These enrichment activities encourage pupils to apply logical thought to real life situations, to learn the benefits of considered evaluation.

This week’s primary enrichment activity looks at London’s hosting of the Olympic Games in 2012 and asks pupils to think about what they would like the legacy of the event to be.

This week’s secondary enrichment activity focuses on the opening of a treetop walkway at Kew Gardens and asks pupils to consider the potential benefits of creating aerial pathways for pedestrians.

***Primary Enrichment***

Preparing to play an active role as citizens

  • to recognise the role of voluntary, community and pressure groups
  • to appreciate the range of national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom
  • that resources can be allocated in different ways and that these economic choices affect individuals, communities and the sustainability of the environment
  • to explore how the media present information.

Olympic opportunities
One of the central promises of the London Olympic bid was to get more people involved in sporting activities throughout the UK. This month the news that the cost of the Olympics has risen from an early estimate of £2.4bn to a revised figure of £9.3bn has raised once again the discussions about both the ‘hard’ legacy and the ‘soft’ legacy benefits to the UK of hosting the Olympic Games. Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the organising committee of the London 2012 Olympics, told the BBC:

‘It’s very important there is a softer legacy as well.
‘It’s about coaching, it’s about parental involvement, it’s about using sport as a bridgehead into educational and cultural values.’

He added that the committee wanted the games to make a big impact on local communities. Lord Coe told ‘Week In Week Out’ that it was not just an event for London.

‘A lot of my time is spent traveling around the United Kingdom because I’m determined that, although we won the right to stage the games in London, it’s also seen as a UK-wide project,’ he said.
‘It’s the only sustainable way we can maintain this project for the next four-and-a-half years.’

Some questions for your pupils to consider and discuss:

In four-and-a-half years’ time your pupils will be approaching a point in time when they have to make decisions about their futures − what would they hope to see as the permanent legacy for the UK resulting from the Olympic Games being hosted by London in 2012?

Discussions can centre on the following general points − will the main benefits be:

  • A greater understanding between peoples and nations of the world?
  • A reduction in warfare and conflict?
  • More participation in sport?

As the discussion develops, the world of entertainment − music, comedy and drama − can also be explored. Will humour change as a result of the Olympics, will there be new songs, music, literature and art developed as part of the ‘soft’ legacy? One further point that would also be worth consideration is the role of Lottery and government funding for the arts, community ‘good works’ and other causes. Will the channelling of funding be an opportunity for agencies that presently utilise donations to enter the competitive market of services and sales rather than fundraising and bursary chasing? Going beyond the main headlines of legacy will result in some interesting discussion and conclusions.


Thinking about what will result from hosting the 2012 Olympics

Going further
The Olympic Games will happen − the event will be exciting and significant. How will it be significant in your school and in your area? Begin to organise an event that will lead into the build-up towards the 2012 Games − capitalise on public interest and enthusiasm while also contributing to the ‘soft’ legacy of this major event. What would be great for your area? Plan it and be part of the group that makes it happen. On your marks, get set, go!

Read the article ‘Sport clubs lose out to Olympics’

Learning and teaching Scotland

‘Education for Citizenship in Scotland’, Learning and Teaching Scotland 2002, describes citizenship as being about: the exercise of rights and responsibilities within communities at local, national and global levels; and making informed decisions, and taking thoughtful and responsible action, locally and globally.

International Baccalaureate

Primary programme Five essential elements

The five essential elements listed above are incorporated into this framework, so that students are given the opportunity to:

  • gain knowledge that is relevant and of global significance
  • develop an understanding of concepts, which allows them to make connections throughout their learning
  • acquire transdisciplinary and disciplinary skills
  • develop attitudes that will lead to international-mindedness
  • take action as a consequence of their learning.

***Secondary Enrichment*** KS4 Design and technology

During Key Stage 4

‘Students take part in design and make projects that are linked to their own interests, industrial practice and the community. Projects may involve an enterprise activity, where students identify an opportunity, design to meet a need, manufacture products and evaluate the whole design and make process. Students use ICT to help with their work, including computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM) software, control programs and ICT-based sources for research. They consider how technology affects society and their own lives, and learn that new technologies have both advantages and disadvantages.’


The London Eye offers visitors an opportunity to have a bird’s-eye view of London and its environs. The same architects who built the London Eye have recently seen their design for another ‘in the sky’ project realized with the official opening of the Kew Garden treetop walkway. At 18 metres above the ground and 200 metres long, the walkway allows visitors the opportunity to walk through the trees of Kew at treetop level. The pleasure of the experience is added to by the view of London’s skyline. Project manager Tony Kirkham told the BBC:

‘As a trained arborist I have had the privilege of being up in the tree canopy, experiencing trees at height and birds and other wildlife from a completely different perspective.
‘It’s fantastic that we are able to give visitors the same experience.’

Some questions for your pupils to consider and discuss:
If you had the opportunity to design a ‘skypath’ for your area, where would you build it?

  • Your ‘skypath’ would need to be higher than the houses, flats, offices and other buildings it passes over. It could be built to follow the line of the streets. If enough ‘skypaths’ were built a new ‘in the sky’ network could be created for pedestrians. What other uses could this idea apply to?

The Liverpool overhead railway was built to allow easy movement of people around the city while alleviating road congestion.

  • What benefits could you see for a ‘skypath’ in your local community?

Summary Avoiding pavement congestion

Going further

This activity could move on to examining a map of the area the ‘skypath’ would cover, the choice of materials, the consideration of reaching and descending from the skypath, the designs and the marketing strategy. This idea is simply waiting to happen. Suggest to your students that they submit their design to the local planning office and see what interest they can raise to make the ‘skypath’ a reality in their area.

Read about the ‘Kew Gardens opens treetop walkway’

Read about the Tree Top Walk, Australia

Read about The Liverpool Overhead Railway

Read about the Monorails of Europe

Learning and teaching Scotland

Technology education is addressed within the ‘Environmental Studies: 5-14 National Guidelines’. The central theme is that all pupils will be afforded the opportunity to acquire a broad-based ‘technological capability’ through an extensive and diverse range of activities and experiences. Technology education is a distinct form of creative activity in which human beings interact with their environment − be it natural or built − in order to bring about change.

International Baccalaureate.

Diploma Programme curriculum

Group 4: experimental sciences

This e-bulletin issue was first published in June 2008

About the author: John Senior is the author of Enrichment Activties for G&T Pupils. He is a teacher with 26 years’ experience of teaching Gifted and Talented children, working with parents and carers as a consultant on high ability, and peer mentoring.