The Lakes College, our independent high school in Wyong, has adopted a new project based learning approach that has our students excited and engaging in their own schooling.
The new project based learning model is part of their dedicated approach to tailored education for students who may be at risk of falling behind in mainstream schooling.
The project units give our students the opportunity to work on a project that matters to them answering a real world problem or complex question. They can demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing a public product or presentation for a real world audience. These projects allow the kids to be actively engaged in their own learning.
Amy Gill, Teacher at The Lakes College, says students are responding extremely well to the new project learning model.
“Mainstream schooling hasn’t worked for these kids and we asked ourselves; why are we trying to solve that problem with the same solution?” said Amy.
“So, we’ve totally changed the way we are teaching to suit them and the kids are responding well. There’s a lot of hands on work and they really love that challenge. “
The final product of work is usually presented to an audience giving the students real meaning and recognition for their work.
The units of project based learning are also followed by a genius hour unit that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school. During this time, the teacher ensures that the students work aligns with course outcomes and the learning is meaningful.
A young person from The Lakes College said they look forward to doing more of this type of learning.
“It’s been challenging but I do hope I can do more of it in the future. I’ve actually looked forward to completing all of my assignments. “
The students recently worked on a polyhedron lantern that then went on display at a community exhibition where their friends and family could see the project along with their reflection pieces. Amy said this particular project meant a lot to her students.
“One student in particular came to us and found it difficult to sit still in a chair for more than 5 minutes but when he started working on his lantern project he would sit there for 3 hours at a time just working away on his lantern and loving it,” said Amy.
The Lakes College are proud to say that their attendance and overall engagement in learning has increased this year after introducing these projects! Keep up the good work everyone!