16 October 2017

Super 6s - Yearning to Learn

Do plants grow faster if they listen to music? Can 2D gaming improve your memory? What effect does coffee have on your teeth? Which type of music increases your heartbeat the most?

These questions, posed by our Year 6 students at the Middle School Science Fair last week, were a few examples of the four week long Science investigations that the boys had been completing with interest.

What impressed me the most as I conversed with the boys was their passion for Science and their genuine desire to tell me all about what they had learnt. I had one young man tell me, 'I loved doing this project because I just love magnets, it didn't feel like school work.' Upon asking him how he came to know so much about magnets and how he could drive a motor continuously with them, he informed me 'I just looked it up on the internet.'

This highlights the shift within education that is occurring, the focus on the student as a passive player in the classroom is disappearing; now students are actively seeking the answers to their own questions. So what then remains for the teacher?

The role of the teacher is to create the environment that stimulates the boys to want to learn, to push those who can go further and to support those who are finding it hard to start. The role is becoming less of stand and deliver content, to one that facilitates a discussion, asks an enticing question or guides an inquiry.

The boys were excellent at interacting and very reflective when considering their learning. One of the key approaches to learning in the IB Middle Years Programme is reflection. A boy's ability to identify strengths and weaknesses of personal learning strategies is an imperative skill that will assist him as he moves through his schooling and beyond, and the Year 6 boys demonstrated that this was already well developed.

Finally, the passion of the staff and the pleasure on their faces as they watched the boys discuss their learning was obvious and served as a reminder of how fortunate we are to have the teachers that we do at Scotch.

Mr Peter Allen

Director of Teaching and Learning