Working, But Not As You Wood Think


8th May, 2017

A group of enthusiastic Junior School students are trading their pens for power tools during lunchtime and are part of a new Woodwork Club being run by Grade 4 teacher, Ms Michelle Rey and Senior School Head of Technology, Mr Rod Smith.

Ms Rey’s father was a builder and Mr Smith was an engineer before becoming a teacher, so the students’ are in extremely good hands, with Head of Junior School, Mr Don Thompson, also lending an experienced hand.

Ms Rey said that after seeing a documentary about the benefits for children of working with wood, she was inspired to start the club.

“There are so many benefits of lunch time clubs for students and of working with wood in particular.

“The children are using maths skills in the measurement and design of their project and learning a whole new vocabulary around this enjoyable task.

“Working with 3D shapes in wood fosters a range of skills and ways of thinking that are an excellent foundation for the all-important STEM subjects at school and in the workplace,” Ms Rey said.

About 16   boys and 10 girls are currently participating in the Junior School Woodwork Club which is held at ‘the pub’ – the Senior School headquarters for the practical Technology subjects. From Year 9 onwards, technology based subjects range from Product Design and Technology through to Systems Engineering and Computing, all of which can be carried through to VCE. With more than nine Technology subjects on offer in the Senior School, the Junior School woodworkers will have many options in the future.

Ms Rey explained that the Woodworking Club was also about supporting social skills in children.

“For some children, they would like a non-sporting option at lunchtimes and this is one activity offered to  Year 5 and 6 students.

“They make friendships with children in different year levels. At the moment they are making pencil cases and we hope to ignite a passion for hands on craft,” she said.

Grade 5 student, Alexis Muir, said that she decided to join the Woodwork Club because her Dad is an engineer.

“My Dad is into woodwork so I wanted to know what it is. I like the nailing bit and I’m going to use the pencil case that we are making in Grade 6,” she said.

Jack Woodhams, also in Grade 5, has other ideas for how he will use his pencil case.

“I will use my pencil case to keep a reptile in it.

“I wanted to join wood work because I like building stuff and my Dad was a chippy. I love building stuff because I am inspired by my Dad,” he said.

Below: Happy Grade 5 and 6 woodworkers!