Tain Royal Academy pupils mark completion of construction skills workshed with opening ceremony

An innovative project reaches fulfilment on Friday 1 February when S3 and S4 Construction Skills pupils at Tain Royal Academy open a new construction skills workshed they build themselves with the guidance of their teacher,Mr Tommy Agnew.

Under the guidance of Mr Agnew they were involved in the planning, design and construction phases, in all weathers, without complaint.

After six months of dedication the pupils, along with Mr Agnew, are ready to open the work-shed for business.  They can now build walls, paint and decorate and practice plumbing and electrical installation in their own dedicated area.

Mr Agnew had been a time-served carpenter and joiner before training as a teacher.  He saw the opportunity to involve his pupils in learning the skills they need in preparation for working in the construction industry.

Mr Agnew said “The project gave the pupils a realistic insight into conditions they would encounter in day to day working on a construction site”.

Skills gained by students included:

• Practising in a real work environment
• Working together, and with the trades
• Gaining a huge awareness of health and safety issues
• Using skills learned in other subjects e.g. Mathematics, Science and Personal Development
• Problem solving – i.e. dealing with unexpected issues such as the frame not being plumb
• Working on a daily basis with Mr John McGavin, school technician

Conor Fraser (15), S4, said “It was absolutely brilliant, I learned a lot about working properly on a real project, something that would happen in real life, rather than putting small bits of wood together in a class.  I’m planning on a trade and this has helped me greatly to develop my skills and confidence.  Mr Agnew made it all very easy – he motivated us and it was easy to get the job done.  It also helped our communication and organisation skills.”

Josh Holloway (15), S4, said “It was brilliant, I learned a lot about how buildings are built – we put the frame together and then the walls.  It was easier than I thought it would be because we planned it well.  I felt really good when it was finished.  It looks really great.  I’m very proud of it.”

Becky Hickman (15), S4, said “It has been really good.  Rather than sit in a class we actually got to experience what it would be like to do this for real.  I got a good experience out of it – it has helped me to improve my skills.  We always had a task to do and a time to complete it in, just like in real work.”

The work shed will be formally opened by Mr Jimmy McLean, former head of Technical Department and Mr Angus Gray, recently retired Depute Rector, at  10.30am on Friday 1 February at Tain Royal Academy, Scotsburn Road, Tain.

The pupils and staff involved, along with the trade partners involved, will be present.

The school gratefully acknowledges the help, support and generous provision of materials by many local and national businesses and the Highland Council Planning Department, Building Control and Housing and Property.









30 Jan 2013