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To wonder what year 7 pupils get from building a castle model

(196 Posts)
Verycold Sat 07-Dec-13 11:23:09

In history? What is the point?? How does it actually improve their higher level history skills?

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Sat 07-Dec-13 11:26:12

It's a fun task, they'll probably learn teamwork. Maybe they've had to do research into how castles were built structurally and this is the 'fun' bit afterwards?

Verycold Sat 07-Dec-13 11:29:56

Not sure I agree with the fun task bit... And understanding what castles looked like seems more like primary level to me?

manicinsomniac Sat 07-Dec-13 11:31:39

of a motte and bailey castle? I have fond memories of making mine - I get to eat lots of icelollies which I certainly considered a benefit.

It was a fun project. It helped me remember all the parts of it I suppose.

Not everything has to improve higher level skills at age 11!

My year 7s have to write document analysis essays and topic specific cause and effect essays. It's very tedious and they find it very difficult. I wish we had more curriculum time for making models and acting out the stories as plays like can do with my KS2 classes

natwebb79 Sat 07-Dec-13 11:32:05

The fact his history teacher is a trained, experienced professional (I assume) means that there is probably a very good reason. Do you question why doctors cure people in certain ways? Or is it really just teachers that the world and his mate assumes to be thick as shit?! grin

Rosencrantz Sat 07-Dec-13 11:32:10

Doing this task is one of my fondest memories from secondary school.

QuintessentialShadows Sat 07-Dec-13 11:33:25

HOW are they building the castle model though?

DS1 could chose any computer graphics package to make his model. And yes, this included crafting it in Minecraft.... History teacher became epic instantly. hmm

He had to include vital rooms such as weapons storage, how to get to the turrets, openings for shooting darts/oil at enemies, mechanism for opening closing the bridge/gate, etc. Basically all the vital elements for defending your castle.

Rosencrantz Sat 07-Dec-13 11:33:27

And because I built the castle with my own two hands, I remember each part of it. Motte, bailey, keep, gatehouse, barbican.

Miles better than labelling some sodding diagram.

Verycold Sat 07-Dec-13 11:34:10

Natwebb I am a teacher myself

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Sat 07-Dec-13 11:37:50

Well if you're a teacher yourself you should realise that children learn differently. Some prefer a more hands on approach rather than writing. Like quint and rosen mentioned, learning all the different parts in a way different to looking at pictures and labelling them.

No matter what level you work at you'll get tasks like this that seem meaningless but aren't. Even at degree level you're asked to construct things, make posters etc.

DameDeepRedBetty Sat 07-Dec-13 11:39:01

Oh I wish they'd let dtds make theirs in Minecraft! It was absolutely welting down the morning it had to go to school, and I ended up driving them up there and dropping them as close as possible, together with about another thirty or forty Year 7 parents doing the same thing, clarting up the buses and taxis as there is no other drop-off zone provided, with a bin bag precariously dragged over the top to stop the papier mache disintegrating.

Not sure how much help it was with History, but their uncle the obsessive model train layout maker had a lovely time helping them create it.

My DS in yr 6 is really looking forward to this nxt year.

He is very much the sort of child who would learn miles mire from doing this, researching and making, then from being told things.

There should be more stuff like this IMO

Verycold Sat 07-Dec-13 11:39:52

Well dd hates making models, so if we're talking catering for learning styles she shouldn't have to do it. She would much rather write an essay.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Sat 07-Dec-13 11:41:46


with that last comment I really think you're taking the piss. Tough shit if your DD hates making models. A lot of children don't like having to write - whether its because of dyslexia or just personal choice - but they have to. This is one task that gives children a different option. I'm sure your DD would appreciate a bit of diversity in the classroom once in a while.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Sat 07-Dec-13 11:42:17

Finding it very hard to believe you're a teacher to be honest with that attitude.

QuintessentialShadows Sat 07-Dec-13 11:42:57

So your dd is lucky that most of the time her preferred method of learning is catered for then.

EduCated Sat 07-Dec-13 11:43:39

And the children who don't learn well by essay writing! Should they be allowed to opt out of those?

EduCated Sat 07-Dec-13 11:43:58

Ahem, erroneous ! there.

manicinsomniac Sat 07-Dec-13 11:44:03

she has years to write essays verycold

Seriously, I work in a school where we follow the history national curriculum for Y7 and 8 in Y5 and 6. Our Y7s and 8s are preparing for an exam which is harder than GCSE (one document analysis essay and one knowledge based essay in an hour) and, for the majority of them, it really puts them off the subject. They would be much happier being kids and learning to love history through a range of interactive activities (including the occasional essay) than having 300 years of history and advanced level skills shoved down their throat in the same level of detail that older teens do and then (I presume) treading water for 2 years before they take the same GCSE as kids who have got to do things like make models.

WorraLiberty Sat 07-Dec-13 11:44:50

My DS (now in year 10) built a model of Hedingham castle in year 7 and has very fond memories of it. He even won a trip to Thorpe Park.

More than anything, it was fun.

natwebb79 Sat 07-Dec-13 11:45:13

Then don't you get fed up with people constantly assuming you're being lazy/incompetent? I would have thought the merits of such a task (as some posters have pointed out) would be obvious if you're an education professional.

QuintessentialShadows Sat 07-Dec-13 11:45:55

Op must be a nursery teacher if she is mixing up primary and secondary ...... wink

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Sat 07-Dec-13 11:45:56

In year seven I had to construct a bridge from straws. It was bloody annoying but it learnt us how we can make things structurally sound. Was funny seeing other groups' bridges fail when tested grin

JacqueslePeacock Sat 07-Dec-13 11:46:21

Isn't the point of understanding learning styles that a variety of different style tasks can be set, and it isn't all just writing essays? confused

natwebb79 Sat 07-Dec-13 11:47:08

And your DD needs to learn that in the big wide world of work she will often have to work in a way that doesn't suit her. I too am doubtful you're a teacher with your comments so far...

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