Sunday, 16 February 2014

Here we go! Big Projects begins at HPSS

MOVING IN - Big Projects Kicks Off

There are many different ways we could introduce Big Projects to our Yr 9 students.  We could stand in the front of a room and bore them to tears with a power point presentation on the different aspects of this new curriculum area OR we could just get on with it. Big Projects is about DOING, so lets start with the doing and look back and learn from the process. We can do this when we reflect in the "final look".  

What does our project involve? 
Moving In is about making the first day in our brand new school the most memorable we can.  It's about sharing with our community who we are, acknowledging the importance of being the newest school in the world and ensuring this once in a school's lifetime event (the first day!) is as meaningful as possible.  

So what was the Kick Off?
We felt that Maurie (the principal) was the best person for this job.  Who else has the charisma to inspire our students.  We marched off down the street from the primary school (where we are currently based) and headed to the secondary school site.  Maurie gave a stirring speech!

Maurie explains the importance of our moving in day!

Exploring the possibilities
Students trundled back to the primary school, enthused and excited.  We sat in our hub groups and brainstormed all the opportunities for making our move special.  Students went wild - carnivals, balloon rides, banners, dances, parades, water slides... the works!  Careful conversations with their project guides (teachers and hub coaches) led to more refined and perhaps realistic ideas - important considering the 2 week deadline!  Students in their communities shared their ideas.  Connections were made, groups aligned and new ideas emerged.  

In previous blogs I have discussed the key ingredients to a great Big Project.  This has many of them, starting with a meaningful challenge - making our first day memorable.  It involves a partnership between staff and students, who are working together to make this experience as impressive as possible.  It allows for a wide range of learning opportunities and students can take their unique talents and interests and use them for a positive outcome that everyone is contributing to.  We have a common goal and we are working as a team to make it happen.  Students are participating, contributing, using their inquiry skills, managing themselves and being innovative!

Kick Off lead to ideas and these ideas have groups, teams, partnerships and  plans - banners, flags, kites, shared food, documentaries, treasure hunts, websites, cultural performances, QR codes, music and more... our first few hours at HPSS will be special.. for everyone!

As we move from Kick Off to Plan I will keep you posted!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Big Projects: On your marks.. get set.....

...we are almost ready to go!

So, 2014 is upon us, and Hobsonville Point Secondary School is now filled with engaged and excited Year 9 students.  They are enjoying getting to know their coaches, their peers, their future opportunities and the unique 'ways' of doing things at their new school.  

This week they will be introduced to the concept of Big Projects using the authentic and meaningful scenario of "moving into the world's newest school".  On the 28th of February students will be involved in a once in a lifetime experience.  How do we mark such an event? How do we acknowledge it's importance, celebrate it, and make a noteworthy first 'appearance' on the school grounds?  This is our first Big Project challenge at HPSS.  

To truly understand the HPSS Big Project framework students should experience it themselves, by engaging in the process, rather than being 'told' and 'shown'.  In doing so, each of the stages will be explored - by students their peers, guides and coaches -  and a more rigorous, meaningful understanding will emerge... hopefully!

To help parents and the community learn more about Big Projects, a short, very basic PPT presentation has been developed.  It describes and explains the fundamental aspects of Big Projects and it's importance in our students learning journey.    

So, on Friday students will be engaged in an initial small scale "Kick Off" that should inspire them to take up the challenge.  

Watch this space....