Students add final touches to projects

Pride of St Pat’s: Cyril Cleveland (centre) with his bird shelter, alongside teacher Ashleigh White and St Patrick’s Primary School chaplain David Czech.

After a series of visits from Kyabram Men’s Shed woodworking experts St Patrick’s Primary School student Cyril Cleveland has significantly added to his workshop vocabulary.

Not that the terms come up in schoolyard conversation too often, but Cyril is now quite comfortable talking about dovetail and tongue and groove joints.

Cyril was among four students at the Albion St headquarters of the Kyabram Men’s Shed organisation last week for the final woodworking session of what has become a regular component of the primary school’s curriculum.

Cyril immediately caught the attention of onlookers at the end of term celebration as he took a left field approach to his project, to which he was adding the finishing touches at the final session before school holidays.

While his three classmates went down the trophy shelves route, Cyril was inspired by his passion for wildlife and his beloved Essendon Football Club in designing his woodworking piece.

His bird shelter was finished in the red and black of the Bombers, under the watchful eye of Wayne Leppard, Gary King and the other members of the men’s shed primary school program team.

The partnership between the school and the men’s shed started in 2019 and despite intermittent schedules — due to COVID-19 — has continued to develop male and female students from the school.

St Patrick’s principal Jackie Stockdale has taken a lead role in the program, along with teacher Ashleigh White and school chaplain David Czech.

Mr Czech said students were very enthusiastic about the one hour weekly tutorials.

“They like developing the trade skills,’’ Mr Czech said.

“We were lucky to gain the support of Bunnings, who provided the school with two bags of hand tools.

“The school now has some basic equipment to use going forward. We only have a very small woodworking room, so the end of term visit to the men’s shed was great for the students.”

While the current crop of woodworking apprentices was male dominated, there has already been one female included in next term’s planning.

Five members from the men’s shed have been involved in teaching the students during the term.

Mr Leppard said the men’s shed was open to members on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday to complete their own woodworking projects.

“We also offer a service to complete some small project work for residents of the area,” he said.

Final touches: Adding the final touches to their Kyabram’s Men’s Shed woodwork projects last week were Colt Tyrrell, Hugh Williams and Zeb Hocking. They were supported by men’s shed members Wayne Leppard and Gary King.