Primary Highlights – Project Based Learning in Primary
You may have heard your child coming home excited about a new project they are doing in class this term, and if not, you certainly will before the end of this year. A new initiative in the primary school this year is Project-Based Learning, or PBL for short.
What makes students and staff so excited about PBL is just how engaging it is. Do you ever remember being at school, having to learn something that seemed so irrelevant and asking yourself or the teacher the question, “How am I ever going to use this in real life?” I know I did, and it didn’t always go down well! But that was the 80s and 90s; today more than ever we need to be preparing our students for the real world, through an experiential education that is meaningful to them.
PBL contains a few key ingredients to its success in the classroom. These being:
- Key knowledge, understanding and success skills
- A challenging problem or question
- Sustained inquiry
- Student choice and voice
- Reflection and critique
- Public project
Typically, teachers collaborate together to design PBL units in the HASS, Science, and Design Technology curricula; often integrating these curriculum in a real world project or problem for students to solve. Though PBL can work in any curriculum area.
In a project, students have to use their life skills – those skills which are so crucial in a team or workplace to navigate their way through designing a solution to a problem. These skills often include self-management, teamwork, creative and critical thinking, effective participation, inquisitiveness, and reflection. Sound familiar? Yes, these are the Secret Skills our students have been learning about since last year. Through authentic curriculum related projects, all of our holistic learning and experiences come together to create a rich and engaging learning environment for our students.
Some year levels have jumped in early this year into PBL, with the Year 4 designing donuts, and also having a project around the environment and sustainability. Next term watch out for some book writing for younger students, bath toy design, mini-beasts, and so much more.
Head of School – Primary