A group of model Sunderland pupils has been building bridges.
Every pupil at Northern Saints Primary School in Red House was involved in a project, run as part of the community work around the building of the new Wear Crossing, which saw each class research bridges and engineering methods before designing and building their own structures using a range of recyclable materials.
Classes spent two days building their models and creating storyboards on their chosen methods, with even youngsters aged four and five from Reception class getting in on the action.
Then the whole school joined together to build a giant model of the New Wear Crossing cable-stayed bridge, which spanned the length of the school hall and was entirely self-supporting, complete with polystyrene deck, rope cables and a pylon made from carpet roll tubes.
Logan Baxter, eight, from Red House, said: “It’s been really fun. Some bits were difficult, but the best thing was seeing it finished at the end and knowing that we had done it together.”
Headteacher Steve Williamson said the bridge-building project was part of a wider topic the school was doing on the heritage and culture of Sunderland.
All of the children have enjoyed this project. It’s been wonderful to see them talking about their experiences with joy on their faces, and it’s been a great learning journey too, from researching their local history and heritage to the technicalities of building bridges.Steve Williamson
The school brought in Tom Mulholland, of Technology Tom, to provide teachers with some training on bridge-building and then each member of staff set about creating their own models with the pupils.
“We can see the cranes on the building site of the New Wear Crossing from our school field, so we are all hugely excited about Sunderland getting a new bridge and what it means for the city,” said Steve.
“All of the children have enjoyed this project. It’s been wonderful to see them talking about their experiences with joy on their faces, and it’s been a great learning journey too, from researching their local history and heritage to the technicalities of building bridges.”
Sunderland City Council Deputy Leader Coun Harry Trueman and Brigid McGuigan and Christine William from builders Farrans Victor Buyck (FVB)’s Community Engagement team, visited the school to inspect the handiwork and judge the winning models. Year 4 took first place, Year 1 came in second, and Reception was third.
“It’s been an honour to be invited to Northern Saints Primary School,” said Brigid.
“We are really impressed with the children’s model bridges. We never expected them to be so elaborate and detailed.
“Farrans Victor Buyck is very proud to be building Sunderland’s new bridge, so it’s wonderful to see how excited young people in the city are about it and how they are developing their own engineering skills.”
Coun Trueman added: “We believe Sunderland’s new bridge is going to bring wonderful things to the city, through regeneration, job creation and bringing communities together, and Northern Saints Primary School is obviously as excited about the future as we are.
“If these models are anything to go by, Sunderland is going to be in great hands in the years ahead.”