The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

From the Head of Middle School

Interdisciplinary Learning in Action

Last week as I walked along the Middle School hallways, I could not help but notice some particularly energised Year 7 classrooms.  The doors between the classrooms were open and our teachers were working together to support groups of boys who were busily engaged in their work.  Further investigation revealed those boys are currently working on an Interdisciplinary Unit (IDU) of work.  Traditionally in schools, knowledge is compartmentalised into single subject areas, but IDUs allow our boys to use their critical thinking skills and integrate their knowledge from two or more subject areas, in order to develop a deeper understanding of concepts from both.  Our boys all complete at least one IDU for each year they are in Middle School.

Earlier in the year, our Year 6 boys integrated their Mathematics learning about data with their Science learning about designing and conducting scientific experiments.  The outcome of the unit supported the boys' Science Fair displays and they were better able to process and evaluate the data from their experiments.

In Winter Term, our Year 8 boys synthesised their knowledge from the Civics and Citizenship curriculum with persuasive text types from the English curriculum to research a law that has increased order or freedom and then designed a campaign to influence Parliament or the public on the issue.  The campaigns came in many forms from Twitter messages, posters, petitions and television advertisements.

This term in Year 7, our boys are integrating their English studies of myths with the History content of ancient civilisations, to produce a text and a product that informs others about the life of a specific Ancient Greek person and their impact on our modern-day society.  The boys' work will be shared with parents and friends at the Year 7 Ancient Greece Showcase in Week 9.

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These are rich teaching and learning experiences for our boys as they develop their critical thinking and research skills and explore creativity in the curriculum.

Mrs Sophie Berry
Acting Head of Middle School