The challenge of designing an ‘ideal school’ brought out the collaborative skills of Second Year pupils as they worked in teams to address the many different considerations involved.
Pupils spent the off-timetable day rotating around five workshops prepared by the Chemistry, Art, ICT/Computing, Psychology and Maths departments to help them create the perfect environment in which to learn.
In each session they worked in House groups to reach solutions to the challenges presented, developing their skills in the School value of Trust, as well as the virtues of Collaboration, Commitment, Compassion and Resilience.
The Maths-led session challenged pupils to create scale drawings of the school site, working together in small groups to map out the school and develop a sense of spatial awareness. They considered aspects like accommodating pupils’ varying needs, and the layouts of both the main teaching block and an individual classroom.
In ICT/Computing, pupils used software to map out and budget for buildings around the school site, and in the Chemistry session pupils experimented with different types of fuel to promote sustainability within the school, before explaining the reasoning behind their final choice of fuel to the rest of the group.
Pupils gained an insight into our natural wake/sleep cycles as they devised a class timetable based on circadian rhythms for the Psychology workshop. They had to balance national curriculum demands with a pupil-friendly timetable which worked to maximise their learning opportunities.
In the Art session, pupils weighed up the desirable with the necessary as they created a collage of the ideal, futuristic teacher. They then presented their collage to the rest of the group, explaining the advantages of their prototype.
The best group collaborative effort from each House were announced in Lower School assembly as follows: Wilberforce: Esme Regan and Adam Wilcock; Hutton: Islay Cunliffe-Lister, Tan Horsley, Penny Gibson, and Dolman: Olivia Whitehead and Benjie Riley. Edie Morris (Gruggen) was recognised for her excellent individual contribution.
Adam Copley, Academic Extension Coordinator, said: “The foci of the day were to develop pupils’ skills in working with others and resilience to challenge. We were really pleased with how everyone embraced the opportunities presented, coming up with some brilliant plans and ideas for their ideal school.”
Almost all students said they “enjoyed at least one part of the day” and “saw the value of working together with others”. The majority said they “learned something new, whether it was a skill or information” and “wanted another one”.
Student comments included:
“I learnt that no matter what you do you have to work with someone.”
“I learnt how to plan my own investigation in science and how to use and test different information to come to a conclusion.”
“That working together can get a lot more done than doing something solo.”
“I learnt how important collaboration is.”
“That you should talk to different people because I made a good new mate.”
To view a Flickr album from the day, please click here.