Where's your head at?

Project based learning, thinking on learning and amazing Art projects

May 29, 2012
by Pete Jones

Pebble- Our student centered learning course for Year 8

Pebble has been running for 4 years now. Over that time, it has seen many changes and in the early days, I have to be honest, it was full of great intentions that often didn’t quite hit the mark. The introduction of the PLTS was a real turning point for us as it gave us something simpler and more concrete to focus project work on.As teachers, we feel far more resolute and confident with the framework we have in place now.

Students have Pebble for 5 hours a week in year eight; a two hour and three hour slot. Each unit focuses on a particular PLTS skill and we have a skills week before a major project to explore the skill in depth.

The whole year is developed around the theme of identity. We take lessons from English, Humanities, Art, Drama, IT and PSHE so much of what we cover does relate to these subject areas. Students are completely mixed as we all teach at the same time which makes big presentations easier and allows for more flexibility when needed. The course follows the path below.

Before students start the journey, they investigate what Pebble is and why it is important to learning and their future success as learners. Students go on a range of seminars, looking at the work of Ken Robinson among others, to get students to think about what is really important about learning and education.

Over the course of the year I will update detail about each of the projects and the preceding skills weeks so that you can see what an amazing experience our students engage with during the Pebble course. I know I’m starting back to front with Future thinking, but we’ve all got to start somewhere…

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