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Upper School Choice - chess

Y7 Exhibition: A New Way Of Learning

24th January 22

This year we have begun to introduce an innovative new curriculum for Years 6-8. Our Year 7 students have just completed their first full Term experiencing this innovative and balanced learning experience.

Our provision prioritises these critical years in early adolescence which are often overlooked in British schools. We combine exciting ‘Interdisciplinary Enquiries’ with rich single subject learning and a vibrant Co-curricular programme.

Each term students undertake two Interdisciplinary Enquiries (IE) which combine subjects to create a richer learning experience where they are tasked with working on investigations, driven by compelling questions or real-life problems. Teachers ask questions, impart knowledge and design tasks to help pupils ask questions, make predictions, gather and analyse information, and reflect on their learning.

These IEs culminate in an exhibition for fellow pupils and parents and we were delighted to host our first ever IE exhibition at the start of this term (delayed from the Autumn Term because of Covid restrictions).

The students turned the 6-8 building into an exhibition space, preparing displays and talks in order to showcase what they had been working on last term.

Julian Reed, Director of 6-8 said: “This is an important part of the IEs. Students are learning to explain and reflect on their work and the presence of an audience increases their sense of motivation and accountability for independent work.”

The exhibition covered work from two IEs.

  • Survival and Resourcefulness IE

The Survival and Resourcefulness IE combines Science, Design and Maths.

Key questions

  • What are the basic needs for human survival?
  • How did early humans survive?
  • What is the difference between surviving and thriving?

During the unit the students learned:

  • How early humans survived during the Mesolithic era (Science, Humanities)
  • How fire is made (Science)
  • How to read maps, including scale, ratio and bearings (Geography, Maths)
  • How to conduct and write up experiments to compare the energy output of different fuels and different foods (Science)
  • How to design from first principles and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (DT)
  • How to draw plans to scale (DT, Maths)
  • How to create simple structures (DT)

What the students exhibited:

  • A scale model of a ‘survival camp’ created by each class which included a shelter, tool shed, shower, cooking area and communal area.
  • Identity and Community IE

The Identity and Community IE brings together Humanities, English and Art.

Key questions

  • How do we express and build our own personal identity through symbols, sayings and rituals?
  • How do we express and build communities through symbols, sayings and rituals?
  • How else do we express individual and communal identities?

During the unit the students learned:

  • What makes up an individual’s cultural identity (Humanities)
  • How communities form identities, looking at the history of KAS (Humanities)
  • How our identity is influenced by the era in which we live (History)
  • How religion influences the identity of many people (Humanities)
  • How to write an analytical essay about the novel Wonder (English)
  • How to manipulate images to create collages, montages and monoprints (Art)

 

What the students exhibited:

  • A collaborative piece of installation art created by groups of 3-4 students.

In the wrap up meetings held by each group after the event, students were able to reflect on the experience and it was clear that they’d learnt much more than how to stay dry on an island:

“It was nerve wracking standing up to talk in front of people and I was nervous because throughout the project most of our structures had collapsed at least one time and we worried that it would collapse during the exhibition. It felt good to be together because we’d worked together to make everything happen and after we presented it I felt proud.” Alfie

“I think the audience were impressed with what they saw. I don’t think my parents believed I’d be able to make the structure and seeing it surprised them. It felt like an achievement.” Albie

“I learnt a lot about collaboration and teamwork. You don’t have to all be doing the same thing to make it work. Having to work with the same group for a long time taught us about getting along and collaborating, it isn’t always easy!” Otto

 

Parents were encouraged to share their thoughts about the project with the participants:

“A clear and descriptive visual manifestation of thoughtful ideas – excellent.”

“Amazing work – you’ve learnt loads and worked really hard as teams, well done.”

“It was great to see how you had solved problems collaboratively.”

“Thank you for sharing your hard work. It’s not easy to talk about finding things tricky but you guys seemed so honest.”

“You have all learnt vital skills making shelters, but even more valuable working together and solving problems. I hope you can take what you have learned forward to future challenges.”

“I loved how you clearly analysed what worked and what didn’t and how you could do it differently.”

“What a great range of skills applied and learnt.”

During the Spring Term the students will be working on two new IEs:

Migration: Empathy and Perspective

In order to produce an anthology of narrative texts and images, students will study:

  • Past migration to the UK (History)
  • Current refugee patterns (Geography)
  • Telling migration stories through various genres of text (English)
  • Telling stories through images and drawing (Art)

 

Space: Research and Observation

In order to produce a research paper and presentation, students will study:

  • Data and statistics (Maths)
  • Research methods and presentation skills (Science, Information Literacy)
  • Pewter casting and display design (DT)

Where Next?