The Cairns Hinterland Steiner School Big Picture programme for Class 9 & 10 will include a focus on: excursions to explore different interest-areas in the world; connecting community, projects and curriculum; and working through a dynamic Personal Learning Plan with each student.
Students will learn how to develop learning goals and projects that meet key requirements, link their learning across curriculum areas, and work together to have a positive impact on their community. As students learn more about their own areas of interest, they will connect with experts in the community to see where that interest may take them in the world. Throughout this process, students develop ‘real-life’ skills such as planning, time-management, speaking-confidence, reporting and reflection. Perhaps most importantly, students will be able to take these experiences into their future lives and feel confidence to ‘learn from life’.
There are four main areas of learning and assessment – the Individual Project/s, the Community Project/s, the Curriculum Learning Tasks and Learning Through Internship. These are managed by the teacher and student, in collaboration with parents. As the year progresses, students develop mentoring relationships through their internship opportunities and these mentors may also contribute to the overall learning programme, or an individual student’s Personal Learning Plan.
Students will be collecting evidence of their learning journey for their Portfolio. The Portfolio will include assessment tasks, student-reflections on learning, photos and annotated work samples. There will a number of formal and informal opportunities for students to review their portfolio and receive feedback. The assessment and feedback cycle will inform the ongoing development of the student’s Personal Learning Plan. This Personal Learning Plan and the Portfolio forms part of the holistic assessment cycle and contributes to the end-of-term Exhibition.
The Student Exhibition is the student’s chance to speak about their projects and their learning journey over the course of the term. Exhibitions are oral presentations and demonstrations, with time allocated for questions, discussion and feedback. Parents, carers and/or other key adults and mentors are invited to attend, as well as peers and other students from other classes. The size and make-up of the group will be negotiated with the student. The student will present their work for 40 – 50 minutes and then answer questions and participate in discussion and feedback.
The wellbeing of students as individuals and as a community of learners is an essential underlying value of the school’s approach. Social and emotional learning and wellbeing is addressed implicitly and explicitly as an inherent part of the programme. All learning may be linked with wellbeing concepts and the individual experience of the learner.
To find out more, please visit www.bigpicture.org.au