Last weekend, a Learning Futures delegation (David Price and I) went up to Northumberland to see Cramlington Learning Village’s Exhbition of Learning, where students presented the work they’d created during the previous ‘project week’, which they’d spent off timetable.
I went up because Cramlington’s work is informing the guide to project-based learning that I’m writing as part of Learning Futures (version 1.0 coming out in September, reserve your copy now!), and I saw a lot of exciting stuff, but there’s two projects that I want to mention in particular:
First, Suscram – this is a website full of cycling routes in the local area, which a group of students produced in a week! It’s an impressive achievement in its own right, but it’s particularly interesting because it’s linked to sustrans, a national ‘sustainable transport’ charity that focuses on getting more people walking, cycling, and using public transport.
The other project I want to mention is a cooking project in which students made dishes using (among other ingredients) Cramlington’s own kitchen garden. There are a couple things that I love about this one: first, two professional chefs came down during their time off to help the students out (they were friends with one of the teachers), and second, the students were able to make their dish more than once so they could get feedback from their classmates (and the professionals) and improve what they cooked. The final versions look like something off of Masterchef. I’ll post photos as soon as I can get them. Even better, they have a few examples of earlier ‘drafts’, and the difference is striking.
This was a science project (as were all the sustainability projects), in this case, one focused on local, seasonal food. Accordingly, the students produced a gardening guide/cookbook (during the same week) which will be available for download soon (again, I’ll link as soon as it’s up).
For more on what Dave and I saw, I direct you to his blog post (featuring photos!) here.
To keep up with the exciting stuff that’s happening at Cramlington, I advise following science teacher Darren Mead (@dkmead) and music teacher Martin Said (@saidthemac) on Twitter, and reading both of their blogs: Darren’s is Sharing Pedagogical Purposes, and Martin’s is Teaching and Learning Music.