As mentioned The Year 7 PBL programme we have begun this year is the first year of a programme which will develop in every Year group in the Academy. Currently 72% of the curriculum for Year 7 is PBL, 9% PE, 7% Languages and 12% Enrichment.
The Enrichment time is made up of 2 100 sessions per week where the students on rotation participate in programmes of study which cover some of the more practical traditional subject areas, such as: Science, Technology, Music, Drama, Art, ICT. This is an opportunity for the students to gain more practical experience in these areas. there is an element of choice for the students as they progress through the year.
Languages and PE are discrete because we felt they would not appear often enough in projects with out making the projects too contrived.
For the remaining 72% of the time the students work on either a Literacy or Numeracy project. Personal Learning Facilitators usually begin the day with their "Learning Family". This is where they ensure the students know what they are doing, organise them into teams if necessary and generally set them on their way. For the rest of the day students either:
- Spend time in "focus groups" where the work in their teams, either researching, carrying out work on their project, developing ideas with a facilitator (teacher) or blogging (reflecting on their work). This time is staffed by a variety of teachers and learning support assistants, sometimes in large rooms where two classes can be combined into one.
- Attend an individual or team tutorial with their Personal Learning Facilitator.
Attend a seminar, where they learn "difficult concepts" which will help them with their projects. (I heard read a good quote somewhere - I think on the Edutopia site -, which stated: "Why do we teach maths first then engineering? It should be the other way around; develop a need for maths through teaching engineering."). These are usually staffed by maths and English teachers, who sometimes relieve other teachers to deliver an area of expertise.
Our day for the rest of the Academy is split up into three 100 learning blocks plus a 40min Learning Family time at the end of the day. On a Thursday we also have an enrichment session at the nd of the day where students do a variety of activities, from pottery to board games, to archery. On a Friday there is no Learning Family time and they go home early.
Enough for now. Next time I'll describe some of the issues we've had since beginning the programme.
My wife is baby sitting next door, for those who want to know.