Echline Primary School pupils build bridges

P2 pupils testing the strength of a bridge designed to look like the Queensferry Crossing, constructed from wood and string and held together using glue
P2 pupils testing the strength of a bridge designed to look like the Queensferry Crossing, constructed from wood and string and held together using glue

Pupils at Echline Primary School in South Queensferry spent their week learning more about the bridge being built on their doorstep.

The children were becoming more and more interested in the changes they were seeing to the landscape outside their window.

The Queensferry Crossing is getting closer to being completed with the north viaduct now in place

The Queensferry Crossing is getting closer to being completed with the north viaduct now in place

Teacher Elaine Honeyman said: “Pupils were noticing the work being done and were always discussing what was going on so we thought it would be best to educate them about the Queensferry Crossing.

“With it being right on our doorstep it would be a waste to not take advantage of it and the children seemed really interested in learning more about it.”

For the past week the whole school, from nursery pupils to P7, has been involved in learning all about bridges.

Elaine said: “When talking about the bridges we mostly hear about the history of them, why they were built, how they were built. 
“But this week we focused on the technology side and tried to do something a bit different.”

Every age group was tasked with the same goal, build a bridge, however everyone had different materials to build with.

The nursery pupils used wooden blocks to create their bridges, the younger primary pupils used junk materials and the older ones were gifted wood, glue and saws from Queensferry High School to create their bridges.

Elaine said: “A big thank you to the High School for donating all the materials. Without them we would not have had enough for everyone.”

Before the little architects could begin building they created models on a computer that showed them if their design would be strong enough.

Jude Moir, a teacher at Echline Primary School, explained the benefits the computer design programme had.

He said: “It helped show the children where their designs might be flawed or how they could improve their structures before actually building them.”

With their on-screen designs looking solid, the pupils, in small teams, could begin creating their bridges.

Jude said: “We have really allowed the children to be creative and you can see it with some of their designs.

“Some were conventional bridges and others really went for it. But most importantly they all worked incredibly hard together and had fun while learning more about the incredible bridge being built just outside their window.”

The children were also visited by Mark Dunlop, the communication manager for the crossing and Gordon Wright the site engineer. They both spoke to the pupils about the Queensferry Crossing and their roles in the project.

Gordon said: “It was great to speak to the pupils during their bridges week. They were really enthusiastic and interested.”

When the pupils return to school after the holidays it will be back to the normal routine, but everyone seemed to enjoy their week doing something a bit different, learning about bridges.

Elaine said: “The whole school was buzzing all week. All the pupils really seemed to enjoy doing something a bit different and with the bridge meant to open this year it was the perfect time to teach them all about it.

“They are all looking forward to the opening and we hope our school can be involved in some way.”