Friday, 26 May 2017
All children will not learn about same big idea in the Senior Syndicate this term. We have asked for permission to trial a change to our curriculum integration model for one term. Instead all children will complete an individual impact project. This is an idea we have wanted to explore for some time and was what we saw at three of the schools we visited in Auckland. At planning day we split into two groups. One group developed a template for the children to use for their impact project. The other group developed an overview of the curriculum so that we could align each child’s inquiry to the NZ Curriculum. For most of our Year 5 learners the focus will be on completing a research inquiry. For most of our Year 6 learners we have highlighted the need for their project to have ‘impact’. The reason why we want to trial this idea is so we can allow children to lead their own learning. Learner agency requires children to be given the ‘power to act’. Many of our children are currently managing their learning but they have not really been involved in designing their own learning.
The children are currently engaged in the first part of this process and it so exciting! Each class introduced this new idea in different ways, for example some classes shared a range of different examples of impact projects with the children. The first part of this process requires the children to identify their personal strengths and passions. Our goal for the children to be intrinsically motivated and empowered to learn. To help achieve this their projects are aligned in most cases to their personal passions. Once the children had a idea for their project they were required to pitch their idea to their teachers. The children are now starting the research phase of this process. We will be supporting the children look for experts to help them with their projects. Our reading and writing learning will be strongly linked to these projects with workshops on a range of reading skills such as skimming, scanning, identifying key words, summarising information in our own words, writing a letter/email, writing an argument, writing a report etc.
Each child has been assigned a ‘learning coach’. Their learning coach (teacher) will facilitate this process with them and act as their guide. For some children this process will be more heavily scaffolded than others. Where possible we have aligned the children and projects with teacher’s strengths and passions.