25 Hour Coursedeveloper
Year 9 short elective courses
From shoe design to war strategy, our Year 9 students have engaged with a range of exciting new short elective courses this term. The Year 9 boys chose three short elective courses to complete during the year. The courses are designed to develop skills in creative thinking, critical thinking, collaboration and communication through the lens of student inquiry. According to the students, the initiative has been positively received allowing them the opportunity to explore some different potential careers and areas of interest that are cross-disciplinary.
These courses will be reported at the end of each semester along with the Year 9 subject student reports and will contribute to the Grade Point Average (GPA). The focus of the assessment and reporting in these courses are based on the process the boys took to work towards achieving their final product, rather than a judgement of the product itself.
In the ‘Tiny Houses’ course, the boys design and create a small functional house and engage with architectural design principles. According to one student ‘I want to do architecture when I am older’ and he felt that the course gave him the chance to explore that possibility.
The ‘Quest’ course allows students the opportunity to develop their research skills and choose their own area of interest. One very articulate student said ‘the way one navigates research conflicts with the way one thinks naturally’. He felt that his own ideas about good research were challenged in this course as he learned some additional new skills.
Most courses include a focus on collaboration and team-work and a student commented that ‘I noticed that I am pretty good at contributing to discussions’ while he was engaging in the ‘Breakthrough’ course. Boys completing the Breakthrough course started the course by playing the game ‘Risk’ which was designed to start them thinking about the strategies used in War.
Early in the Term, the boys who chose the ‘Stronger mind, stronger body’ elective attended an ‘incursion’ with John Marsden. John previously worked at the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia as Head Sports Scientist. The Year 9 boys investigated the relationship between strength, power, speed and agility during this workshop.
Students completing the Fresh Kicks course learned about marketing and shoe design and the students in the Gamification course developed their own computer games. Boys completing the Siege Engineer course designed and made scale models of trebuchets while they learned about design and engineering principles.
The teachers also have the same sense of enthusiasm and enjoy being able to teach in a creative and purposeful manner through the development of skills that are important for future careers. The Year 9 teachers and I look forward to being able to showcase some of the student works later in the year.
Deborah de Ridder | Director of Research