Scarborough Public School project-based learning and STEM
'Future Learning at Scarborough Public School' (6 mins 26 sec) journey embarked on an adventure to change the way they teach and learn to better suit the needs of future learners.
Location: Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Scarborough
Level: Primary School, Kinder to Year 6
Enrolment: 68 students
Scarborough Public School is a small school of 66 students that provides a quality, future–focussed public education for students. Our school enjoys very strong links with the parents and community, strong educational opportunities in the arts and differentiated learning for students with a wide range of learning styles. We aim to prepare learners to innovate, collaborate, think critically and creatively, enabling learners to see the big picture around them. We deliver flexible, project–based learning that embraces the concepts of social innovation, local culture and history, citizen science and design thinking with explicit, visible links to curriculum outcomes and strong literacy and numeracy foundations.
The aim of our initiative was to re-shape how we approach the curriculum by moving away from teaching timetabled subjects that were often delivered in silos. Our teachers believe that learning should be relevant and real with students searching for solutions to real problems. We sought to allow students to direct their learning, while ensuring project work is supported by explicit, differentiated learning at the point of need. The core of this initiative is delivered through the STEM Action Project, with support and professional learning from the Mathematics and Science and Technology Advisers (K-6). Our team began by collaboratively planning a Young Enterprise unit of work, identifying the many skills and areas of knowledge our students required to run a business, and then backwards mapping the outcomes and explicit teaching required to support them. As a mentor school, we have built a strong learning network where ideas are shared across schools. Staff and more importantly, students, are more willing to take risks and embrace more open-ended, integrated learning opportunities, taught within flexible learning environments.
Chris Hopkins firstname.lastname@example.org
To access a visual representation of this journey, download the Scarborough Public Shool infographic.
Guiding research and evidence
- Stephen Heppell – effective learning spaces and environments
- Chris Harte & David Price – Unstuck Learning, working in the area of Social Innovation and Project-based learning
- Carol Dweck and John Nottingham – Growth Mindset
- Book: Bill Lucas – Teaching Creative Thinking
- Atlassian – Design Thinking from the perspective of a large innovative IT firm