The curriculum at Halcyon is designed to enable students to be as creative as possible. Students are not only assessed on their knowledge and understanding of subjects, but their ability to investigate, communicate and apply the learning. Here are a few examples:
Design: Grade 6 Coding
Our Grade 6 students not only learn about computational thinking, the importance of code and also how to code, but they design lessons so that they can pass on their knowledge to others. Students create lessons using a variety of activities from group work involving computerless coding with Lego, through to students building their own version of “Flappy Bird”.
English and Design: Grade 6 Digital Biography Project
As part of a Design and Language interdisciplinary unit, our Grade 6 students build interactive biographies on their iPads. The biographies are based on role models such as Mahatma Gandhi, and students translate written text into Lego scenes illustrating pivotal points in the figure’s life. They overlay vocal narration, sound effects, and a final reflection to further highlight their learning.
Maths: Grade 6 Geometry and Minecraft
Grade 6 learn about geometry through MineCraft and Lego. They create an iMovie to represent mathematics vocabulary and inquire into the relationship between cubes and cubic numbers. Geometry is no longer an abstract concept, it is a very real (and enjoyable!) experience.
Design: Grade 7 Town Planning Project
Students in Grade 7 complete a Town Planning Unit. They look at new and old towns, including garden cities, and Celebration, a Floria town designed by Disney. They study town systems using Simcity Education. As a class they decide what buildings all towns need and design each building using Minecraft.
Design: Grade 8 Cardboard Arcade Challenge
For the second year in a row, Grade 8 students have designed cardboard arcade games, inspired by the short film Caine’s Arcade. They also looked at the benefits of learning through play and made instructions for building their games, so that they can be reproduced anywhere in the world.
English: Grade 9 Pastiche Project
Our Grade 9 class completed their study of a Dystopian/Utopian Fiction unit by writing their own pastiches. Students had the option as to how this pastiche was presented, however, had to follow the process of “Design Thinking” when creating. Firstly, a hypertext fiction piece was coded for online interactivity (based on the character “Helmholtz” from Huxley’s “Brave New World”); secondly, a digital text was written in the style of a 1950s children’s book outlining the behavioural conditioning models in “Brave New World”.
Maths and Design: Grade 9 Robotics
In Maths and Design, Grade 9 learn about the history of coding from the early caesar cipher, to the WW2 code breakers, to modern day encryption. They finish this unit by looking at why we create and what the consequences are. To help with this they code and create their own robots using Arduino for the code and a small robot kit for the creation.
Design: Grade 9 Puppet Theatres
Grade 9 create puppet theatres to tell a story about their culture. These videos are recorded and shared with the rest of the school.
Whole School: Project Gallagher Current Events Publication
Our whole school engages in a weekly Current Events unit entitled “Project Gallagher”. Using digital Current Events applications such as The Day and Flipboard, our students explore different current events related to all of their subjects and write a response to two issues a month. These responses are written and revised using Google Classroom, and ten pieces are published in a twice-monthly Halcyon Student Writers edition on iTunesU. These editions are shared with our wider community with the aim of informing, challenging, and sparking conversation.