- To increase engagement and learning, from students perspective, within the Westminster STEAM end of year program.
- To allow student to become orientated with the Senior School, prior to moving from Year 7 to Year 8.
What I did
In 2018 I led the Year 7 STEAM end of year project, which was undertaken in collaboration with the Mathematics faculty and the Year 7 class teachers. This was the first year that the Year 7 cohort had undertaken an extended STEAM project. The project consisted of staff brainstorming sessions, planning meetings and revision of our ideas and making opportunities for students to develop understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages. Following on from the 2017 STEAM week, for year 8 to 10, of which I lead the Year 10 session, I wanted to ensure that the students were more engaged and learned more than during the 2017 project. Please see artefact 15 page 18.
Feedback from the 2017 project.
5 is totally engaged or learned a great deal, to 1 at the other end of the spectrum.
The Year 8 and 9 projects in 2017 involved rotations of smaller activities. The Year 10 project involved one longer, deeper learning project. As the Year 10 project showed to be more engaging, with deeper learning taking place, I decided to led the Year 7 2018 project to be a longer, deeper project, with links to the community and our overall school theme, “war on waste”. As the Year 10 project was the most successful in terms of student feedback.
The Year 7 project was run over 3.5 days, as follows:
- Monday – Moana Beach Day
- Tuesday and Wednesday – Rube Goldberg Machine
- Thursday until 1pm – The Amazing Race
The aim of Monday to Wednesday was to have a STEAM, “war on waste” and familiarization of the Senior School staff and Mathematics facilities. While the Thursday morning was focused on getting to know the rest of the Senior School grounds and undertaking challenges related to Mathematics, problem solving, and critical and creative thinking.
(3.5) As the leader of this project I demonstrated and led by example inclusive verbal and non-verbal communication using collaborative strategies and contextual knowledge to support students’ understanding, engagement and achievement. I constructed a Prezi to explain the process of the STEAM week to the Year 7 students as a year group, which can be found here (for interest – not a piece of evidence), which was based upon the collaborative planning sessions, which I led, see artefact 13 and artefact 9 page 16 and 18. I led the introductory session, with the support of the Year 7 class teachers and members of the Mathematics team. In the whole year group sessions, which ran prior to the STEAM project, at the beginning of the STEAM project, during the project and at the conclusion of the project, I demonstrated both inclusive verbal and non-verbal communication and (3.1) exemplary practice and high expectations and led both my colleagues and the students to purse challenging learning goals, see artefact 9 page 21 and artefact 13.
(7.1) I modeled exemplary ethical behaviour and exercised informed judgements in all professional dealings with students, colleagues and the community. This was important in the project, as I was leading a project that took students out of school, within our community and needed the full support of all my colleagues. (2.4) I led an initiative to assist colleagues with opportunities to develop understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander histories and cultures, see artefact 9 page 21, 23 and 26 and artefact 13.
Moana Beach Day
(1.3, 4.4) As part of the planning process I had to evaluate and revise school learning and teaching programs, using expert and community knowledge and experience, to meet the needs of students with different backgrounds. I had to evaluate the effectiveness of student well-being policies and safe working practice, surrounding water based activities, using current school and legislative requirements and assist colleagues to update their practices. The planning of this teaching program was redesigned from scratch, as the previous program did not meet the needs of the students, see artefact 9 page 18 and 21. I had to ensure that the diverse needs of our students were taken into account. Students from different backgrounds felt comfortable with different levels of involvement in the different physical activities and also within the other optional activities. This was vital as we were taking students off site and they were taking part in water activities within the ocean, as the leader of the program and a qualified Surf Lifesaver I had to ensure compliance with all policies, see artefact 9 page 22 and artefact 13.
Rube Goldberg Machine
(3.1) As part of the learning program I demonstrated exemplary practice and high expectations and led colleagues to encourage students to pursue challenging goals in all aspects of their education. An example of this can be demonstrated through the final products produced by the students and the changes to colleague attitudes and skills, see artefact 13. This is demonstrated by the finished Product from a group (for interest – not a piece of evidence) and an example of making of the machine, see artefact 16.
(3.2) I exhibit exemplary practice and led colleagues to plan, implement and review the effectiveness of their learning and teaching programs to develop students’ knowledge, understanding and skills. This was demonstrated throughout the project, as I rotated all groups, supporting staff to review the activities and tasks that had been completed by the students, how they moved forward and how the planning was adapted to gain the best outcomes for students. The teachers then implemented the changes that had been planned. Rube Goldberg Machine Planning. In 2019, two of the teachers involved in supporting the running of the STEAM week, will be leading the project in 2019, as part of this I have already lead the team to make changes to the planning, based upon how effective the program was and where we could make improvements, see artefact 9 page 21, 23 and 26, artefact 15 page 27-34 and artefact 13.
(3.3) As part of the project I worked with colleague to review, modify and expand their repertoire of teaching strategies to enable students to use knowledge, skills, problem solving and critical and creative thinking. This was especially important for one member of staff, who found it challenging to let the students take a lead in the project and tried to run the activity. The staff member was not allowing the students time to solve problems themselves, but jump in and ‘do it for them’. As I circulated the groups I recognized that this was a problem and I supported the staff member to become more confident in allowing the students to be allowed to fail, in a safe environment, in order for them to be able to problem solve and develop critical and creative thinking. I also worked with a different teacher to ensure that they were not allowing the students too much freedom, so that very little learning took place and not in a safe environment. The intervention I put in place for these teachers allowed for their development, but also allowed for student success, see artefact 9 page 18 and artefact 13.
(4.1) I demonstrated and lead by example the development of productive and inclusive learning environments across the school by reviewing inclusive strategies and exploring new approaches to engage and support all students. As part of the planning of this session I had to ensure that all students within each group were productive and included within the project. This was managed in the classroom environment, in sub groups, as I ensured all students had people that they were comfortable and that they would working productively with. The groupings were put together in a very specific manner and very clear directions were given to students and the expectations of how students would be awarded points for team work (for interest – not a piece of evidence). The expectations around productive and inclusive team work were made very clear. With the Amazing race planning I led the exploration of new approaches for productive and inclusive learning environments, as the students were going to be working around school in groups. This was more challenging as the students were without direct supervision at all times, as they circulated between activities and completed independent challenges. Amazing Race Planning, Amazing Race PowerPoint (for interest – not a piece of evidence) with all resources and teacher instructions, see artefact 9 page 29 and artefact 13. For interest the Amazing Race Blue Team and Amazing Race Red Team challenges from the day can be seen.
Impact – Analysis and Reflection – Student Feedback
Impact on student learning and engagement
To ensure that we had positively impacted upon the students end of year experience, with deeper learning activities, we gave the students a post STEAM week questionnaire, see artefact 15 page 36 (also 26 – 35).
The Impact of the changes are shown below from student feedback
|% change from 2017 to 2018||
In comparison to the 2017 data, 2018 Year 7 STEAM project showed that the engagement was 4.2/5 and learning was 3.6/5. This is an increase in engagement of 23% from the 2017 mean and an increase in learning of 35.2% from the 2017 mean.
Student interviews regarding the program
Impact on students learning and engagement
Staff interviews regarding the program
Changes in colleagues knowledge and understanding, attitude and skills
(1.3, 2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 4.1, 4.4, 7.1) Please find attached the video to show impact in my colleagues knowledge and understanding, attitude and skills in artefact 13.
In 2019 I arranged the STEAM week groups, as part of leading the Westminster HALT group. This led to members of the HALT group arranging STEAM activities for students from Year 6 to Year 9. The full details of the 2019 program can be found here. This does not form part of the Lead Teacher evidence set.