Have you ever undertaken a “do-it-yourself” (DIY) project around your home? Perhaps you have decided to repaint the walls or knock up some flat-packed furniture. Others may find themselves outside, establishing a vertical herb garden or installing an irrigation system. Maybe your style is more crafts and DIY décor from bespoke candles and soaps to jewellery or custom artwork. Many of us have interests that move from developing our skills to creating something new. In the process, we enjoy the benefits of expanding our knowledge of tools to improve our living space, or soaking up physical activity in the garden, expressing our creativity with a personal touch to our home or creating gifts for others.
Each of these projects often require individuals to think creatively to solve problems and overcome obstacles. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are harnessed as we adapt and pivot our plans in response to our personal circumstances. We refine our time-management and reflect on our successes and our learnings for future projects. There is a lot of inner joy that manifests from finishing such a project and it quietly builds our confidence to take on even more complex tasks in the future.
It is this capacity to take on new challenging tasks and the inner drive to confidently pursue new independent learning that is at the heart of our educational philosophy to move our students from being passengers to pilots of their own learning. One significant project to launch in 2023 is the Year 10 Capstone Project, a 30-hour independent project that requires students to select an area of investigation to research, create or innovate that has some new learning for them and a community focus that blesses others in some way.
To assist at the project launch we adopted every cliched reference to aircraft flight with students positioned in the Departure Lounge and issued Passports for their impending ‘flight’. Our first Immersion Day deliberately coincided with Imago Day as we encouraged students to consider their God-given gifts and passions to shape the direction of their project. We know we are called to use the gifts given to us each as we are reminded in Romans 12:6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them. Our students have expressed a broad range of plans to outwork their gifts including to craft a customised guitar, build a sustainable garden for our Early Learning Centre and create a documentary on the impending extinction of marine life in Cabbage Tree Bay, as just a few examples.
Throughout the project journey, students will be supported by their Pastoral mentor (affectionately referred to as their Baggage Handler), along with Air Steward who will act as a Project Supervisor, coaching alongside to offer direction and advice as students navigate the flight of their project. Many students were offered a Co-pilot in the form of a Stage 6 student who has generously offered to mentor the project and offer insights and wisdom in areas they have an interest and experience in.
As the projects climb altitude, we are excited to see where the learning journey takes our Year 10 students. The projects will culminate in a formal process of going through Customs where they will present their project to a panel of staff including the Principal and Head of Secondary to outline their success criteria and key learning along with the dispositions that have been stretch from our Building Purposeful Lives framework. Ultimately, students will showcase their projects in the Arrivals Lounge Expo in Term 4 to members of the college and broader community. From these personal learning projects students will be inspired and equipped to strap in for the next adventure of Stage 6 studies where they will harness the planning, time management, problem solving and critical thinking skills developed in response to their Capstone Project.
Linda Hogan Director of Teaching and Learning (K-12)