Problem Solving and Painting – Week 6 at Drumchapel High

This week the group faced a number of problem-solving challenges! Several jobs, from painting benches to digging out a pathway, needed to be undertaken and the group split themselves up to take on the different tasks.

Last week the group decided on the entrance spot for the garden and so this week began the challenge of devising an archway to mark this. This was a difficult undertaking especially in the wind! Students considered the materials they had and ones they might need, sending members of the group off to source wood from the surrounding site. A basic structure was cleverly devised using willow, string and found sticks, and the group will continue to work on this over the forthcoming weeks. 

Another group took on the task of painting the first of the benches that were made last week. The purple colour was a popular choice with the group who have decided that they want to paint the benches as brightly coloured as possible. The group worked well together to carefully cover all aspects of the bench and will consider another coat when the paint fully dries.

A further group took on the labour-intensive task of digging out the pathway between the first garden site and the food growing site that will be developed from January next year. The students decided on the length and breadth of the path they wanted to create and showed some excellent digging skills – drawing on their previous experience on the site.

Finally, a group used their maths skills to work out the amount of edging required for the site. This wasn’t as easy as it first seemed, but a plan was eventually put in place and an amount was calculated. The group will work on the edging over the next few weeks.

As we take a short break for the October holidays it is incredible to reflect on the site’s progress so far. The group’s confidence in their abilities to work in the garden is growing alongside the development of the site itself. As autumn takes hold we continue to work at laying the foundations of the garden and it is very exciting to think about what more can be achieved before the end of the year.

Week 5 at the Drum – Bench Building

This week the group put their bench building skills to the test and set to work on constructing the benches. Following on from Ian’s tutorial in week 2, the group quickly organised the wood into piles and began to plan out their benches. Due to the wet weather we worked in Mr Healy’s workshop, giving us great access to lots of tools and the radio.

The group showed fantastic initiative and teamwork, carefully working together to measure and drill the wood. Using the drill was more difficult than we first thought but after a few mistakes everyone found their rhythm and all five benches were finished in the session – a terrific achievement!

Afterwards the group carried the benches out to the garden and tried out a variety of seating styles for the site. The group discussed what the garden could be used for – socialising, teaching, taking time out, etc., and these all became important elements in the design. Eventually the group voted on their favourite design and decided upon the entrance spot for the garden. Over the next week we plan to paint the benches and begin to construct the bamboo archway for the entrance before moving on to setting up the first planting activity before the end of the year.