In order to thrive in the future, our students need to learn future focused skills. The Year 7 faculty at Kurri Kurri High School utilise unique pedagogical approaches that involve team teaching in a HUB which can be divided into smaller PODs and further into groups of 3-4 students, called HUDDLEs. A planned, structured process of HUB, POD, HUDDLE, team and parallel teaching with modelled, guided and independent learning engages students to think critically, work collaboratively and creatively and communicate in the modes required to flourish in a changing world. These skills are employed to lend meaning to the telling of the students learning journey to an authentic audience; parents and the extended community.
Innovative Teaching and Learning at Kurri Kurri High School: HUBS, PODS, HUDDLES .
For authenticity, students are accountable. To create autonomy in the HUB, students are required to report their journey to parents in a 7 360 conference. The onus is on students to report on how they have structured their goals for learning and to reflect on their process of feed up, feedback and feed forward. A curated ePortfolio of work is developed in an advisory allocation. Teachers, peers and students collaborate to include completed work that tells a story of beginning, middle and where to next. Not only are students building to independence, they are also creating a picture of learning where they become a part of something bigger than just themselves, which leads to a sense of community, belonging, and then, legacy.
Literacy and Numeracy ‘Do Nows’, which feed forward to a clear learning intention and a non-negotiable ‘Exit Ticket’ for every session, provide the rigor to assist students and teachers determine the learner’s next step. Each mini outcome or formative assessment task is used as a stepping-stone to build skills to complete a project legacy. For some students, this means practicing the reading and writing skills required to complete the task. For others, it means co-constructing with peers and teachers a personalised rubric to demonstrate the skills they have determined will help them complete the endeavour. With the breaking down of siloed subject areas comes the structure of a learning intention that brings questions of what we know and need to find out to give precision to how we learn in a HUB environment.
Project 1 in 2019, ‘What are the building blocks of my life?’, is designed to introduce students in Year 7 to the History, Geography, Science and English concepts that include the origins of life, how we study the ancient past, how human ideas have changed over time and how students connect to their space. Students are learning about the elements of History, Geography and Science which explain the human origin and how the study of these concepts has contributed to the way our ideas have changed over time. The focus of the project will require students to apply literacy and numeracy strategies to create texts that help fit themselves into their world. It is through the building of this relationship of where students connect, that they develop a sense of belonging and how our differences in culture create diversity and acceptance. Mini outcomes which include symbolic mapping, socratic seminar and a historical echo handprint build towards an Audio Blog with a digital live unveiling where students will answer the question, ‘How do I see myself in the past?’
To develop skills in self-sufficiency builds confidence, grit and a growth mindset, encouraging self accountability. To have these skills rigorously, intentionally and explicitly fostered in students means that attendance in Stage 4 at KKHS is above target for the whole school. It means students are engaged in specific HUB pedagogical practice and negative behaviour reports are down significantly than the same time last year. Students are entering into an agreement where they are the centre of their learning and parents, peers, teachers and the community are partnered in that agreement.
With a sense of self that includes the wider community, children in the Kurri Kurri community are readying themselves to be the productive, global citizens a strong Australian society needs them to be.