Kit Car Building at Orwell Park
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Kit Car Building at Orwell Park

Orwell Park children in years 7 and 8 are this year enjoying the rare opportunity to take part in a kit car building experience

kit car
Cleaning the axles @ David Horton

A new initiative for the Orwell Park extra-curricular activities programme this year is the opportunity for the children in Years 7 and 8 to take part in building a road-going kit car. The kit itself is a local ‘barn find’ of a Robin Hood two-seater sports car which was purchased 20 years ago but never built, and was bought for the school by one of our parents. 

The build is expected to take 12-18 months to complete, with the teams of children involved rotated every half term to maximise access to this opportunity which we believe is unique within prep schools.

The parent donor said, ‘The academic teaching of physics is a key part of the syllabus, but it is only a part of the overall picture. In my view, it is equally important to offer pupils the opportunity to see how theoretical physical principles relate to practice.

‘The building of a kit car provides essential first-hand experience of practical engineering, complementing conceptual learning in the classroom. Not only is there a learning benefit, but there is also the great satisfaction that pupils derive from learning new skills and seeing a car emerge from a pile of bits. It’s an exciting project!’

kit car team
Mr Horton with some of the pupils @ Amy Carbonero

The activity is being led by Head of Digital Strategy, Mr Horton, who has experience in building road and racing cars, with advice from professional mechanics and our health and safety consultant. The children are very much enjoying learning about cars and gaining practical skills, while also understanding the patience needed for such a long-term project.  

Year 7 pupil Tyler said, ‘It’s fun because it’s making a whole car and you get to learn more about specialised mechanics which is useful in life generally. I go go-karting every month and now it’s more interesting and fun, knowing how the engine works and how it’s all put together.’

When the car is complete and fully inspected, we plan to take it to a race track to enable the children to enjoy the outcome of all their hard work.

See Orwell Park’s Online listing here.