Upper School Choice - chess

Year 7 Exploration Takes Off

26th September 23

As part of the interdisciplinary curriculum followed by our Year 6-8 students, our new Year 7s were bringing together Science and Design as they built and tested paper rockets.

This term they are looking at the wider question ‘Is space travel ethical?’ This exploration brings together Design Technology, Sciences and Maths. Today they were creating breath-powered paper rockets, test launching then reviewing what they could do differently to improve the distance travelled by their craft. While the task was a practical one, it also formed part of the larger goal of our interdisciplinary curriculum, which is teaching students skills which they can use across subjects.

Teacher Kim told us: “In their Crews they have put together the behaviours and actions they think they need to be good enquirers. After we’ve done today’s activity we come back to these ideas and see if we need to add any more or refine them – they’re using the task to learn how to be better learners essentially.

For example, one of the things they’ve suggested is that in order to enquire successfully, we need to ask a specialist. That leads to a discussion of who are specialists, is someone on social media a specialist, if we go on YouTube or Instagram can we trust the source? We look at those aspects of learning in the context of the project we’re working on, but the skill is useful across the board. In terms of techniques, one of the suggestions they made was that we need to do the experiment twice to verify the results – so that is something we’re putting into practice today.”

By the end of the term students will put together a response to the guiding question ‘Is space travel ethical?’ which can take a variety of forms. They can make a video, they can produce a leaflet, poster, magazine or website. Students are able to make decisions about how they want to present their findings rather than being told how they have to present them which is another way in which these Explorations teach skills which will be useful throughout their school journey, but also beyond in the world of work.

Where Next?