YEAR NINE CITY CURRICULUM
(September, 1997, for 'The
Forming one segment of a planned
revitalisation of Middle School curriculum, this project, dubbed ‘the CCP’,
came to fruition in 1997 following preliminary work commenced in 1996.
During Semester Two, Year 9 students,
in their Homerooms, attended school for a fortnight based in a Seminar
Room kindly provided by Monash University at its Conference Centre, 30
Collins Street, Melbourne. From that ‘Homeroom’, the students spent
most of their time pursuing a specially designed curriculum using the resources
of the City Of Melbourne, their ‘Campus’.
The seed for this, of course, had
been planted well before.
Encouraged by Dr Peter Ellyard at
its February 1996 Retreat, the Glen Waverley Campus Executive of the time
determined to create a ‘Glen Waverley Middle Years Project Team’ to consider
the interest, relevance, engagement, involvement and satisfaction of the
Middle School educational experience within the context of the students’
individual needs, the continuance of pastoral care and the growing influence
Amongst its many short and long term
recommendations, the team (Chris Poulton, Andrew Sloane, Natasha Hanzelic,
David McKenna, Andrew McGregor) proposed the development of a programme
that "would involve Year 9 students commuting to the city each day and
moving more independently in their wider environment."
The then Campus Head, Dr Helen Drennen,
progressed this recommendation through the Wesley College Middle Years
Symposium held early in September, 1996 and the College Council one month
Ultimately, Junior School Head, Martyn.
Smith, was seconded to head a pilot project and, in mid-November, the Heads
of Faculty committed themselves to creating the ‘City Curriculum’.
Keen to shape the curriculum quickly, the Faculty Heads met often before
the end of 1996 and produced the focus and objectives of the curriculum
in order to guide future planning.
In 1997, Judith Patterson and Andrew
McAree were appointed to oversee curriculum and technological development
And so it was, following the excellent
preparation of the curriculum writers, information technologists and administrators
that the first Homeroom, 9 Warrell, with Homeroom Teacher, Glenn Alger,
arrived at 30 Collins Street at 8.30 am on Monday, 28 July --
the inaugural CCP students.
Carrying no school bags or school
books, save a small notepad and a ‘Passport to Melbourne’, these students,
and those who followed, completed the CCP using the Internet (on which
the entire project exists) and the resources of central Melbourne.
In the Homeroom, six notebook computers
connected to the Internet made this constantly easy. Additionally,
the students used digital movie and still cameras, monitors and audio recorders
generously provided by the Department of Business Systems in Monash’s Faculty
of Computing and Information Technology.
The CCP website, available to students
well before their city sojourn, contained tasks set by teachers which students
completed in half-day sessions during the first week of their CCP.
These tasks aimed to integrate, complement and enhance the content and
skills inherent in the subjects studied at Glen Waverley. Students
chose their own course of Set Tasks, being required to include cultural,
active and service topics within their programme.
These tasks were precursors to the
students’ Own Tasks created by them towards the end of the first week and
researched in depth for the greater part of the second. The culmination
of these tasks was a Presentation Evening following the city experience
where students presented their projects to parents and teachers using multi-media
In the city, the students, working
in cells of three or four, were left free to undertake their CCPs using
their own initiative and skill. Martyn Smith, rostered teachers and
student teachers from the Faculty of Education at Monash University provided
Additional features of the project
in the city were a tour of Parliament House, a briefing regarding tertiary
education, Accountability Afternoon (during which groups reported their
progress to a trio of invited guests) and a fun run, picnic and Chapel
Service on the final day.
The CCP aimed at engaging students
in a range of self-directed curriculum tasks using initiative and leadership.
Using the resources of the city, they were expected, also, to investigate
its lifestyle and culture, gain an awareness of the city’s physical environment
and its human impact, understand its heritage and enhance their social
awareness through action, reflection and response.
Additionally, students chronicled
their experiences and presented them to an audience.
The students’ Journals bore insight
into the value of their CCP. One short perception from one of the
two hundred students will suffice here: Ashanti Dharann: "I
found the city to be like a giant encyclopaedia".