As part of our recent sensory garden revamp project, students & staff were encouraged to come up with ways that the outdoor teaching area could be used more. One suggestion was a storytelling corner, where sensory stories could be brought to life in the outside air. Our D.T. group took this idea on board and began looking for ideas of items they could make in their lessons to help create this space. They researched lots of different outdoor ideas and came across lots of images of various outdoor storyteller chairs which were over sized and made entirely from wood. To buy, the chairs ranged in price upward of £850! Always ready to accept a new challenge, the D.T. group decided they could make their own, and it would be bigger and better than any they could buy!
Their first job was to source the materials. The students went for a walk to see if there were any natural materials they could collect and use. Luckily just at the right time, the trees surrounding the school had recently been pruned and the off cuts were available to take. They gathered up as many as they could and took them back to D.T. to start working on the chair. With help from staff, students worked hard over a few weeks to debark, cut to length, shape, sand and finish each piece of wood, ready for construction. Once each piece was ready, they began to put together the chair. This wasn’t an easy task, and it took a lot of logical thinking and problem solving skills to ensure the chair was both practical and reliable. When the group were happy with the chair, they asked lots of different members of staff to test it out, some of whom were smaller than others, and quite a lot of people’s feet couldn’t touch the ground! The chair was perfect! All that was left to do, was to make it weather proof and then the chair was ready to go outside.
The chair now has pride of place in our teaching area in the sensory garden and is being used regularly while we have the nice weather. Classes have been enjoying a range of lessons and stories, all incorporating the chair. The D.T. group are very proud of their work! Well done to all involved.