We know that children learn best when they are actively involved and when they can take ownership of their learning, and also when it relates to the world around them. It is with this goal in mind that Year 6 teachers have stepped into the shadows a little and the students are taking the lead for their Challenge Based Learning Project 2014.
The teachers have introduced this year's Global Classroom challenge which has an environmental focus and helped the students to come up with the essential question of: How can we reduce our carbon footprint? The students have then been guided into groups to focus on five specific areas that relate to our school environment in order to put together a convincing case to the school leadership team to take action towards reducing our carbon footprint. Their chosen focus areas are:
- The roof garden
- The use of paper
- The use of plastic
- Rubbish and recycling
- Power consumption
At this stage the students are really taking charge of the project as they become researchers, interviewers, data gatherers and analysts. This process is collaborative and hands-on, asking students to work with other students, their teachers, and experts in their communities and around the world to develop deeper knowledge of the specific environmental issues they are focusing on.
As well as online research, they have been interviewing key staff about their opinions, school processes and facts and figures. Each of these interviews has been conducted in a very professional manner and filmed as evidence. The students are planning and doing all the work themselves with the teacher serving as a project manager to mentor the students in these very professional tasks. It has been inspiring to watch how committed they are to this challenge and how professionally they have been conducting themselves.
I am really looking forward to the final stage in the coming weeks where the children have the extremely difficult task of collating, evaluating and publishing their solutions and results. They will then present their research and proposals in formal presentations to myself and Mr Foyle, as well as producing mini documentary films showcasing their learning journey that will be shared via Global Classroom.
This really is a fantastic challenge and a great way to allow these inspirational young people to take the lead and show us just what they are capable off. Our responsibility is now to ensure we genuinely listen and respond to what they tell us!
You will be able to follow Year 6 at each stage of this challenge as they will be blogging about their experiences over the coming weeks.
- Niki Meehan, Head of Primary