The College’s current major project is the articulation of our learning programme across all five elements from K1 to Grade 12. This project came as a result of a curriculum review begun in August 2011 and involves ensuring that standards (statements of eventual learning outcomes) and benchmarks (developmentally appropriate ‘waypoints’ on the path to the standards) are fully articulated for each academic subject from K1 to Grade 12. At the same time, we are developing learning goals for each of the other four elements of the programme (activities, outdoor education, personal and social education and service) so that they are not ‘add-ons’ to the academic subjects, but measurable parts of the learning experience.
The project is led by a research and development team comprised of Principals, Heads of Grade, Heads of Subject and teachers. The team first established learning principles (what we know about how people learn) and the UWCSEA Learner Profile (the skills and qualities students will develop through the learning programme). The learning principles are based in research, while the profile is derived from our mission and helps to ensure we continue to be a mission-driven organisation.
Embedded in the project are some critical questions about teaching and learning. These questions have led to important conversations that are helping us to define what we as a College think about crucial issues. How does motivation fit into our learning principles? What place does language have in learning? What role does feedback play in helping learners to construct meaning? How can we ensure that learners take ownership of their learning? The answers to these questions are shaping the curriculum articulation project.
Alongside the drive for a fully articulated curriculum across all five elements, is the need for an IT system that supports the planning, delivery, assessment and reporting of student progress and achievement. UWCSEA continues to work with external partners to build a bespoke system that allows us to collect and analyse data on student learning across the College in a variety of ways and more comprehensively than before.
The curriculum articulation project is one example of the College’s commitment to staying at the forefront of educational practice.