What does the graduate of 2030 and beyond need to thrive?
Mrs Sue Floro, Head of Knox Prep
This was the focus of our discussions at Knox Prep during 2018, and we embarked on a significant curriculum development project, with the aim of ensuring that not only what our boys learn, but the way they learn it, will prepare them for what can only be described as an ever changing world.
Our new Knoxigations units are designed using recent learning research. We case study and explicitly teach the Australian content, whilst also teaching the skills of the inquiry.
The boys then apply those newly learnt skills in an independent or small group inquiry focused on the issues at hand on a global scale.
The program is problem based, investigative in nature and designed to encourage the boys to understand their role in making a difference in our world.
We are so thrilled with the results! Our boys are engaged in such deep learning; they are excited about all they’re doing at School, and they are taking action independently. Knox Prep is an exciting place to be!
Ms Emma Davey, Year 1 Team Leader
Year 1 boys are embracing inquiry learning within the school environment. Their questions, ideas and observations have been at the centre of their educational experience. During our Knoxigations units of work, the boys have explored ‘Stories of the World and its People’ and ‘Interconnected Systems’.
When learning about how ‘Celebrations Connect Communities’ the boys experienced and explored a variety of cultures from around the world. They created their own celebration and identified traditions that made their celebration special.
After caring for some baby chickens, the boys applied their knowledge and created their own celebration, calling it ‘Chick Celebration Day’. The aim of this day was to connect the K-2 students and teach them about responsibility.
Our next study was ‘Foods from Farms and Factories’ and the boys made a connection to their first unit, deciding to celebrate that chickens give us eggs to eat. During this unit, the boys enjoyed a variety of hands-on experiences. They looked at how produce is transported and why these systems may be used, questioned why farms are different around the world and created flow charts about what processes foods go through to get to our plates.
One of the highlights was the use of Virtual Reality headsets. The boys visited a variety of farms and the teachers watched as wonder transformed into knowledge. The boys developed their coding skills, programming an Ozbit robot to follow the path of their flowchart. The boys then made parents an afternoon tea and presented their discoveries using their new skills.
During these experiences, the boys have had the opportunity to develop stronger relationships with their classmates, improve their communication skills as well as increase the confidence they have in their own ideas and ability to contribute in the classroom. There is an exciting culture in which students are encouraged to express their thoughts and challenge one another’s ideas.
Mrs Tammy Paterson, Year 5 Team Leader
Our Year 5 boys began the year with a look into the future! Our first unit encompassed future city design with our big idea ‘Inclusive Design, Sustainable Cities’ steering our path.
The boys explored the concepts of cause and effect, inclusion, sustainability and change. Initially, we looked at specific examples of cities around the world in terms of their design, use and versatility. A comparison of Canberra and Sydney, showed the benefit of planning ahead and how Canberra was planned so well that it has virtually remained unchanged despite a large population rise.
Once we had tuned in and gathered some information, it was time to get creative and start planning some ideas for our own future cities. The boys used a set of guiding principles under the headings of inclusion and sustainability and were able to choose which category they were interested in learning more about. Once they had chosen their guiding principle it was time to justify their choice.
What guiding principle did you choose? Why was this important to you?
"Infrastructure forms the foundation for everything in your city. A lot of things can be built in your city such as hospitals, roads, and other services such as policing and infrastructure design and holds it altogether."
"Designing cities for people who are disabled actually enables better access for all people such as the elderly and mothers with prams. It is the right thing to do and should be the minimum standards by all."
Throughout this part of the process the boys gathered their research online and conducted interviews. Year 5 were lucky to have Mr Kamal Prasad (5T parent) come and speak about building sustainable cities of the future. The presentation was engaging and very informative. The boys gained valuable insight into what aspects they need to consider when designing their future cities.
Towards the end of the unit, the boys then applied this knowledge in the creation of a future city (physical model) which they created in teams of three to four students. The boys enjoyed forming groups within a combination of classes.