hopes to show their pupils different opportunities for their future careers.

Excited Sam Wood, nine, loves making things and is hoping to progress into a career as a builder.
He said: “I can’t wait to go inside and start making things. It will extend our learning and help improve our skills. I am hoping to be a builder when I’m older so I will really enjoy the invention shed.”
Ava Wood, 10, is looking forward to getting out the classroom to the secret hideaway in the school yard.
She said: “It’s really fun and it is a good way to get out of your own head and escape your worries by trying something new.”
The shed is a workshop space and a unique classroom experience for the children equipped with real tools, a workbench and vices.
Powered by solar panels and stocked with recycled materials, the children and staff in the school are working with an artist also known as the ‘Sheducator’, Jyl Friggins, who is facilitating the learning, ethos and set-up of the shed.
The aim is to provide the children with a unique learning environment that will support and extend their STEM skills and create an early interest and passion in these areas that may inspire future career choices.
The idea came from PTA committee, Amy Llewellyn, and PTA chairwoman Sue Etherington, who both experienced House of Objects’ work with their own children.
House of Objects provides practical solutions to make creative learning tangible, and has a centre in North Tyneside with a large workshop space and recycled materials resource. It also runs school workshops and outreach projects.
“We help to teach practical life skills, to encourage recycling and to let children use their imaginations – who knows the invention shed may inspire inventors of the future.
For more information on the Invention Shed project please visit their website.


By Rachael Nichol