The Trust is delighted that Dulverton Junior School partners with the Trust in its school outreach activities. We hope that as Covid receeds schools will be able to return to normal operation.
In 2021 and 2022 the Covid pandemic interrupted the programme. Nonetheless, the Trust was able to conduct reduced activities. In 2022 Young Somerset (www.youngsomerset.gov.uk) and the Trust decided to design a colouring book for local children which will feature the ‘Olli The Dulverton Leat Otter’ character pictured in locations around Dulverton which the children will recognise. The first two designs (by Owen Baker and Maddison Boutcha – participants in the Young Somerset Bold & Brave programme) were printed by Brightsea Printers in Exeter (wwwbrightsea.co.uk) and given to 90 Dulverton School children who took them home for the holidays.
In 2021 the Trust provided kinetic sculpture kits for Dulverton School pupils to assemble themselves inside the school as part of their lesson activities.
Our picture shows Dulverton Junior School pupils with the ‘Twisteroo’ kinetic kits designed by Harry Mansfield, a Kinetic Artist from Woking who was one of the sculptors showing his work at the exhibition. Dulverton School pupils had a very happy afternoon decorating and then constructing their Twisteroos and were very pleased when they took them into the playground and saw them spinning in the breeze.
The Trust is delighted that Harry’s excellent kinetic kits provided this enjoyable activity.
Dulverton School kinetic art
In more normal times the study of Dulverton Weir & Leat has been included in the Dulverton Junior School curriculum, and the Trust continues to work with the School to explore what might be done on a regular basis. As part of this project (and prior to any activities near the weir and leat) pupils receive water safety training provided by Linda Steer, Swimming Lesson Manager, Mid Devon Leisure.
The pupils participate in a lively exchange of ideas about potential dangers in and around water including swimming pools, canals, rivers, beaches and around the home. In a lively and instructive lesson, Linda is able to get the children to spot potential hazards around the different areas and learn safe behaviours when they are near water.
One of the Trustees of DW&LCT gives a one hour lesson to the children in which a brief history of the introduction of water power in England and an introduction to the principles of water wheel design, finishing with a quiz and films of several types of water wheel in action.
The pupils then work in groups over the following few weeks to construct water wheels as part of their Technology Curriculum. Sets of standard wheel components are provided to the school by the Trust to create a ‘level playing field’ between the groups, with the school providing the essential extras including the glue, plastic card, balsa wood etc. necessary for the children to use their initiative and imagination to build the water wheels.
The pupils then take part in a Junior Hydraulic Motor Engineer Competition as the culmination of their efforts.
Carrying their water wheels through the town, they place them in the moving waters of the leat (mill stream) to find out whether their designs work and whether further improvements have to be made on site to improve their water wheel performance.
Click on the image below to see a short film about the event.
Lady Dulverton usually presents certificates to the two winning teams one each from year 5 and year 6.