As the weeks progress, our Year 9 and 10 students continue to learn and think through making; their research of bee-friendly materials and arrangements is enabling them to craft their designs into well-considered, functional bee hotels. It has transpired that the key skill required by the students is practical problem-solving, as they decisively respond to changing circumstances, ideas and materials to improve their designs week by week. Further aesthetic considerations including paint and collage are next, with aspirations to involve the house colours of Joseph Rowntree School, combined with the concept of recycling materials, such as bottle tops.
Senior Art teacher, Tim Marvel, alongside Technology technician, Kerry Foulger, have provided great support, fuelling the project with their enthusiasm and expertise. With thanks to Tim’s contact, the tree of Joseph Rowntree School has now been cut and assembled to form the foundation of the bee hotel. The students have discussed how their individual bee hotels may fit together on the collective installation, and continue to consider this as they finalise their creations.
In the last session of the summer term, we re-visited the outdoor space for the installation to visualise the final effect. Previously, it had transpired that the project would require more than 6 sessions to develop ideas, clear the outdoors space of overgrown plants and install the work. Thankfully, Mr Marvell has been highly cooperative in contributing extra hours to help this happen, as the project continues, with the hope of an official “opening” at the beginning of the new academic year.
The staff commented on the value of our project in engaging students and inspiring them to do creative courses and extra-curricular activities, especially with time constraints on enrichment opportunities within the school. They added that they appreciated us approaching their school with the project, and that we must maintain our positive relationship and reconvene to discuss the progress and potential for future projects. Such feedback summarises the aim of such an endeavour, and demonstrates the wide-reaching impact of the Pollination Project, with special thanks to Abi Curtis and Joanna Sperryn-Jones for inspiring us to do so. Consequently, our bee hotel project has been a fulfilling and successful learning experience, with more to look forward to.