PSHE KS1 / KS2: Proud to be an Inventor

Schoolgirl Ella interviews inventor Ben Board about his invention of an inflatable tube to save lives at sea.

An animated timeline helps us visualise the development of inventions through the centuries, from Ancient Greece onwards.

We focus on Leonardo Da Vinci, who lived over 500 years ago and designed cars, helicopters and diving equipment centuries before they could be made.

We also hear about American Marie van Brittan Brown, who designed an early version of CCTV, highlighting how invention is a process and sometimes it takes a lot of time and hard work for ideas to be recognised and accepted.

Teacher Notes

Key Stage 1

In History, there are inventors listed in the non-statutory examples under the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. e.g. William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee and there are links to these in the film.

It is required that “Some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods.” Look at some inventions through time and notice how the inventions reflect big changes in lifestyle.

The children could produce a class museum with real artefacts on loan from museums. This also could be used to link to the Key Stage 1 unit changes within living memory.

Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life. Parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents could be interviewed about the inventions that made a massive difference to their lives. E.g. how mobile phones changed the need for the telephone box on the corner of the street, or the need to have a house landline phone.

The children could look at inventions that made a change in the kitchen or in entertainment in the home.Design and Technology –one of the KS1 requirements is to design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria. Could they use their imagination and design a new item to solve a problem of daily life and invent a name for it?

Key Stage 2

In line with Black History month, pupils could consider and discuss the issue of why the Black inventor of early home security system, a nurse named Marie Van Brittan- Brown, could not get the backing of sponsors who were willing to take a chance in developing their ideas.

They could look at other Black inventors or women inventors who challenge the stereotype or misconception that inventors are middle aged, white and male.History – inventions could be the whole theme of a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066.

Children could produce a balanced argument on what they think is the most important invention of all time and justify, saying why they believe this invention has changed the world.Design and Technology – in Key Stage 2 they are required to understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world.

The children could start by discussing the chosen inventions in the film and then start to debate which other inventions could have been selected instead.Key Stage 2 pupils are required to be taught about great artists, architects and designers in history.

Maths, Science, Design and Computing

Discuss how all these subjects are applied to the work of an inventor. Can they list other jobs that depend upon the application of knowledge and skills in these subjects?

The purpose would be to embed the importance of the relevance of what they are learning in subjects now. Applied to their future ambitions it underpins why they have to work hard in these subjects.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching History and Modern Studies (careers) at KS1 and KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 1st and 2nd Level in Scotland.

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