Year 9 Celebrates Learning Journeys

Tuesday 17 May, 2016

This week, Year 9 students hosted a Project Based Learning Showcase for parents, peers and teachers, unveiling three simultaneous research projects they had been working on for the past eight weeks. As well as presenting their final conclusions, the girls also outlined the process they undertook to arrive at each conclusion.

The English, History and PDHPE projects were deliberately designed to teach skills in research, synthesis and communication. Each project required choice, definition of scope and substantial collaboration with peers, teachers and external experts.

“The girls excelled in this process, learning how to negotiate challenges, find best directions and reflect on not just the final outcomes, but the steps taken along the way,” said Director of Teaching and Learning,” Mrs Deborah Williams.

In English, the girls researched an area of personal passion and communicated with the precision and poignancy of journalistic writing. In PDHPE, they worked in pairs to evaluate the claims of myriad diets in the current health landscape, communicating to their audience via the visual force on an infographic. In History, students were required to work in a team of six to make a documentary film about the early Australian colony – was it a place to prosper or perish? The girls had to do the actual work of historians, locating and showcasing relevant sources, making evaluative judgement, and communicating in a way that engaged a wide audience.

The project was launched in Term 1 by Edward Washington from Sydney Living Museums’ Audience Development Office – Learning.  Mr Washington also judged the finalist films on Monday night and spoke in superlatives about the work the girls had undertaken.

“It’s spectacular. You have done the real work of real historians,” he said.

All four finalist films were of high calibre, both in terms of historical accuracy and filmic technique, but the eventual winners were Medani Athauda, Patricia Chan, Emma Cree, Pippa Johnson, Madison Wade and Angela Santoso, pictured above with Mr Washington.

“It was most exciting to see the ways in which the presentations really did showcase a learning journey; how the girls arrived at these impressive final products,” Mrs Williams said.

“They showed us that the students had learnt about data bases and bibliographies, notetaking and the power of research questions, strong arguments and analytical evidence.

“They also showed us the challenges the girls had negotiated, the feedback they had utilized, the changes in direction along the way, and the sense of achievement they felt when their work was celebrated by a real and authentic audience.”

The Year 9 teachers of English, History and PDHPE would like to congratulate every Year 9 student for her learning this semester. Thank you to parents who attended the showcase and engaged the girls in conversation about their research, and also the many staff who were there to celebrate the girls’ outstanding learning.

We look forward to an even bigger showcase next year.