What is an Integrated Curriculum?
Before explaining what an integrated curriculum is, it is important to note that we teach core morning classes in Mathematics, Science, English, Social Studies and Technology. Our integrated curriculum applies those subjects and the projects students complete in a related manner. We treat knowledge as being seamless and interrelated. An integrated curriculum is a means of breaking down the artificial barriers between subjects as they have been traditionally taught. It is also an effective way of broadening the possible topics that may be learned/investigated. Within the school’s written curriculum, the staff ensure that all of the Essential Learning Areas (ELAs) are covered at the appropriate levels.
What is a Project-Based Curriculum?
A project-based curriculum treats the investigation of a topic as the basis for learning. The students complete eight projects each year. Within each topic, the staff identify the areas of the national curriculum that need to be overtly taught within the ELAs. Each year, the topics will encompass the full ELA requirements for that level. Within each set project, all of the Learning Areas are included and the students have the opportunity to direct their own learning and work to a depth and breadth that is difficult to achieve within a traditional structure. Their learning skills (e.g. goal setting, planning, investigative research, presentation, computing, etc) are enhanced, as are their thinking skills (e.g. metacognition, evaluation, synthesising information, etc).
Their basic academic skills (reading, writing, mathematics) are in no way ignored but are enhanced and used as a building block for in-depth work.