Written by: Julie Greenall, Secondary English Teacher and Veronica Martin, ECE Coordinator
The K4 students were very excited to recently host the Year 8s for an afternoon of reading together. The Secondary students are interested in Project Based Learning, the idea being that the students work together to produce something that not only builds their English skills, but also focuses on 21st century skills, such as working as a team, effective communication, problem-solving etc. The ideal scenario is that the final product is trialed in a real-life situation. So our Year 8 students had to work together to decide what sort of story would interest a K4 child, research the kind of language that they would enjoy in a story, think of ways to illustrate it, write and re-write it. They had to focus on writing for this particular audience and make sure it was entertaining.
The trip to K4 was not only to see if they’d been successful, but also to develop their communication skills. The project also involved writing an email to the ECE Coordinators, building formal writing skills, as well as writing an imaginary blog post giving advice about writing for young children. The next step is reflection, with an emphasis on What Went Well and Even Better If. We’ll also be focusing on the Learner Profile to see what 21 Century skills they’ve built on.
It was nerve-wracking for the Secondary students to read their stories to the K4s. They were very nervous and at first they held back a little and were shy. However, after a while they relaxed with the K4s students and everyone had an afternoon of bonding over stories. The bus back from RP was full of chat about the different children they’d met, and the K4s were all very eager to share their experience with the Secondary students with their families. Coming together as a community of learners is something that is important at YCIS and something our younger and more experienced learners will always remember fondly.