Tuesday, 18 June 2013


I was at Yewlands Technology College this afternoon meeting some wonderful colleagues who are reshaping the Year 7 curriculum.
Colleagues at Yewlands Technology College are working on an exciting project with the Innovation Unit to develop and deliver high quality project based learning or as the team prefer 'Enquiry Based Learning' in Year 7. The school is working with High Tech High, in San Diego California, and developing some of the work from the innovative and powerful 'Learning Futures" initiative. 'Project-based or enquiry based earning' provides a structure that transforms teaching from "teachers telling" to "students doing" and the team have exciting plans for re-engineering the curriculum. Research from across the world shows the power of this sort of approach and the improvements in student motivation, engagement, attitudes and outcomes. Importantly, it appears to do much the same for the teachers!

Project-based or enquiry-based learning provides:
  • Engaging learning experiences that involve students in real-world projects through which they can develop skills, character and knowledge
  • The opportunity to draft and redraft ideas, materials and products and to design, create and write for different audiences
  • A powerful learning strategy that taps into students' inherent drive to learn, capability to do work, and need to be taken seriously
  • Learning in which curriculum outcomes can be identified in advance, but in which the outcomes of the student's learning process are neither predetermined nor fully predictable
  • Learning that requires students to draw from many information sources and disciplines in order to solve problems
  • Learning experiences through which students learn to develop critical skills, 'world of work' competencies, grit, determination and character and how to manage and allocate resources such as time and materials
It was wonderful to talk to these passionate and enthusiastic colleagues about the cutting edge work they are doing and I am really looking forward to visiting again the the new academic year to see their work in action. Watch this space!

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