From archaeology to modern technology and future resilience, Ernulf students find out what it takes to create a development like Wintringham

Pupils from Ernulf Academy in St Neots recently completed a unique and engaging work experience programme at the Wintringham development that immersed them in the dynamic world of the built environment. During the week, the three Year 10 students participated in a variety of sessions designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the diverse careers of the Urban&Civic team and their design and delivery partners as they create St Neot’s newest community.
17 June 2024
students doing work experience at Wintringham

The project team from Urban&Civic, master developer for Wintringham, engaged the students in the challenges and opportunities of large-scale development and all the things that need to be worked out in design and planning, then delivered and maintained. From designing homes to achieve sustainability targets and planning green spaces to support habitat creation for local priority species, to designing in and restoring existing historic waterways such as Hen Brook and Wintringham Brook, and new water systems to provide places resilient to climate change and flooding.

The students were able to explore the play areas that provide doorstep space for local children and cycle around the leisure trail and site-wide footpaths and cycle routes, which help people get about the development sustainably and connect up to routes to St Neots and further afield.

They were also challenged to design a new place supported by David Lock Associates planners and using bespoke interactive ‘CHLOE’ software. The pupils unleashed their imaginations to design their own new communities, whilst considering all the different elements that make up a sustainable and desirable place to live.

The students also spent time with the Barratt and David Wilson Homes’ site team, exploring the Discovery House to see what goes on behind the scenes of a modern house and trying their hand at bricklaying.

students doing work experience at Wintringham

With seven timber footbridges in place in the development so far, one standout moment was the challenge of building a bridge strong enough to roll a tennis ball over using dried spaghetti and marshmallows. The activity not only fostered teamwork, but demonstrated
how the maths and physics learnt at school is a valuable tool for future careers in design, engineering and project management.

Christine Littlewood, Community Development Lead for Wintringham, said: “The work experience programme has been an eye-opener for our students, providing them with an insight into how the subjects they are studying at GCSE can be applied to real life scenarios and providing a better understanding of the various jobs and careers that go into making a place like Wintringham come to life.

“These are all important roles that are sought after by development and construction companies across the local area, and we’re delighted that some of our previous work experience candidates have gone on to placements and even full-time employment with Urban&Civic.

“Engaging the next generation and introducing them to the complexities of what we do was incredibly rewarding. We were impressed by their enthusiasm and ingenuity, with each student taking an interest in a different discipline. JTP’s design session peaked Ella’s interest in architecture, Alex enjoyed the hands-on side of construction and Jack was intrigued by the role sustainability plays within our industry. We look forward to continued projects with Ernulf to support their students.”

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