Founded in 2013, the Senior School witnessed the welcomed addition of Somerset Shed, a year-long programme aimed at giving Year 8 students the chance to explore various arrays of craftsmanship and skills needed to plan, cut and construct different projects.
Fresh-faced, the Year 8s come into the programme with very little knowledge and technical capability. However, under the guidance of Mrs Walker and of recent years the Year 10 mentors (Ella, Uni, Aidan and myself), the students under-go significant growth and development. Starting with ourselves in Year 8, we have served as mentors for the past years not only helping the students in their own projects but also helping ourselves grow as individuals. Somerset Shed is a positive learning experience for all those involved and helps foster the foundations for many life skills.
Over the past three years, students of the Somerset Shed have worked on and been engaged in many projects, some of these including the annual construction of breeding boxes which, when complete, are donated to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary; the making of wooden trucks and dolls cradles to be gifted to a community play group in Cabarita and of most recent times the construction of the toolboxes. The current project is a term-long task in which the group of students have been working collaboratively to produce many wooden tool boxes based off my own original design. Students utilise many of the skills introduced in Somerset Shed, ranging from cutting and jig-sawing to nailing and sanding. Whilst a bit naive at first, it is evident just how much the Year 8s have grown week in week as a result of this excellent programme. By working with one another to use tools or learn skills that some people may never experience, their technical ability is constantly on the rise and it gives me great pleasure to say that this term's group have made tool boxes of the highest quality and won’t require extensive “maintenance” before being delivered to the Jarjums playgroup.
All in all, Somerset Shed is a valuable addition to the co-curricular lives of the Senior students. Just one lunch break per week provides the students, mentors and even Mrs Walker new learning experiences that will challenge the mind and help develop who we are as MYP students. Together students collaborate to solve problems, mix with various different student groups both internally and externally of the College. Socials skills are learnt and together we work to build a brighter future and extend the minds of those around us, in a fun and engaging manner. Together we have all learnt that sometimes the cut isn’t as straight as we thought it was, or that nailing together sheets of 6mm ply is harder then first thought (especially if you’ve never used a hammer.) A lot can be gained and a lot can be given if you are willing to participate in Somerset Shed, something that I urge for you to embrace with open arms if it presents itself. I look forward to finishing off the year and seeing just how far we have come.
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