We are getting towards the end of the second Big Ideas Week to be held here at St. John’s.
Big Ideas Week is our innovative program for group-based experiential learning that allows students the space and time to recognize and stretch their innate capabilities and reach their own conclusions about their own performance. It brings together the 7 competences which underpin our curriculum in middle school; Thinker, Creator, Explorer, Communicator, Collaborator, Contributor and Self assessor.
The week kicked off with a collaboration between the St. John’s and the organizations Green Light for Girls and Levi Strauss as well as visits to the local fire station, sewerage plant and swimming pool. Students then worked in groups for the week with teachers helping and guiding their inquiry and discovery.
Throughout the week students had access to specially arranged workshops and outside experts which were all linked to the theme water.
Some highlights of the week:
Some insights from the student evaluation give a taste of the benefits:
“Big Ideas helped me to understand how things work in real life”
“Working as a group motivated me”
“They start listening to me by me listening to them”
“I really didn’t know I was that good in making a website”
“I can really focus when I need to”
“I learnt that if I want I can have fun by working”
“I let things go too easily.”
How the students felt THEY could have improved their team’s performance:
“We should have argued less on the general topic – we had too many on the final project”
“People should close their netbook when in group discussion and no shouting”
“I would be more strict”
“Find a way to make it more interesting for the team”
“We should have thought of everything more early”
“I would pay more attention”
“I would work more instead of planning so much.”
We are all proud (students and staff) to be part of such an exciting and innovative project.