Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Fun Start - Exploring Possibilities

On our teacher only day to start this year - we worked with Steve Collis from Northern Beaches Christian School, SCIL Centre,  in Sydney. We worked with Steve on a one day professional development programme called; "Re-Image Learning". 

We explored video footage from Northern Beaches Christian School - we are interested in the work at this school around learning design, personalising learning and collaboration. 

SCIL Building tour - Stephen Harris from SCIL on Vimeo.

Our teachers are exploring ways to strengthen team teaching, experimenting with more open layouts and technology. We are in process of redesigning most of our school. Effectively a whole new school will replace most of our current buildings over the next two years. We have a sense of urgency around preparing our teachers and learners, in fact our whole learning community for the changes that are coming.

The modelling exercise allowed our teachers to think through what learning in our new hubs will look like and dream big. The task was to build a profile of a learner in 2017 and create a model that demonstrated a snap shot in the day, at school - a moment in time, that reflects our vision around learning. The models could be created in a range of ways (giving choice). eg virtually or cardboard, modelling clay etc. 

The teachers reflected that this was a fun, non threatening play way to integrate and develop their ideas.

This activity was a creative way to explore the possibilities of teachers working in learning hubs in a way that supports the vision of the school: Engage, Enrich, Empower. The activity put us in the shoes of the learner and reminded us the importance of having fun when learning. 

Having fun in a creative way is  an empowering way to learn - for all of us learners

SEK International School Catalunya

What a stunning setting. We had an hours train ride from Barcelona - then were picked up by the school bus to be taken through the village to this amazing school set on a mountain in Catalunya.

Teachers worked with a group of students to build a dream classroom out of recycled materials. Stephen Heppell supported the project at SEK International School in Catalunya. The classroom was an old computer suite. The students went through an inquiry process where they discussed problems about their current classroom learning environments and looked for solutions to address these problems. The students researched the impact of noise on learning, measuring acoustic qualities of their classrooms in the school and explored solutions such as soft furnishings to improve acoustics.

Stephen Heppell talks more about this student learner led design project on his blog.

The students  wanted to create an environment that supported flexible, fun and learning the way they enjoy. The classroom has an ocean theme, with a sea cave, whiteboard bubbles and lots of fun features.

The interesting response from many students in the school is they want their teachers to book the space for learning as they learn better there and teachers agree- so there is a full booking schedule for the room.

The classroom and  the students focus on improved  learning in the classrooms is influencing how teachers think about teaching and design of teaching spaces.

This clip of Richard Gerver speaking encapsulates this schools philosphy on future focused innovative thinking about learning.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Colegio Montserret

This school has strong consistency with its curriculum across all classrooms and teams focused on multiple intelligences.

Specialist subject teaching includes robotics and project based learning. They also have a live streamed TV channel which is streamed with called ” think1.TV”

There is an impressive  new open area for senior students studying International Baccalaureat curriculum. Specialist subject classrooms run along the side of this space with breakouts into adjacent outdoor learning spaces.

There is a consistent approach to curriculum  across all year levels where both multiple intelligences and project based learning are woven into a personalised curriculum

You can clearly see the students working through their action learning model in this youtube clip

The principal Monika Horsh is well known speaker in the field of creative and innovative thinking. 

Watch out for Monserrat-del-pozo at ICOT in 2015.   I am sure it will be inspiring. She is considered to be the world leader on innovation and change in education.