A school in Ibstock has inspired its pupils with a competition to create their own roof slate for the school’s re-roofing project.
The project at Ibstock Community College consisted of all the old slate roofs for the main college building being stripped and recovered with new natural slate with a thermal upgrade of the insulation, including new lead sheet covering to the bell tower. The project was due to start in July 2017 and was to be completed by the time the students returned to school in September. However, following the bat survey carried out in June, this had to be delayed due to bat activity being witnessed by one of the surveyors.
The project specification had to be amended due to the discovery of the bats and it was therefore clear that the project would not be finished by the time the pupils returned to the school. The concern was that the scaffolding would still be standing when the students returned and whilst this is a common occurrence on school projects, NRA Roofing felt that it would be beneficial for the pupils if they were given an overview of the project.
Therefore, over two morning assemblies the students were given an overview of the Health & Safety on site. However, Wayne Mycroft, director of NRA Roofing, wanted to engage the students by getting them involved in the re-roofing project. This is when he came up with the idea for a competition for the students to design their own roof slate. The slates on the roof would last around 100 years and this is what was highlighted to the pupils; that their work would be part of the school for a century.
Students used blunt nails to etch their designs onto the black slates in their art lessons. Around 550 pupils entered the competition and the slates were judged on ‘most creative design’, ‘most relevant to this moment in time’ and ‘most personal’. The school bat, who was named Harold, featured on one pupil’s slate whose design won the ‘most relevant to this moment in time’ category. The winning students were presented with a certificate and gift by head teacher, David Phillips, before watching their slates being secured onto the roof.
It is felt that this project has helped to create an interest in construction amongst the Ibstock students and Wayne said that a few questions he received during the assembly were about how to get into the industry.
Buildbase (Derby), the main material supplier to NRA Roofing, said that it was “a real pleasure to have supported Wayne Mycroft with such a prestigious college project” and that the “student messages on the slates was a great way of student involvement, which will also go some way to introducing young people to the construction and roofing industry.”
When asked why projects like this are so important, Wayne Mycroft said: “Working closely with school projects by engaging the pupils is another great way of getting them interested in roofing, which will help recruitment for the future.”
It is forward-thinking projects like this one that will help inspire young people and recruit the next generation of roofers that the industry so desperately needs.