What are they?
The Halcyon Explorations are designed to offer students the chance to explore different ideas and learn about new topics, based on their own interests. All Explorations groups are organised vertically from Grades 6 to 10, meaning students work in a mixed age group. The teachers pick the topics based on their interests, so they can teach things outside their subjects!
Introduction to World Religions
We examine major world faith traditions and learn about major figures, documents, movements, and doctrines, and visit some places of worship. This leads to a more comprehensive understanding of historical and contemporary world events.
Student Leaders Mentoring
Students develop in the following areas: listening, leadership, understanding cognitive processes, coaching conversations, supporting goal creation and reflection, and student safeguarding.
Student Leaders Mediation
Students develop the following areas: conflict resolution, mediating conversations, facilitating people being heard, restorative circle practices, developing constructive solutions, and student safeguarding.
Where in the world is that?
Students work with classmates to explore the globe, using Google Maps to create and share presentations about their discoveries each lesson. This will build a mental map of this extraordinary globe we share with many cultures and people.
Students explore their creativity, learn the foundations of writing and drawing a graphic novel/comic, study some examples of recognised writers, talk to an author, use real-life software, and write their own storyboard.
Students develop their skills with drawing, printing, collage and paint. They explore a range of materials: pen and ink, etching & lino-block printing, and watercolour paints. Students learn bookbinding techniques and create a hand-bound book of all their artwork.
Students explore the process of digital music production. They investigate ways of combining instruments/sounds through sampling, performing and recording to create a piece of music. The end of course will showcase finished pieces.
Students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in many exciting experiences beyond our school walls with the use of virtual reality (VR). Augmented Reality (AR) adds layers of enriching information to the world around us. Students in this exploration will have to think big!
Students explore modern political thought, from the 19th Century ideologies of Liberalism, Conservatism, and Socialism, to the ‘new’ ideologies of Feminism, Ecologism and Religious Fundamentalism. Students look at how these ideas developed and the impact they have on contemporary political questions.
Students will gain a better understanding of how the Design industry works. They investigate classic designs and iconic designers, to look at pioneering products. Students will be able to design products that stand out in a variety of contexts for an ever-changing market.
Students study film language and analysis through the study of genre, music and sound, camerawork, colour, symbolism, structure, and acting. We will also examine film posters, trailers, and at least one full film.
The team will need to educate themselves about the issue(s), develop an original story, and support this with effective audio recording, editing, and final production. This group is aimed at budding journalists, broadcasters, sound engineers and/or presenters.
Students learn about the different techniques, and how to minimize the number of steps to find a solution. They explore the nature of the cube and why it seems so complicated to solve; appreciating the power of algorithms in problem-solving. We will hold a speedcubing competition at the end of the course.
Human Rights (Spanish)
Students study different topics during the year regarding human rights such as gender issues, the identity of the native population in America or poverty and consumerism. The course will allow reflection and discussion, in Spanish.
In this hands-on exploration, students will be encouraged to think creatively to find a problem worth solving. Using available resources – from lego to tin foil and robots to video games – makers will make something to help address the problem/s found.
Students will learn to understand more about a particular kind of writing, learn about its writing features and then work towards their own piece in the same style. We will look at how a novel can be adapted for stage, radio and film.
Global Issues Network – Seeds of Growth
The course will enable students to develop their service skills by growing vegetables in a residential care home. We also hope to expand by interacting with the elderly and teaching gardening to a local primary school.
Languages & Linguistics
Students explore the basic principles of linguistics with an option to create a constructed language. You have probably heard of Elvish from Lord of the Rings, or Klingon from Star Trek. This Exploration allows students to study the basic principles of linguistics.
Students explore our solar system, our galaxy and beyond. They study the search for planets outside our solar system, calculate the probability of intelligent alien life in our universe, find out how stars and galaxies are studied and classified. Students will create a planetarium show for their end of year showcase.
Embracing the hacker spirit, this exploration is about making and breaking stuff with a Raspberry Pi – the small personal computer, that used in combination with sensors, lights, motors and some code, is limited in potential only by the student’s imagination.
The course will explore the key topics of forensic science, including the scientific processes involved in a forensic analysis as well as the principles of crime scene investigation. The end-of-course showcase will be a fictional crime scene for the whole Halcyon Community to solve.