25 Oct 2019

Message From The Principal, 25 Oct 2019

Dear Parents

Elements courses at Island School provide an invaluable opportunity for middle phase students to explore their passions in a manner that connects learning to life beyond schooling.

Each year our school welcomes many visitors who come specifically to study this programme and regularly comment on the innovative teaching they observe and the rich environment they create for student self-directed learning.

Our students regularly tell us that elements courses are often the most loved subject they study. Last year we conducted an extensive review of our Elements programme and have made the following enhancements to ensure the continuing success of this innovation: –

  1. Adoption of a research based skills model to ensure every course meets the standard for student learning.
  2. Introducing a moderation process where teachers work collaboratively to ensure course quality.
  3. Reviewed options to increase the focus on Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
  4. Shared teaching approaches which foster student directed learning.

To ensure I go along on this journey with my colleagues I have designed and introduced an elements course called “Leadership Matters”. Through this course:-

Students will become more confident in their capacity to lead complex projects. They will demonstrate an understanding of leadership theory by being able to articulate their own leadership philosophy and their leadership competency through planning, initiating action and evaluating their performance.

The enthusiasm and talent of my class inspires me to value every minute of our lesson time and I have been amazed by their aptitude for leadership and for learning about leadership.

Our dedicated elements teachers are also focused on the future. As an example Mr Steve Coates has been working in partnership with the Bear Academy to trial a course on Artificial Intelligence. This course teaches students to harness AI to create social action projects that make the world a better place.

I am truly excited by this work and look forward to sharing further updates as they develop.