August 17, 2010

Cross-curricular planning: The Learning Wall

How do teachers in high schools know where their subject crosses over into another subject area, where learning moments might be better coordinated and more in-depth projects formed? You invite teaching staff to construct a learning wall.

This is a lovely idea coming through from St George's School for Girls in Edinburgh in order to stimulate the kind of cross-curricular thinking that takes place in their junior school throughout the senior area:

There was talk at that time of de-cluttering, of repetition, of excess overload on the curriculum and the need to actually slim that down, so we thought it was a good place for us to start. Ultimately, we came up with this thing called ‘The Learning Wall’. It's based on the capacities from a Curriculum for Excellence - that's the main aim of it, and it was thought that for the personal and social development, the actual student had to be the focus and therefore had to be the main frame of the wall. Each of these represents what one year group does within one subject area. Many departments focused on colour and used colour within the bricks to highlight different skills or different things within what they were doing. It may be investigative, it may be trips, it may be numeracy, it may be literacy - even within a different subject content. They have recognised that there is overlap, they have recognised that there is repetition, they've recognised that we are doing things at the same time and then we've found out we're doing them slightly differently. 

Watch the full video above (about 3 minutes) to see how it works.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

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School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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