Igniting Curiosity in the Learning Environment
No learning environment is more exciting and rewarding than one where curiosity is ignited. It is the doorway to infinite possibility and leads you on journeys of discovery with the students in your care. This is not idealism talking, but the reality of what is experienced in our iCreate programme.
We are a noisy, hands on, experimental bunch enjoying learning about the ever-changing world around us. We make mistakes, welcome them as smart learning and draw on the variety of talent, skill and genius of those around us. It’s exciting, mind-blowing at times, and also calls on depths of grit and emotional intelligence, especially in our many group work scenarios.
Cross-Curricular and Skills-Based Approach of iCreate
The brainchild of Merrifield’s own Di Bossé, iCreate is cross-curricular, skills-based and project-based learning. Every window of creative thought is opened wide in the room! Coding, linear mathematical and computational thinking has its place here, but the avenues of art and all types of engineering and innovation are equally embraced.
Tangible Accomplishments and Exciting Tasks of iCreate
Thinking and doing has led to tangible, exciting accomplishments where students brim with fulfilment and hunger for more. For example, we’ve approached history with the “escape room” game, where students solve clues to “unlock themselves”; we’ve become learning experience designers in structural engineering; we have experimented with biomimicry ideas and eco-friendly initiatives; we’ve encouraged cultural agility in many role-play activities, overcoming biases and reflecting on impoverishments in our world; we have created 3D prints; implemented drone technology, and enjoyed robotics…to name a few of our tasks.
Inspiring Visits from Entrepreneurs and Purposeful Reflection
Furthermore, we regularly invite entrepreneurs to visit us and share their stories. We have had chefs, actresses, singers, engineers, forensics scientists, psychologists, farmers, ceramic artists, adventure sport enthusiasts, filmmakers, a pilot and a town planner visit us thus far. Each one has sparked the interest of different students, awakening dreams, possibility and curiosity – speaking into purpose and meaning of life. The richness of such a learning environment lies in the variety of creative thinking tasks and problem solving, followed by purposeful reflection.
Integrated Learning and Teamwork at Merrifield Preparatory School and College
At Merrifield Preparatory School and College we are actively pursuing integrated learning and work as a team of specialists across subjects and grades. It is a joy that iCreate could be implemented and grow within a school passionate about innovation, diversity and excellence. This programme currently runs from Grade 1 to Grade 6 and is in its fifth year of implementation. Our Grade 7 & 8s have joined the iCreate programme from this year, exploring all avenues of technology.