St Peter’s Boys Prep Siyanamukela to the FLP week

  • October 09, 2018 | Mbali Thejane

From 01 to 05 October the boys enjoyed their final FLP for 2018. These Flexible Learning Programmes just keep getting better and better! It is amazing what the boys learnt and the quality of their presentations is proof in itself. Here are the highlights of what the boys from Grade 4 to 7 were challenged with in the week:

Grade 4: Knights and Castles

The Big Question in Grade 4 was “How could different strategies in the Middle Ages ensure Kingdom survival?’ This question guided the boys on choosing the appropriate ways to build a medieval castle in order to survive, making shields and designing a coat of arms. The Grade 4s got the opportunity to go on an outing to Greensleeves which is a medieval kingdom. This journey was beneficial because the boys got to see real life weapons and armour which inspired them in their choices of what they were going to build. The boys showed insightful understanding of what they had seen on the outing. Collaboration was emphasised as boys shared ideas on how they could create their own coat of arms. They then displayed the end results to their peers and boys in other grades. During the FLP week the Grade 4s embraced St Peter’s values in the following ways:

  • Responsibility: Took charge of their own learning
  • Resilience: Were able to adapt to change and the aim was to not give up until they achieved the end result
  • Collaboration: The boys constantly encouraged and listened to each other’s ideas and opinions
  • Compassion: Supported each other, if one struggled to complete the project, assistance was provided by others
  • Honourability: Learnt about the meaning of being ‘Honourable’ through the knowledge of how knights behaved. The boys wanted to model this behaviour
  • Respect: Treated the projects created by other boys with respect by not touching or meddling unless permission was granted.

At the end of the FLP the boys had a much clearer understanding on how the medieval period shapes our life today and they had the ability to identify different defence strategies used in the Middle Ages. 

Grade 5: Mathematics Zone

Mathematics surrounds us and is part of everything we do in life. The purpose of the Mathematics FLP was to create an environment of personalised learning within maths since maths deals with the logic of shapes, quantity and arrangement.

The steps used iduring the week:

  • Identified areas that the boys struggled with, where they needed to be challenged and where improvements could be made.
  • The teachers designed lessons on the feedback received from the boys based on their identified areas
  • The boys were given the choice to sign up for lessons and they were responsible for their learning in terms of making sure they attended the lessons 
  • At the end of the week, each boy was assessed to determine how the lessons developed their mathematics skills

The Grade 5s had the opportunity to consult with their teachers at the beginning and end of each day.  The boys reflected and asked questions on aspects that they didn’t understand. Their reflections were completed with the help of guided questions and were done in a specifically designed FLP booklet and online in ‘flipgrid’ which is an educational app designed to promote student voices. The boys learnt how to manage their own time, identify their strengths and weaknesses and in the process they developed their understanding of mathematics concepts.

Grade 6: Social Science 'BEYOND THE RIVER'

There were two aspects to this FLP. The boys watched the movie “Beyond the River”. This built on their theme of "Democracy" that they studied earlier in the year. The movie taught the Grade 6s about the importance of putting aside cultural differences and to work together as a team. Relating to this theme, the boys researched and explored ‘the journey of a river’. They had the opportunity to choose one of the following:

  • Create a model of a river
  • Design a poster explaining the journey of a river
  • Compile a documentary about the journey of a river

In addition, there were IsiZulu and Afrikaans components, as well as a focus on visual literacy.

Grade 7 FLP 

The purpose of the FLP was to allow the boys to investigate a topic which they found interesting. Some examples: “Is dreaming thinking?” or “Should specialisation of sport take place at prep school level?” They had a choice of 22 projects, encompassing all subjects. The Big Question behind the project was one that could not be ‘googled’ but required their own thinking and understanding. The focus was both on deep thinking and excellence in presentation.

The boys were required to use their own devices to conduct background research and to type up their information. The projects were presented on project boards consisting of three flaps. Those boys who chose the Science options built a model in addition to their written work. They learnt the basics of research which consisted of creating a hypothesis, researching background information, their own investigation (interviews, questionnaires), conclusion and reflection.

During the Natural Science component, the boys had a choice of building one of three projects:

  • Making a simple electric motor
  • Making a range of electromagnets
  • Building a more complicated electric motor that required knowledge of scientific principles often covered at High School level and beyond.

They had to work collaboratively while researching, designing and finally building their project. The purpose of the project was to get the boys to think critically and to find unique and innovative ways to build their project using recycled materials. Further to this, they were required to conduct research and explore the common errors often made during the designing and building stages and how to avoid them.

“By having the boys working together on quite complicated tasks, I was able to identify each pupil’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Mr Bench. While each group worked on their own project, many challenges were encountered. Through trial and error, the groups managed to work through the problems and get the motors to work. Mr Bench added that having students work together to accomplish a desired goal also helped them to recognise the value of each individuals contribution coupled with an improved understanding of the scientific principles involved in making an electric motor.

The boys cannot wait for the next FLP!