Kuranui College will be offering a ground-breaking new curriculum for its Year 9 and 10 students from next year.
Students will no longer study subjects, but courses. Each course will combine a number of subjects to create a collaborative, future-focused environment where students solve real-life problems.
“We have recognised that every child is different and motivated by a variety of interests and passions. We believe these new personalised programmes of study will be far more relevant and a lot more engaging for our students,’ explained Vicki Wish, Kuranui Head of Junior College.
“They will ultimately give every student a chance to learn through real-life problems and situations, allowing them to grow into resilient, young adults capable of solving everyday issues that involve not just one skill, but a mix of skills, capability and know-how when they leave school.”
The new programme will be delivered in two semesters each year, over the two years of junior college. Each student will study six courses per semester, 12 courses in each year, completing a total of 24 while in Years 9 and 10.
There will be a number of compulsory courses in the curriculum areas and in each curriculum area there will be choice. For example, students will be required to do three math courses over the two years, but they will have a choice of eight to choose from. A keen mathematician could potentially do all eight math courses.
Individual courses will have their own unique names. In a course entitled ‘Build it Now’, students will learn the mathematics needed to build a structure, while at the same time in design visual communication (DVC), they will learn the design process, so they can design the structure. Both these skills will be developed further when the students actually build the structure in ‘Build it Now II’.
‘Choconomics’, for example, brings together the social sciences, mathematics and design, and also explores real-life issues such as fair trade, environmental impacts, marketing, business ethics and public health policy. Through their own mini chocolate business, students will learn about the tough decisions producers and retailers have to make to maintain levels of consumption.
“When we began evaluating how effective we were in delivering the curriculum in our junior school, and started to look at what other schools were doing, we quickly identified that there were three key issues that needed to be addressed,” said Wish.
“We were giving an unequal amount of time to the study of core versus option subjects. Students were having little ownership in what they learnt, and many were experiencing difficulty in seeing the connections between the subjects they were studying and the relevance for real-life after leaving school.
“We currently require all our students to learn at the same pace as their peer group. The new curriculum will bring Year 9 and 10 students together to study without streaming. The courses are designed to accelerate students to a higher level if they are achieving beyond their expected level.
“The adult world of work is not divided into subjects, adults are expected to use all their skills and knowledge to solve problems and complete tasks. Learning should be a part of life,” added Wish.
An information evening on the new curriculum will be held for parents in the Kuranui College Library on Wednesday, 18 October at 7pm.