This afternoon, 5GH were challenged by Miss Heyes to ‘make a paper plate as long as you can’ using only a pair of scissors! Upon first hearing what the challenge was, the children began noting down their initial thoughts and feelings. As you can see, there was quite a range of responses: some negative, some unsure and some determined!

The children set about their task, working in pairs to try and make the longest paper plate they could. There were lots of different approaches: some cut the plate into thin strips and attached them end to end, some cut the plate into pieces and arranged them in different ways. After their first (largely unsuccessful) attempts, the children then had time to consider what changes they could make to their approach, sharing their ideas and experiences to move forward with the challenge.

By the end of the challenge, the class decided that the most effective strategy was to cut the paper plate into a spiral, keeping the line as thin as possible – taking great care not to snip it off by accident!

Finally, the class came back together to discuss how they thought the challenge had turned out. They spoke at length about the difference between their first reaction to being told what the task was, to how they felt once they had achieved the challenge – and the emotional rollercoaster in between!

This kind of task lent itself really well to fostering a growth mind set : many of the children began the challenge nervously, some even suspiciously, assuming they were doomed to failure. By the end, they realised that perseverance, determination and resilience was the key to success!