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    Embracing Integrated Subject Learning in Year 7

    School News

    24 Nov, 2016

    10 : 00

    • The Year 7 Integrated Curriculum is the beginning of our new Middle School programme. The YCIS vision, binding this concept, is that the Middle School creates a vibrant learning communities of self-directed, globally minded, and enthusiastic life-long learners. Emerging from childhood, our learners are engaged in authentic educational experiences that develop and nurture the whole child as they develop into young adults.

      Our aim is for our teaching methods to be flexible in order to ensure that we meet the needs of all our students, while teaching to every learning style, and to assist in the development of life-long skills so that our graduates become global citizens. Each year the Integrated programme will be introduced to the next Year level, finally it will run from Year 7-9. At each Year level the students will have engaged teachers concentrating on this approach and a deeper connectedness with their peers, their classroom area, their teachers and our school.

      The curriculum will combine the traditional classroom, where teachers are the subject experts, with the ‘Integrated Programme’ where the students approach the topics with a skills-based emphasis, as they gain expertise. We will be able to use our new learning area in many different ways and our students will benefit from the flexibility of their new learning space. The current high standards of YCIS will be maintained as students gain the skills necessary to communicate outwards, the knowledge they are gaining inwards.

      Collaborative Learning Spaces Under Renovations

      Secondary campus renovations are underway for the Year 7 floor to be transformed for flexible and collaborative learning communities. YCIS will be the first school to bring the learning communities’ design concept of the USA company, Fielding Nair International (FNI), to Hong Kong. For the Year 7 students and teaching staff they are already making the transition towards deepening integrated subject learning, as they get closer to enjoying their new space. 

      How we Combine Subjects

      For selected periods of the timetable the whole Year 7 group and all relevant teachers can unite and link subjects. For example, students were exploring why and how people write autobiographies in an English lesson, including writing styles used. By linking to their research of a major river in Asia, the Yangtze, thinking about its birth point, its trickle to gain momentum, the landmarks along the river’s journey towards the sea where it no longer is a river, became a fascinating “life’s journey” for the writing of an autobiography, from the “river’s” viewpoint. Students could choose to work in small groups or pairs and carefully plan the collaboration towards finally being able to present a piece of unique and creative written work.

      How we Set Up Collaborative Spaces

      Students and the Year group’s teachers recently came to use the open-air podium space offering non-classroom space and an openness to inspire. Their various subject teachers collectively planned and executed the sessions, mixing and overseeing the students’ work. When the Year 7 floor is fully renovated and ready for use, the created areas will support: Observational Learning, Information Based Learning, Project-Based Learning, Spontaneous Learning, peer and individual learning. With a range of seating and gathering options, students will often have the ability to select the most optimum and beneficial way for them to learn.

      The designs have been developed over several months with academic leadership’s input and specialists’ guidance. This project will significantly bring the learning spaces up to the speed of our international progressive curriculum. Flexible learning spaces will be created to provide areas for a range of activities, albeit in an individual setting, peer learning or group settings. Another advantage of collaboration within such an environment are the limitless adaptation options, as per the learning objective calls for.

      Year 6 learning communities were successfully launched at the start of the current school year. Please check out our video featuring top executives from Fielding Nair International and Martin Scott, Primary Co-Principal for further details.