Early Years Foundation Stage: The architect

Early Years Foundation Stage: The architect


Inspired by a visit to the seaside,
Jaymin is reconstructing a pier. Jaymin’s determined
to secure the pillars, fitting support blocks
tightly together and rotating them so the straight
edges surround the support whilst he holds it in place. The straight edges
of the pyramidal blocks have been arranged
for maximum stability. The platform is carefully lowered, eyes gauging the best position
to catch both pillars. But one pillar lets him down. With a look of stoical resignation, Jaymin realises
he has a problem to solve. He tries for better stability by building the shapes up
on top of each other, his left hand carefully
shepherding them into position. A double check to the other side
and he notices something. The latest tower is too tall
and some blocks must be removed. Sizing up with the platform shows
things are still not quite right. The tower is now too small
compared with the other side. One more block should do it, which a quick comparative glance
confirms as he reduces the gap. Problem solved. Using the same strategy, Jaymin
begins to develop the structure, carefully placing
a newly constructed tower of blocks held securely between
his spread fingers and thumb so that it all stays in place. The opposite tower is positioned
at a good distance and the platform can now be lowered. But an adjustment is necessary. One side is taller than the other. As he takes a block away,
he checks from side to side to ensure they are now
the same height. Satisfied, he lowers
the platform again. Now for the section
nearest the shoreline. Learning from both the successful
strategies for support heights and pillar-to-pillar distance. Perfect. He collects blocks
from the neat stack and continues to construct
a lower platform with rounded, symmetrical ends. Later, he told his teacher
this platform was to be for children. Remembering he had been told to hang
onto his mummy’s hand on the pier, he designed this platform
to be closer to the water. Mummies could rescue the children, reaching them
if they were to fall in. Jaymin is not initially successful
with the narrow cylinder pillars and large top. Realising the pillars
need shoring up, he uses additional blocks,
reverting to the strategy that he experimented with
at the beginning and surrounding each pillar. Each piece is precisely positioned to
fill all the space around the pillar. He tests the platform, but its stability doesn’t meet
his quality threshold and it’s taken away. This needs a radical rethink. He takes a block
from under another platform and abandons the narrow pillars, replacing them
with wider-based uprights. That works and the platform
is stable. Happy with his construction, safety-conscious Jaymin makes
the first visitor to the high pier the life-saver,
just in case anyone falls off. The children can have safe fun
on the lower pier.


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