Short courses a great sampling plate for Year 9Doug Conway
Year 9’s short 25-hour elective courses commenced this year, providing students with the opportunity to develop a range of skills, and for some the opportunity to learn from scientist and author, John Marsden.
Year 9 students undertake three short elective courses throughout the school year, all of which focus on developing students’ skills in collaboration, critical thinking, creative thinking, and communication. To achieve this, students engage in both active and guided student inquiry to solve a problem or create a product.
Teachers reported that the first courses of 2022 were a buzz of activity, with a pleasing level of engagement and excitement from students. For those who chose the Stronger Mind, Stronger Body elective, an incursion with John Marsden provided the students with the opportunity to investigate the relationship between strength, power, speed, and agility, with students benefiting from Mr Marsden’s previous experience at the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia as Head Sports Scientist.
For many students, the 25-hour courses are an opportunity to see where their strengths lie and consider what the future holds for them. For Year 9 student Liam, the Tiny Houses course, where students learn to design and build a model of a tiny house, allowed him to dive into what architecture is all about. “I now want to do architecture when I am older,” Liam said.
In the Quest course, where students are taught about research and are able to choose their own research project, Year 9 student James described how the course had broadened his thinking and allowed him to think about different possibilities.
“The way one navigates research conflicts with the way one thinks naturally,” James said.
Those working in Criminal Law and Breakthrough courses were engaged in a range of activities that promoted student inquiry, with the Breakthrough course also focusing heavily on collaboration. Year 9 student Aidan reflected on the way the group worked well together to find a common enemy and ally in an activity and came to a straightforward conclusion as a team.
In a more personal reflection, Year 9 student Ethan said, “I noticed that I am pretty good at contributing to discussions.”
Some of the student works from these short elective courses are anticipated to be show-cased at the end of the year.