Dear Parents and Students
It was great to see some of our Years 4, 5 & 6 students had the opportunity to visit Al Sharq Village Wednesday and Thursday last week, where they learned new skills and formed memories that should last them a lifetime. I can still vividly recall my first overnight school visit where we went to Camp Henry at Point Pelee, Canada’s southernmost point, which is a national park. Not only do I remember the joys of camping with school mates but I also remember the amazing biology lesson where we learned about the local flora and fauna, which is surprising because biology was probably the subject I least enjoyed, with this trip being the exception. Whereas I loved learning about how to solve problems in maths, I struggled with memorising parts of plants, for no apparent reason. In retrospect, I am convinced, this has more to do with the way the subjects were taught than I ever realised.
Researchers into how the brain works would not be very surprised that I can still recall many aspects of this trip. Our brains work by making connections, and events that have an emotional impact on ourselves are likely to be remembered more than the typical daily school routine where we learn useful information in ways that far too often do not relate to what we learn in other subjects.
Having the opportunity to learn in a more meaningful way, where topics are connected, is central to the discussions we are currently having about our school philosophy and the curriculum review that we are about to undertake.
Please find a link below to an article on the benefits of experiential learning, which is written by Mike Pitman from Scots College. Although his story is one his father would probably like to forget, you can rest assured that Mr Pitman has not forgotten the lessons from his experience of filling his father’s car with water instead of petrol.