Have a Go benefits students from all walks of life

Our Have a Go kits and workshops are suitable to all learning styles and can be used to enrich the teaching of students on mainstream learning pathways, as well as those suited to more practical learning.

We spoke with Andrew Walsh from Maes Derw, a pupil referral unit in Swansea, about the impact the Have a Go workshops had on students and staff there.

Maes Derw is a specialist school, with pupils who have mental health and behavioural difficulties, and struggle with mainstream education. These pupils often learn best from more practical, non-written, vocational subjects and teaching, and Andrew found that the Have a Go kits complemented this well.

“In particular, our learners with behavioural difficulties and our Key Stage 3 learners really enjoyed the practical side, and the activities were something that they don’t normally do.” – Andrew Walsh, Maes Derw

The students took part in five workshops; Chocolate welding, Plumbing, Carpentry, Electronics and Robotics, which offered a great variety to suit all. Maes Derw used the workshops to inspire 3 different groups of learners ages 11-16: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, and learners with mental health difficulties. With Key Stage 4 the priority was career aspirations and post-16 destinations, whereas with Key Stage 3 it was important to look at inspiring and improving their skill sets and subject choices for Key Stage 4.

“The biggest difference I noticed, was that it inspired the teachers as well. Some would sit in on sessions and think ‘I could do this in my lessons’, so the impact went further than just during the workshops.” – Andrew Walsh

Andrew was impressed with the number of workshops and kits to choose from, explaining that teachers can use this to target top end students, as well as those with lower attendance and behavioural issues. In Maes Derw, Pupil Voice was used to determine what the students themselves were interested in taking part in, before choosing the final five workshops.

“I’d recommend it to any school, we’ve all got the same job to inspire these kids, have a look at the website and see what areas you could apply for.” – Andrew Walsh

The workshops were a success at Maes Derw, with good attendance to all sessions, a healthy split between male and female students, and positive responses to post-workshop Pupil Voice. Below is some of the student feedback:

“I enjoyed the workshops as there were loads of different things to do.” “I have always been interested in woodwork and the workshops have cemented this career for me when I leave school.” – 

“The workshops have helped me decide what I want to do in year 10. I am going to be doing construction in year 10 now” 

“Before the workshops I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do when leaving school in May, however now I have applied for the electronics course at college thanks to the workshops.” 

Applications for the next round of Have a Go workshops close 13th May, for more information on how to apply click here

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