School comics send the House Bonkkers

Fun time: Team Bonkkers from Birley Community College head for the House of Commons in national contest.
Fun time: Team Bonkkers from Birley Community College head for the House of Commons in national contest.
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FUN’S back in fashion at a Sheffield secondary school - where a team of pupils are doing all they can to make lessons go with a laugh.

Six youngsters at Birley Community College formed Team Bonkkers as part of a project to pep up the routines of the normal school day.

And the results were so impressive the group are off to the House of Commons on Tuesday for the national final of a competition which challenged children to make the world a better place.

There they will meet ministers, MPs and other VIPs as they take on 11 other rivals in the finals of the Solutions for the Planet contest.

Sam Morton-Bennett, aged 14, said the initial aim was to fight obesity and boost fitness levels through a series of entertaining after-school clubs.

“But after that the whole thing sort of took off and expanded and we decided to take our ideas into normal lessons,” he said.

“We wanted to make learning fun - so we’ve been encouraging science lessons which have more explosions and bangs in them while you’re still learning the important things you need to.

“And in maths for example we wanted to see more emphasis on puzzles and games and also more practical learning such as how to make the most of your money.”

Charlotte Turner, also 14, said Team Bonkkers had also formed a partnership with Swamp Circus to learn skills such as juggling and plate spinning.

“We’ve designed a series of games based on these activities which have also been introduced to liven up our lessons. The whole school is suddenly a lot busier!”

“This is a project we hope to keep going - the after-school clubs proved to be really popular and we hope the new-style lessons will prove to be the same,” she added.

Teacher Kathryn Wilson said the scheme had grown out of an enterprise initiative, with Solutions for the Planet asking pupils to come up with quirky ways to help their local area, their school or even the globe.

“Their idea of getting more fun and learning back into education seemed to be a really good one and got them through their quarter final at Sheffield University to be crowned regional winners.”

It’s the first time some of the youngsters have even been to London, and the trip will include a slap up meal in the West End.

City council leaders such as councillors Julie Dore, Byran Lodge and Jackie Drayton visited the school yesterday to wish the team well.