London, July 16 (ANI): An England-based primary school, which asked its pupils to come up with ideas for a new outdoor classroom, now has one in the form of a decommissioned commercial aeroplane.
The winged classroom, a refurbished Short S-360, is believed to be the first of its kind in the world, and students at Kingsland Primary School in Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent, checked in for class in the aircraft for the first time on July 15.
Since its arrival at the school in March, the airliner has been transformed into a flexible teaching space, fitted with interactive whiteboards and laptops and complete with pull-down numbered seats and desks.
Headteacher David Lawrence said that staff at the school had invited pupils to offer ideas for a new outdoor classroom, and an aircraft was one of many quirky suggestions, with a tree house and a castle amongst other structures mooted.
Pupils were also involved in the interior design of the aircraft, in a project dubbed “The King’s Wings” by the school.
“When we realised we needed an extra classroom we asked the children what they wanted and one little boy said an aeroplane so we went and found one and have effectively recycled it to create the world’s first flying classroom,” the Telegraph quoted Lawrence a saying.
The 72ft (22m) long aircraft was lowered into position in the school grounds by a crane.
“What you’re seeing today is the end of 15 months worth of work,” Lawrence said.
“It would have been scrapped so we’ve rescued the aeroplane, which is also what the children thought was important because of the agenda for conservation and things like that.
“The children were talking about powering some of the inside of it with solar panels, and that could be something we develop later,” he revealed.
The headteacher said he was not worried that pupils might be distracted by the novelty of sitting down to lessons in an aeroplane.
“The day it came were really really excited and today they’re really excited because they’ve seen it for the first time and they really want to do lessons in there,” he said.
He said it was “such a buzz” for the children, and much more interesting than lessons in a portable cabin.
“In a couple of weeks it will just be part and parcel of what we do in school. So it’ll be, instead of having a lesson in the hall or the ICT room, it will be lessons in the aeroplane,” he said.
“The children’s imagination has been fired up by the idea and they are enthused and motivated, we are sure that this will lead to improved attendance, give us better and more opportunities for our creative curriculum and raise attainment,” he added. (ANI)