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Connected Learning

Science, English, Mathematics and Social Sciences.

Connected Learning

One of the guiding principles of the Connected Learning Vehicle is coherence, whereby students are offered a broad education that makes strong links across Mathematics, Science, English and Social Science learning areas. Students have a learning ratio of one teacher to 30 students, with most Connected lessons having 60 students to two teachers, plus teacher-aides.

Connected curriculum involves students in negotiating and setting the curriculum with their teacher. This may start rather modestly, with students suggesting activities within a study, or be more substantial, such as students taking a role in co-planning, exploring and evaluating a study. Connected learning is driven by ‘big ideas’ rather than specific content. These include ethical dilemmas, weighing up evidence and argument, exploring ways to preserve the past and educate for the future, rebuilding a country or an environment, and instigating a social action project.

Big ideas create authentic and real-world learning opportunities for learners. By exploring these big ideas students will encounter and build skills and knowledge across five core subjects; English, Science, Mathematics and Social Studies. The world we are living in is changing, and education must change with it. If we live in an interconnected and interdependent world, it only makes sense that knowledge be presented as interconnected and interdependent.

As an example, one of our big ideas at Year Nine is titled ‘Change and Innovation for the Future’. While investigating this big idea students encounter the current efforts to visit Mars between private and public entities. From there students explore the history of the cold war and the space race (Social Sciences), the physics behind launching rockets into space (Science), and they build and launch their own rockets (Mathematics & Technology), which requires getting written permission from the Selwyn District Council (English formal writing) and to interview NASA pilots about their work.