BOOST-ed Year 7 & 8 Classrooms
This semester Year 8 are studying History in HSIE and in Term 3 the student focus was the Western and Islamic World, including the role of the church in Medieval Europe, the Roman Empire and the Crusades. This is a deeply interesting topic, which continues to have implications throughout the world today.
We embarked on a new and exciting approach to learning, where students were challenged to think more deeply about the motivations of people of the past as they sought to uncover why an individual would commit an atrocity for an ideology? Lessons were delivered in a range of ways, including structured lessons, blended learning, individual research and small groups. Mr Ollis took a very active role in each of the Year 8 History classes, working with a selected group of students two periods per week to further extend them. All of Year 8 were invited to self-nominate for inclusion into this BOOST aspect of the program, where students were engaged alongside their peers, with the aim achieving deeper understanding of the focus topics. Students were asked to connect the concepts from each lesson to the driving question and were challenged to reflect upon their learning and express how they as individuals may be changed as a result.
At the end of Term 3, we held a showcase event where the created works of students were displayed and presented. Students overwhelmingly reported greater engagement and satisfaction with their learning during this unit, but excitingly, we also saw a significant increase in both the sophistication of student thinking and assessment results, with a 15% improvement in results across all three classes.
We are thrilled to be introducing a similar initiative this term in Year 7 History, where students will be considering what would drive a society to relinquish power to ONE man? Big ideas about the concept of power will be explored whilst students investigate the significance of the role of Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the development of Ancient China. We encourage our Year 7 students to talk with their teacher about being involved in the BOOST aspect of these lessons.
We are currently planning to expand this approach into other aspects of our learning and teaching here at PCS for 2021.
Danial Ollis - Teacher Librarian, iCentre Manager
Sharon Hogan - Head of HSIE