Young mechanics to bring kit car to the track

Orwell Park School pupils are building a Robin Hood two seater sports car.

Orwell Park School pupils are learning how to put together a kit car, after a parent found one at a barn find that had never been built. - Credit: Amy Carbonero

A kit car bought 20 years ago may finally see the light of day when it is built by a group of young mechanics. 

Pupils in years seven and eight at Orwell Park School, in Nacton, have been given a rare opportunity to build the Robin Hood two-seater sports car through a new extra-curricular activities programme.

The project came about after a parent spotted the kit car in a "barn find" and learned that it had been bought 20 years ago, but never built. 

The school expects the build to take between a year to 18 months to complete, with the teams of children involved rotated every half term to work on the car. 

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

The parent donor, who wished to remain anonymous, 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.

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"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.”

The group of students will be led by the school's head of digital strategy, Mr Horton, who has experience in building road and racing cars. 

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.”

The school is also working with professional mechanics and its health and safety consultant to help the children learn about cars and the patience needed for the long-term project.