Paul and Emily joined the classes of Year 6 at Westbury-on-Trym CofE Academy in Bristol to teach a lesson on bridges. We asked the students to look at truss bridges and design their own to bridge the playground from the classroom block to the main school, building a 1:50 scale model using lollipop sticks, then put to the test of holding the weight of an apple (or 3). We were thrilled with the results, an array of colourful (some St Patrick’s Day themed) truss bridges put forwards by the students – check out our favourites below!
Bright eyed and bushy tailed both the London and the Suffolk teams embarked on a field trip to Chesham, Hertforshire, to check out the HG Matthews brick yard, where they have been making both traditional hand and machine made bricks since 1923. They were kind enough to give us a tour of their site and accompanied by some pretty ace dogs, they showed us the clay dig, the 100 year old machinery, the kilns, the balmy drying rooms and lofty brick stores. Did you know the colour of a brick is determined by the temperature it is fired at? The hotter the temperature, the darker the brick.
We also checked out their straw and clay internal wall blocks which are completely carbon neutral – looking forward to specifying those! Thanks to Jim and Will and the whole team at HG Matthews for an amazing day, you have raised our love of bricks to a new level.
Colour variation of bricks within a kiln
All lined up staring into the kilns
Paul sorting the hand-made from the machine-made bricks