Year 1 and Year 2 pupils at Horsford CE Infant School in Holt Road, Horsford, have been learning all about housebuilding thanks to a taster session organised by local Norwich building contractor Pentaco Construction.
Suited up in hard hats and protective hi-vis vests, the 29 five-, six- and seven-year-olds spent an action-packed afternoon of in-class learning and hands-on construction activities led by the Pentaco team of construction director David Sexton, project manager Neil Hubbard and estimator, Andrew Grady. Pupils spent an afternoon with the Pentaco Construction team taking part in a mix of educational activities which included classroom-based workbook exercises as well as outdoor hands-on sessions where they learned about construction materials, how to make cement mortar, and build a brick wall.
Bringing classroom learning to life
“It’s always wonderful to have skilled visitors coming to visit the children. David, Neil and Andrew from Pentaco Construction came in to share their professional knowledge and construction expertise which has really helped the children gain an insight into the ‘real world’,” says the children’s classroom teacher Amy Sale. “The children had lots of fun and it’s helped them to understand that there is a reason for learning the skills that we teach in school.”
“We wanted to give the children an insight into how houses are built and the process itself – from buying land and getting planning permission to assembling the project team and designing and building,” explains David Sexton. “Our activities were focussed around giving the children a basic understanding of the sequence of events involved in building a house and the different materials and skills which have gone into constructing their own homes.”
Pentaco Construction which has offices in Hurricane Way, Norwich, decided to hold the housebuilding event after project manager Neil Hubbard’s son, who attends Horsford Infant School, asked his father to give a talk to his class.
“My son was learning about construction skills in class and asked if we could come in and talk about how to build a house,” says Neil Hubbard. “We thought it would be a great learning experience for the children if we could expand the talk and make it more memorable by developing some fun and interesting activities around it.”
Pentaco Construction operates across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex. The company undertakes building projects from £20,000 up to £3 million in value ranging from educational facilities to residential and commercial schemes.
“We enjoy getting involved in work with the community and educational initiatives like this one which we hope will get children interested and excited about construction at an early age,” says David Sexton. “Our industry faces a long-term skills shortage because there are not enough young people going into construction these days. It’s events like this one at Horsford Infant School which we hope will help attract a future generation of construction professionals and trades people.”