In every vibrant corner of our school, staff members are busy together building an ever-improving learning environment. While we make every effort to make our community close, Grade 7 are unlikely to have had the chance to familiarise themselves with IBDP teachers and our Administration team. ‘Halcyon Who?’, however, is making this happen. Each Grade 7 student has been provided with the task of designing a unique product for an assigned staff member, based on a problem that they would like to tackle in their daily lives.
Asking Grade 7 students to design bespoke products for these members of our community is a social and academic challenge - but Chloe MacBean’s class has grasped this personal learning opportunity with both hands. Ms MacBean took a moment to explain the many ways in which ‘Halcyon Who?’ is enriching students’ social and personal learning journeys.
Developing an understanding of another’s needs requires students to take a responsible approach to communication with others. Adopting the right tone for an email can be a struggle, even for adults, but students used Ms MacBean’s help to introduce themselves appropriately and design carefully targeted questionnaires for their in-school customers. In this way, ‘Halcyon Who?’ adds to the many pathways that students in our school take on their social learning journey.
Beyond that, this project encourages our students to expand the boundaries of their creativity: students’ design solutions range from an app for finding a new place to live, to a handheld Apple charger storage case. Grade 7 are taking their physical and digital toolkit outside of the box to craft model solutions to staff members’ daily inconveniences.
The freedom that students are encouraged to take in the design classroom reflects a core aspect of Halcyon’s learning programme. Instead of learning a fixed list of design possibilities, Ms MacBean’s students are encouraged to develop an understanding of the design process - independently finding their way from the problem to the final solution. At Halcyon, we believe in building students’ capability to tackle problems head-on beginning in Grade 6. The IB MYP Personal Projects and IB DP Extended Essays in Grade 10 and 11 will demand well-developed project management skills from students - so why wait until then?
It’s not just academia that requires these skills: it’s life itself. Facing challenges and developing solutions is an inevitable requirement for all of us. We recognise this.
The social and problem-solving skills developed in ‘Halcyon Who?’ are mirrored by our extensive Wellbeing Programme. Read more here!