This year, we launched our annual Project Week. Our KS3 High School students worked together in groups on a large scale research and design project. Their work incorporated aspects from every subject they study in the High School, from DT to French, English to Science and everything else along the way! One group even brought in a bit of Swedish….
Eight scenarios and themes were presented to the students and they were free to choose whichever one they were most interested in. Each group was tasked with the following challenge:
- Produce a presentation (using the medium of their choosing, eg, Powerpoint, posters, dramatic interpretation, etc) explaining how their theme has developed over time.
- Research articles about their theme – based on the history and the predictions, form a picture of the world in 2050, focused on their theme.
- Design a product related to their theme in the year 2050.
- Produce an A0-sized poster to promote their product to a French audience.
- Produce a written piece related to their theme.
- Present everything to their peers at the end of the week.
The groups were given a full school day to plan and begin their work followed by one or two hours a day for the rest of the week. Staff were also on hand to supervise in the afternoons if they wanted extra time. Our students were given control over how they managed their teams and times, and even how they defined the problems (within reason).
What is special about Project Based Learning?
Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.
It gave our students the opportunity to develop their leadership, planning, team working, research and presentation skills, among other things. By given them more autonomy, we were able to support them in finding working styles and approaches that are effective for them, all the while also providing a safety net if they needed.
This style of student-led “action learning” is one of the best ways to prepare students for university life and the world of work and we are proud to be supporting this.
A peek inside Project Week 2019