At St Hilda's Collegiate, every Year 9 student is mentored with someone from the local community and they work throughout the year on their Passion project. Principal Melissa Bell explains, "Students' directed and managed their own learning project. Technology was a critical part of that in terms of gathering information, working through processes, refining ideas, looking at other examples of that kind of project work."
We’ve developed a programme called Passion Projects in our school. In Passion Projects every Year 9 student develops a passion of their own in a learning context. They’re mentored with someone from the local community and they work throughout the year on this project and at the end of the year we have a celebration of their work. It’s just one of the best things we do, one of the highlights of the year. Last year when we introduced it staff were just overwhelmed at what students produced. Everything from street photography of Dunedin, through to the design of ballet shoes, through to anatomy projects. That was really powerful because students really reflected on what motivated and interested them. They were able actually to learn to learn. They directed and managed their own learning project and the results were just phenomenal. I mean, we could have run the passion projects before we had the 1-1 programme but really in terms of the way that the students produced their work and shared it I think the technology was a critical part of that - but it was also critical in terms of gathering information, working through processes, refining ideas, looking at other examples of that kind of project work. Technology really enabled the passion projects to lift to the next level.
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