Working with other subject areas is often a low priority for busy teachers who feel that they have quite enough to do covering their own topics and meeting curriculum targets. This is a shame as it leaves each subject in a discrete box and fails to show pupils how their different lessons interlock and complement each other.
The Science Soiree provided an opportunity to demonstrate links between the Humanities and the Sciences. Grade 9 Geographers have been studying ecosystems with Ms. Elizabeth. They have considered the increasing demands we all place on the world’s ecosystems using the tool of Ecological Footprints. They have concentrated on Tropical Rainforests and Savanna Grasslands investigating their characteristics and the pressures which they are undergoing. They have become more aware that we live in interlinked world in which our actions may have an impact on the other side of the globe and conversely that the actions of others may affect our quality of life.
This gave the students considerable scope to select and investigate an aspect of this huge area of study. The results were impressive with charts and posters that were bright, colourful and informative.
Ms. Joanne, teacher of Environmental Studies and grade 11 students participated in the Science Soiree activity through an experiment involving paper, food blender, a sieve made by the students themselves with a wooden frame and a pair of tights, glue, and a hair dryer. All of the above was to show how recycling of paper is actually done in very simple steps. The topic of waste management and recycling is tackled in the Environmental Studies syllabus. The students found this experiment to be fun, interactive and a positive learning experience – one must not forget messy as well!! Visitors were especially interested in this experiment and asked many questions which the students were very capable of answering.
History students and Ms. Allison did some research about the Punic Tombs and together with the children wrote a script. The children then together with their teachers designed and did their own costumes. With their teacher and Mr. Matthew, they rehearsed a couple of times and then performed at one hour intervals during the Science Soiree.
The children were taught about the Punic burial and how it was done so that they could better understand what it was that they were doing. The children will surely remember what a Punic burial was like as they acted it out themselves.
To paraphrase the words of one industrious young man in Grade 9 “I like finding things out on my own”; we need as educators to foster this independent spirit of enquiry whenever possible.