Students at Derby Grammar School enjoyed an innovative day of lessons themed around flight including an engineering workshop delivered by Rolls-Royce.

Every student in Year 8 started the day with an English lesson during which they analysed the Tennyson poem, The Eagle. In science students examined the physics of flight and how different birds fly before moving on to Design Technology and making their own rocket. In music, students listened to a piece by Strauss, subsequently used as the theme music in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and personalised it themselves.

Students then enjoyed the first of two sessions with Rolls-Royce ambassadors Callum Omelasz, who is a supply chain designer, and Nathan Hull, a capability acquisition engineer.

Callum and Nathan talked about Rolls-Royce and aeroplane design before holding a Pure Flight workshop which involved students designing and making their own foam gliders.

Callum said: “The purpose of our sessions is to talk to students about Rolls-Royce and perhaps inspire them to consider careers in engineering.

“We talk to them about the different types of engines that R-R makes and the physics of flight which they can revisit when we run a session later in the day when students make their own gliders. Once they have made their gliders we test them and see how far they fly. It’s all about getting them interested in engineering from a young age and they can see how what they are learning can transfer into the real world.”

Paul Lakritz, Assistant Head (Academic) and Head of DT, said: “We decided to hold this day so that students can see how the skills that they learn in lessons can be transferred. It’s good for the boys to be able to see how the curriculum can apply to specific projects or experiences. We often work with Rolls-Royce and we recently took a group of students to the opening of their STEM Centre. We are also hoping to get involved with their STEM mentoring project.”

The Pure Flight workshop is designed to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and the opportunities that exist for engineers at Rolls-Royce.

The workshop also aims to inspire by showing students the diverse ways in which STEM subjects and skills are used both in industry and in the world around them

Students were asked to design, make and test a glider looking at wing structures, shapes and positions and tail design.

Student Kavi Sohal, 12, said he had thoroughly enjoyed the day.

He said: “I really liked making the rocket in Design Technology and I enjoyed the whole day; it was very different to our normal school day. My grandad was a mechanic so engineering is something that I might think about in the future.”